Daughters of Norway share wedding traditions
As the warmth of summer sweeps across the Magic City, the Daughters of Norway are sharing the excitement of traditional Norwegian weddings.
From the majestic towering cake known as Kransekake to adorning brides with Norwegian bridal crowns, the Daughters of Norway are happy to continue the cultural traditions developed centuries ago.
Today, cultures across the globe are incorporating Norwegian fashion and adopting elements of traditional practices into their wedding celebrations.
Jill Beatty, a member of the Grand Lodge Organizational Committee for the Daughters of Norway, expressed great enthusiasm about the timeless beauty of Norwegian culture.
“Many women are now incorporating Norwegian traditions into their modern weddings,” Beatty said. “Some of these traditions go way back to the Pagan and Viking time. These traditions have meanings to them. For example, wearing silver on your wedding day helps to keep away evil spirits or someone who might want to do you harm. Silver is known as protection in Norway.”
During the latest Daughters of Norway meeting held Sunday, May 21 in Minot, attendees were introduced to a powerful accessory called solje.
Made of sliver and featuring an array of spoons, a solje is believed to reflect evil away from the wearer.
“The solje is jewelry that women wear,” Beatty said. “It has lots of dangly spoons on them which reflect any type of evil spirit and makes them disappear. Evil does not want to see their reflection.”
Evil includes trolls along with all forms of dangerous persons or elements.
To making swords and forging keys, to rituals including baptisms and weddings, the properties of silver continue to remain of great value.
“Traditionally, Norwegians have been excellent silversmiths,” Beatty said. “In Norway, silver is known as protection. During funerals, marriages, baptisms and confirmation, these are certain times in your life in which you are most vulnerable to the spirit world. So, it’s important to have silver present.”
Along with learning about protection from evil spirits and wicked individuals during their wedding day, the Daughters of Norway discussed popular items to eat during their big event.
“Every wedding must have a feast,” Beatty said. “Salmon, herring, cheese and fruits were discussed along with another important item which is the cake.”
According to Beatty, many cakes were available during traditional Norwegian weddings.
“Up to 30 different cakes were present because weddings were long celebrations with lots of speeches and many toasts,” Beatty said. “The Kransekake or almond cake, also called the tower cake is made out of rings and almost looks like a Christmas tree.”
After the presentation of the Kransekake, an extraordinary prediction soon follows.
“The bride and groom will put their thumb through the top of the Kransekake and will break off however many rings they can,” Beatty said. “The tradition says the amount of rings broken off will be how many children the bride and groom will have.”
In addition to bold predictions and powerful protection, another timeless wedding tradition is wearing a Norwegian bridal crown.
“All brides wear a bridal crown,” Beatty said. “Modern day brides are wearing crowns too. Sometimes they rent them from the Norwegian American Museum. We’re seeing a lot of revival in many of these old traditions.”
To learn more about Norwegian wedding traditions or becoming a member of the Daughters of Norway, visit online at www.daughtersofnorway.org or call by Jill Beatty 415-350-6492.