Germany: Polterabend, a unique German wedding custom, is reserved for the wedding night as a ritual to ensure a successful marriage. In this incredible culture, the guests and relatives break Porcelain pottery to bring luck to the couple’s married life.
This ritual is truly based on bringing an expression of eternal love, luck, faith and devotion among the newly married couple. The bachelor party has now become very common in Germany and across many countries around the globe.
However, the Polterabend is among those re-emerging traditions which have now become very common in Germany. This custom is congruent with the religious sentiments of the people of Germany and its uniqueness is such that nothing similar is seen in other parts of the world.
This pre-marital ritual is greatly celebrated by couples who wish to preserve their love and believe in the value of traditions. This is performed among close relatives, families, and friends, who smash the Porcelain (A white earthen pot) to bring prosperity and happiness to their married life.
Following the tradition, the couple cleans up the broken shards to ward off evil spirits, symbolizing their ability to face hardships together in their married life.
Following the Polterabend, the newlyweds tread over a trail of fir branches that is meant to bring them fortune and fertility in the future.
As per German traditions, Polterabend is done to attract good luck, especially if the bride and groom-to-be work together to pick up the broken dishes. The noise from the smashing of pottery is meant to ward off of evil and black magic.
It’s pretty strange and yet fascinating that Germans believe in various superstitious practices. These practices involve black magic and some beliefs that are believed to be part of their ancient culture and heritage.
Some similar customs and superstitious beliefs in Germany include:-
- Not a good idea to wish someone a “Happy Birthday” before their actual birthday. It brings bad luck. When the clock strikes midnight, you can congratulate away, but not before. Otherwise, the birthday girl or boy could freak out.
Good luck wishes should only come on their actual birthday. Receiving them before will bring about the opposite.
- Bread and salt symbolises abundance, this means there should always be enough bread and salt in the house, bringing wealth and happiness. It also means that they will never go hungry.
- Black cats are often associated with witchcraft and bad luck, even by Germans who are superstitious. Sighting a black cat can result in good or bad luck, depending on the customs one follows.
As the saying goes:
“Schwarze Katz von rechts nach links, Glück bringt’s. Schwarze Katz von links nach rechts, was Schlecht’s.”
“Black cat from right to left brings luck. Black cat from left to right brings bad luck.”