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our cup turneth over


While I was trolling ebay (for trolling ebay 8), I kept coming across these cups shaped like ladies holding buckets over their heads. I was intrigued. I did a little research and learned that they are part of an old German wedding custom. You all know how I love culture, so as much as you might protest, today we will learn something.
The story goes that a long time ago, a goldsmith in the city of Nuremberg wanted to marry a young noble woman. Her father, however, did not like the idea of his daughter marrying a poor artisan. Legend has it that the nobleman would only allow the wedding to take place if the goldsmith succeeded in making a vessel from which two people could drink at the same time, without spilling a drop. The goldsmith succeeded, and the news of the happy ending spread quickly all over Germany, where the Bridal Cup has been in use ever since.
To me it wasn't completely obvious how this worked at first. I was all "huh?" whilst turning my head to one side and squinting trying to figure out how two people could drink from that lady's bucket... (those are 'thinking really hard' ellipses).
I finally figured it out when I learned that the cup held by the woman is on a hinge, and can rotate around so that it looks as if the she's dumping the contents on her head. So then, if you turn the whole vessel upside down, the groom may drinketh from the maiden's skirt (yowsa!) and the bride can drink simultaneously from the maiden's bucket, which tilts so that she doesn't spill. I'll be damned! What fun.
If you'd like to get one of these pretty little ladies for your wedding just do a search for "german wedding cup" on ebay. You'll find several.
That's all for today, class.

6 comments:

Michelle on 12:56 PM

What a wonderful post! I love reading about cultural customs. I am part cajun and don't know of any wedding customs that represent my heritage.

Mackenzie on 1:41 PM

Michelle,
I know that cake pulls are a traditional french/cajun thing. There are usually 10 ribbons (attached to charms) coming out of the cake. Unmarried ladies at the wedding get a shot at pulling one out. Some charms are good luck, and some aren't. The best charm to get is always the one shaped like a wedding ring, because the girl who pulled it out is going to be married next.

The tradition of pinning money to the brides veil in exchange for a dance is also a popular Cajun tradition.

Anyone know of any other Cajun traditions for Michelle?

mo on 7:07 PM

I love this! I find traditions and customs so interesting, especially concerning weddings. A family or ethnic tradition adds a great deal to a ceremony.It brings a depth that connects to something greater and generations gone by. I think it enriches everyone in attendance and makes the occasion even more meaningful.
I'd love to hear what people have to share.

Michelle on 6:43 AM

Mackenzie,

I'm sitting here smiling because I know of both of those traditions but had no idea they were specifically Cajun traditions! I'm definitely going to include the cake pull but since it's my second time around I think I'll forego the money dance. I don't know if the tradition has morphed or not, but I do know that during the money dance - money is pinned to the entire wedding gown and veil AND on the groom as well.

My husband (we were already married in a civil ceremony - we're throwing a reception next month) is African American. Do you know of any traditions from his culture that I could incorporate?

Thanks so much for your help!

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