Wedding Traditions:German - In German tradition, a Polterabend, or a wedding-eve party, is thrown for the couple. In this celebration, those attending smash plates and other breakables as a sign of good luck for the couple-to-be. This act is also meant as a way to stop the couple from any more breaking in the household in the future.
Greek - Plate breaking is a symbol of how Greeks celebrate the joys of life -- spontaneous and impermanent joy. Plates are broken on behalf of or to celebrate others as they sing a great song, dance a great dance, or show spirit in some other wonderful way.
Czech - At the Czech wedding reception, a plate is broken at the feet of the bride and groom and they must clean the pieces up together to promote the ability to work together in a healthy manner throughout their marriage. In addition, when the plate is initially broken, the bride and the groom try to get hold of the broom, because that one who gets it will be the head and master of the household. The holder of the pan will always have to be obedient.
Jewish - "Tenaim," which translates as "conditions," is an Ashkenazic tradition of engagement. The Tenaim ceremony announces that two families have come to an agreement on the marriage of their two children. At the ceremony, the Tenaim document, a pre-wedding contract that sets out this agreement, was read out loud, signed and witnessed, and a plate is smashed to seal the deal. The mothers of the couple break the plate, symbolizing the impending breaks in their relationships with their children, who will soon take responsibility for feeding each other. Others give the broken pieces to eligible "singles" as if to say, "May a plate be broken for you soon."
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