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The Wedding

Ethnographic Museum of the National Museum, Kinského zahrada 98, Praha 5 - Smíchov, 150 00


16. 6. 2017 – 7. 1. 2018

In the folk tradition, the engagement, church wedding and marriage meant a new stage in the lives of the young couple from a legal, economic and religious point of view. An independent life led in their own family on the basis of the marital relationship, which at an emotional level could mean that they were in love, felt mutual affection or just reconciled themselves with their parents’ choice, or any of the other available variants.

Marriages arranged by the individuals’ parents were common, including unwanted marriages that were, however, respected out of a feeling of honour and responsibility towards the family. The ceremonial acts associated with the wedding were mainly oriented towards the bride and were manifested in a kind of a wedding “exhibition”, in which, according to tradition, the girl displayed but also experienced grief at the loss of her existing life, and personified the uncertainty of her future life. The reign of her father in her life to date was usually replaced by the reign of her husband or his parents, who continued to call her “bride” long after the wedding. The wedding also changed the groom’s status.


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