In the Celtic year, the first day in the month of May and the first day in the month of August were considered the optimum days for a marriage to take place. The Celts worked within a different seasonal calendar in comparison to the modern day calendar that we now follow and were very led by the changes in season.
The Celtic Wedding Calendar
The first half of the year was seen as the ‘light half’ which fell between the first of May and the 31st of October. The ‘dark half’ of the year fell between the first of November and April 30th and was considered to be a poor time to get married in the Celtic tradition.
The Celtic Handfasting Tradition
One of the best known Celtic wedding traditions was the Celtic handfasting ceremony which still exists to this day, often included in secular modern day wedding ceremonies. During Celtic times this was akin to an engagement where a couple was ‘handfasted’ by a Druid. This was a public ceremony where the couple’s hands were tied together with twine, rope, or ribbon, and their intention to get married was declared. The ‘handfast’ lasted for a year. Once the year was complete the couple could marry or part ways.
The Celtic Oathing Stone and Grushie
In Celtic wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom placed their hands on a stone when reciting their marriage vows. It was done to signify that their vows were everlasting and it is where the phrase ‘set in stone’ evolved from. This idea is also incorporated into some modern day weddings. The Celtic Grushie is a custom that evolved from the Celts and is found in many of the countries where the Celts lived. After the wedding ceremony had taken place, the groom would throw coins into the waiting crowd and it was thought to be a sign of good luck for the newly married couple.