Handfasting ceremony is another term for wedding ceremony which is widely followed in Neopaganism, mainly in Wicca. This term originally emerged in the 16th and 17th century when having contract marriages for a temporary period of time started became a part of the social culture.
The word ‘handfasting’ means making a contract and hence, this ceremony clearly means getting married on the basis of a contract. It has different customs than a normal wedding ceremony. Given below are some more interesting facts about this ceremony which you need to know:
- This term is in use in the Celtic Neopaganism culture and Wicca for wedding ceremonies since the 1960s and was first used by Hans Holzer. It became popular after this ceremony was shown in the film ‘The Doors’ in the year 1991.
- The difference in a normal wedding ceremony and handfasting ceremony is that in handfasting ceremony, the bride and groom can take the vows for a particular time period, be it a day, a month or even a lifetime.
- Some people say that this is a long followed traditional ceremony and some say that the handfasting ceremony is a newly created ceremony.
- In some traditions, the couples also jump over a broom after the ceremony takes place and some leap over a small fire together holding each other’s hands.
- There is ceremony where each guest of the wedding ties a ribbon to the hands of the couple which are clasped to each other. It is a symbolic act of keeping the couple together by ‘fastening’ their hands.
- The wedding outfits of this ceremony are made according to the traditional embroideries of that particular area.
- The handfasting ceremony is becoming more and more popular with the term of contract marriages getting popular as well. It is opposed by certain cultural organisations as contract marriages are not approved in certain cultures.
- Handfasting ceremony seems to be convenient to a lot of people who want to have contract marriages in a traditional way with having ceremonies and vows included in it.
- The term became popular all over the world after the 2000s, when people started marrying this way more and more.
The origin of handfasting ceremonies is not exactly documented but most of the sources say that it became popular only after the medieval period of history got over.