Photographer's Note

In many places by the rivers in Lithuania you can see locked padlocks. Young people very often lock padlocks and throw keys to the river as a symbol of their love for ever.
Traditional marriage in Lithuania is divided into three parts.
The first one is the bride's good-bye to her family and home and her introduction to the groom's home; the good-bye is a very dramatic and sad time with a great deal of sorrowful music and farewell songs, culminating with the bride riding away from her parent's home and to the home of her future husband. Preceding the bride would be the "kraitveziai" or the dowry drivers. They would arrive with the bride's dowry chests which were filled with things that she had collected over the years in anticipation of this very moment as rolls of fabric, towels, clothing and bedclothes. Towels and sashes were very important in ancient Lithuania: brides had to place a red towel on the hearth next to the stove in order to gain the good graces of the spirits of the home.
In the second part of the marriage the bride to be entered the church wearing a wreath of rue, symbolizing her childhood. The ceremony would begin with the bride's matron of honor and other married women removing the bride's girlish wreath replacing it with the headdress of a mature woman, symbolizing the young bride's transition from girlhood into womanhood. The wedding vows requiring the couple to pledge themselves one to another until death parted them. At the conclusion the bride and the groom place wedding rings on each other's finger and the marriage is sealed with a kiss. Another ancient tradition was for the couple to drink wine and to eat salt and bread upon entering the reception hall, symbols of joy, tears and work, the three elements of a life together. The couple would also be showered with both grain and water abd were wrapped in furs to insure that their life together would be rich and successful.
The third and final step is the "atgriztai" or the coming back that took place after a week of honeymoon: the bride returned to her parent's home for a brief visit and she was welcomed as a guest rather than a member of the family. (from

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Additional Photos by Alberto Piubello (albertopiubello) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 331 W: 41 N: 881] (2623)
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