Greek Weddings Essay

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Greek Weddings The Wedding Ceremony For a young girl, marriage rites marked three phases: separation from her oikos , transition to a new home, and integration into her new roles as daughter and wife within a new oikos.19 She changed from a parthenos, a maiden, to a nymphe, a married woman without children, when she married and then finally to a gyne, an adult woman, when she bore her first child. The entire set of marriage rites focused on the bride and her relocation to a new oikos and kyrios, the most important transition in her life. As mentioned, a typical marriage consisted of engue and ekdosis. The ceremony itself was marked by the physical transfer, the ekdosis, of the bride to her new oikos. The ekdosis was a process that took several days, affected much of the community and affirmed new relationships both inside and outside her former oikos. For the bride, ekdosis signified a farewell to her maidenhood and at the same time an integration into her new household. The wedding ceremony usually lasted three days. The day before the wedding was designated the proaulia. In preparation for the proaulia, the bride would spend a final few days with her mother and female relatives, friends and servants preparing for her wedding at her father's house. This pre-wedding ritual is one of the few events in which women were allowed to participate and celebrate actively. Once the proaulia arrived, a ceremony and feast would be held at the house of the bride's father. The bride would make various offerings, proteleia to different gods; the offerings would generally include her childhood clothing and toys. This act served two purposes for the bride. It signified the separation of the bride from her childhood, freeing her to enter a new life; and it established a bond between her and the deities who she hoped would provide protection for her during the transition to her new
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