Ukrainian Wedding Customs: The Removal of Veil

Hi everyone! We are sharing with you the fascinating and learning story of different Ukrainian wedding customs and traditions. And today it is the turn of one of the most touching and really amazing rites – the removal of veil.

Though rites and customs are the links between centuries and generations, today the Ukrainian marriage ceremony is the mix of ancient rites and modern trends, the unique combination of Western wedding practice and Eastern customs and traditions.For example, the tradition of throwing the bride’s bouquet has come from the West. Unmarried girlfriends try to catch the wedding bouquet and that whose fortune would be kind is supposed to marry the next or at least more quickly than other participants. On the other hand, the foreigners never understood without some sensible explanation the Ukrainian traditions of icons blessing or binding the hands. But let’s get back to the other matter of removing the veil.

This tradition is considered one of the most ancient and sincere rites of the wedding ceremony. Every wedding party in Ukraine traditionally concludes with the Veil Removal. It is held at the end of the evening. The bride’s mother (mother-in-law in some regions) will remove her wreath and veil and replace it with a headdress (a scarf, a kerchief or a shawl). This symbolizes the bride to leave the virginity and to become a married woman. It happens while women sing special ritual folk songs. According to this old tradition, the charming bride obtains the status of good housewife and respected woman.

After removing the veil, each wedding party traditionally concludes with the veil dance. The bride takes the veil and dances cheek-to-cheek turns covering each unmarried girlfriend’s head with her veil. “Goodbye”, the bride seemed to say her bachelor’s life and free maiden. In some regions the tradition differs, the unmarried veiled girlfriends dance with the groom. In this way they symbolize the dream of every girl to find her love and to marry him. Charming Ukrainian brides look inexpressibly touching while dancing their last maiden dance, the Veil Dance.
After the Veil Dance ends, the bride takes her veil and gives it to her mother. The veil should be kept thoughtfully and tenderly, it is considered a strong locket. It is a very emotional tradition and all girls used to shed tears at this moment.

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