Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Weddings In Venezuela

'La hora loca' during
a Venezuelan wedding
Weddings in Venezuela are extremely vibrant and incorporate a larger-than-life culture. This is mainly due to the fact that Venezuelan culture is influenced by many different cultures including Hispanic, Italian, Native American, German, Portuguese, and South American countries.

Venezuelan engagements are a very important. Most Venezuelans live at home until they are married so family plays an important role in the engagement and wedding process. Couples choose their own partners, of course, but family approval is highly values. It is customary for the groom to approach the father of the bride-to-be and ask for his permission and blessing before proposing to his daughter.

Most Venezuelan couples hold two ceremonies for the wedding. First, they hold a small civil ceremony, then a much bigger and grander religious ceremony. The larger more faith-based ceremony usually takes place in a religious or spiritual venue like a chapel or a church. Only after the large religious ceremony is the couple considered to be "officially" married. This shows just how important religion is to the Venezuelan people.

It is customary for Venezuelan grooms to offer their bride the gift of Arras. This consists of 13 gold coins representing Jesus and his apostles. This is symbolic that he will always provide for her. During the reception party, there is a the custom of 'la hora loca', or 'the crazy hour' that begins with the distribution of special wedding favors including special masks, wigs, specially decorated hats, noisemakers and whistles. This hour is supposed to add an extra element of fun to the party. Everyone is expected to dance for the entire hour.

'La hora loca' is an interesting concept to me because it seems like a forced and unnatural process. I have not heard of such a thing in the U.S.. It is interesting, however, because it is meant to encourage people from both sides of the family to mix and mingle while dancing and having a good time.

*culled from www.sites.psu.edu 

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