Why do we tie shoes/cans to the back of newlywed cars? – There are several versions of this tradition and each has evolved from the other… The Tudor custom was the guests would through shoes at the newlywed couple as it was considered lucky if they or their carriage were hit (can that be safe?). This evolved to the belief that leather warded off evil spirits and so old leather shoes tossed at the couple was thought to keep the newlyweds safe. In Ancient Egypt a father would give the groom his daughter’s sandal, marking that an exchange had taken place. The Anglo-Saxon groom would tap the bride on the head with a shoe to demonstrate his authority (that would NOT fly in today’s world!). And check this out… since feet were considered a phallic symbol (huh?), guests threw old shoes at the bride to promote fertility.Eventually, shoes and cans were tied to the departing carriage as the noise was believed to keep evil spirits away. So, grap on to any one of the above beliefs and enjoy tying shoes or cans to the present day automobile – for whatever reason you wish! If for nothing else, it’s a cute photo… like the ones below.
On Thursday I post a wedding tradition. There are many rites of passage we observe today that echo the past. Everything from the veil, rice, flowers and cake, hold significant meanings. Old world marriage customs continue to thrive today – many are diluted, disguised and often upgraded.