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Montenegrins to this day have preserved a lot of ancient customs and many of them are very beautiful and eye-catching. One of these traditions that Montenegrins cannot refuse is the wedding ceremony.
Large families remained in Montenegro for a very long time, which consisted not only of parents and children, but of several married couples with children at once. When a young wife gets married, she enters her husband's house not as a mistress, but as the wife of the master's son. She obeys her mother-in-law and lives with other daughters-in-law and sister-in-law.
Basic household and family issues are always decided by the owner of the house, and the role of women is secondary. Only the owner's wife has rights in the house, and during her life the daughters-in-law will always be dependent, because the most difficult worries always lie on her.
Montenegrins usually get married between the ages of 20 and 30. This is a rather wise age when both young people have already realized what a serious step they are taking.
However, besides this, there are some principles according to which girls can get married and young people can get married. A woman in Montenegro can get married only if she can sew a shirt for her husband, shear a sheep, and a young man must be able to jump on a horse from the ground and make logs on his own.
Young people get married only if they are from the same village, since strict Montenegrin rules do not allow young people to see each other just like that, they only meet in public works, for example, when harvesting bread, flapping flax, and so on.
A real holiday in Montenegro is a visit to the church, where the brides fair is held: young people look closely at each other, and their parents are looking for a suitable match for their children.
Although this does not mean that young people are obliged to obey the will of their parents unquestioningly, if the girl refuses to matchmakers, then no one will insist, although the matchmakers may come again and again ask for the girl's hand. Sometimes it happens that after the second time they get a positive answer.
There are also many different entertainments and ceremonies in which young people in Montenegro take an active part. For example, Christmas, Shrovetide, Midsummer's Day, when bonfires are made, dancing and playing.
The main figure in pre-wedding ceremonies in Montenegro is the matchmaker, in the role of which is one of the groom's closest relatives. Matchmaking takes place in two stages: matchmaking itself and betrothal.
They go to woo at night or at dusk, imperceptibly, albeit solemnly. Matchmakers are invited to sit down at the table without undressing, and they begin a conversation on abstract topics. Only then do matchmaking negotiations begin.
Visiting matchmakers in Montenegro is an honor for the family, therefore they are received very well and hospitably. If during such negotiations the girl, the potential bride was not invited into the room, this can only mean a refusal.
If the matchmaker's offer is going to be accepted and answered positively, then the guests are offered to undress. Then the matchmaker lays out a ransom, which can be a ring, money or other gift.
The purpose of the first stage of matchmaking in Montenegro is to obtain consent, unless, of course, there has already been no refusal before. If the girl refused the ransom or as it was called the collateral, and does not take gifts - this is also considered a refusal. If he takes it, it means that the proposal will be considered.
The girl never takes a deposit or ransom in her hands, she brushes it into an apron or a basket. For matchmakers, it is necessary that the scarf with the bail touches the girl's body, because it is believed that after that the girl cannot refuse.
The main point that could decide everything is the visit of the bride to the groom's house. Usually the girl stays in the groom's house for a week, while doing some kind of work.
For example, she has to sew a shirt or pants for the groom, and the like. If after such a visit the girl decided to get married, then the matchmakers come to the bride's house again, but for the betrothal.
Engagement can take place in many different ways. Most often, the bride receives a gift from the groom, and gives him in return some thing that she made with her own hands, and the bride's parents receive money, which is considered as a reimbursement of their expenses for raising the bride. The betrothal is the final stage, after which the marriage is already concluded in the church. Before the wedding, the groom's father visits the bride's family and gives her shoes.
The wedding ritual in Montenegro differs from the venue and the characteristics of the family. Also, customs differ in the time of the rituals and from the areas of residence. Several types of wedding ceremonies can be distinguished here.
For example, there is such a custom in Montenegro, when during the wedding, a little boy is put on the bride's lap as a wish that there are many children in the family. After the wedding night, the newlyweds are noisily woken up, and they bring them water for washing.
After that, the young spouses put on the clothes that a married woman should wear. At the end of the rituals and ceremonies, the bride should deliver gifts to all relatives.
There is also a custom in Montenegro when a crown is put on the bride, which indicates that the girl is pure. However, such a crown is quite heavy, and a girl has to wear it, sometimes even for two days without taking off, sleep in it, dance, and there are times that the bride faints from being tired from wearing such a weight.
Another feature of weddings in Montenegro can be attributed to such a custom, when the wedding is divided into three parts: church wedding, meal and dancing. All this is carried out in one house, as well as the wedding, that is, the priest is called to the house for the wedding ceremony.
During the wedding, a young couple observes many signs and performs many protective actions. A festive meal can be plentiful and can last quite a long time, up to four hours or more. All wedding participants take part in the wedding dances.