Tying the Knot Folklore
The old cliche' "tying the knot" has been around for centuries, rope and cord was used for many purposes. The first form of legal contracts, a knot was tied to symbolize legal contracts. A witness would tie a knot if he could not write, he would tie a knot in a strap and it was attached to a document.
Knots and cords were used as jewelry in primitive times. Cords were more common in the betrothel than the metal rings. In ancient times weddings were steeped in superstition, they believed that there were evil spirits out there to harm the betrothed.
There are many explanations for the "tying the knot " cliche'.
In Asia Parsi and Iranian couples would be separated by a curtain and would join hands and their hands were tied together with a cloth and double knotted, then a piece of yarn was wrapped around the couples hands seven times, seven times around the couple and then seven times around the knot.
One source believes the expression comes from Roman times when a bride wore a girdle with knots and the groom needed to untie the knot on his wedding night.
In some parts of Africa the hands of a bride and groom were tied with braided long grasses to symbolize their union.
The Celtic custom known as handfasting is binding of the hands, but it meant a trial marriage. They would be married for one year and a day, which at that time they could make the marriage permanent or go separate ways.
In a Vedic marriage in India one of the brides hands is tied to the groom's hands to symbolize their union.
In Mexico a cord ritual is practiced called the Lazo. A cord is draped around the shoulders of the bride and groom. In the front is a cross of Jesus, which means the union is blessed by God.
In some cultures friends used to tie the bride and grooms clothes together symbolizing unity. Bows and ribbons were traditional wedding favors that signifyed the marriage knot.
In Sinhalese Buddist wedding ceremonies, a gold cord is tied around the fifth finger of the bride and groom. Water is poured over the knot signifying the sharing of their lives.
In a Russian Orthodox wedding an embroidered cloth is wrapped around the couples hands. The scarf is called a rushnychok and is made for this purpose.
Long ago when certain indian tribes wed, the finger of the bride and groom was cut until it bled and then that hand was bound together to mix the blood for their union.
Today some clergy will wrap his scarf around the hands of the bride and groom symbolizing their coming together as one.
In some cultures the knot poses a superstition of evil. A Syrian groom has to make sure no one has placed a knot amoung his clothes. To him it symbolizes impotency.
The knot symbolizes love, loyalty, friendship, duty and the main symbol is unity.