5.21.2007

Love and Marriage Customs

Many modern love and marriage customs have their roots in old rituals and superstitions. In seventeenth-century New England, Americans followed the practice of bundling. A betrothed couple was encouraged to spend the night together in the weeks before the wedding, but they had to be fully clothes\d ad a bundle of clothing was put between them.
In Holland, a would-be bride would leave a ladder at her window so her intended might climb up to her room. Her parents, however, provided her with a gong and tongs to raise the alarm should her intended attempt to cross the barrier of clothes in the middle of her bed. Such visits by a serious suitor were considered and honor, but if the young lady became pregnant, she would have to conceal he baby under her cloak at the wedding.

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