Honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlywed couples, to celebrate their marriage in intimacy and seclusion, immediately after the nuptials are over. A honeymoon can last anywhere, from a week to a month. Traditionally, a honeymoon is the first vacation that married couples take together. It gives the partners an opportunity to spend some time together and understand one another. It allows them to rest and recharge themselves after going through the stress and excitement of the wedding ceremonies. This is the period, just after the wedding, when things are at their sweetest and the couple share some private and intimate moments. Honeymoons allow the couples to build comfort zones for a physical relationship, which is one of the chief means of bonding during the preliminary days of marriage. However, honeymoons were a concept from the West, which later spread worldwide. Today, going for a honeymoon after marriage is a common practice in all countries. Most people choose to go to exotic locations, either to domestic locations or abroad. The origin of honeymoon has been given differently by different sources. Read on to know all the interesting and amazing information on the history and background of ‘honeymoon’.
Interesting & Amazing Information On The Origin & Background Of Honeymoon
There are many variations as to how the concept of honeymoon came into being. One variation dates back to the 16th century, in Europe. Another variation takes us back to the ancient Babylonian tradition, where the word “honeymoon” was used to describe a tradition in which the bride’s father used to serve mead (honey wine) to the groom, which he drank every night for the first month (moon) of his marriage. This was believed to boost the couple’s fertility.
The third variation of honeymoon dates back to Scandinavian tradition, where the word “honeymoon” is known to have originated from the Norse word “hjunottsmanathr”, which means “in hiding”. At the time, most brides were abducted from local villages and were hidden until they became pregnant or their family stopped searching for them. Thus, honeymoon was considered more of a ‘kidnapping’ ritual in those days and also explains how the term, ‘swept her off her feet’, came into being. The abduction would be conducted by throwing a blanket over the bride and carrying her on horseback. Usually, the groom would be accompanied by his friends. This practice dates back to Attila the Hun (the leader of Hunnic Empire), AD 433-453. While still in hiding, the couple would share the mead. According to Pliny the Elder (Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher), one part of old honey and three parts of water are combined to prepare the mead which was left in the sun for 40 days. With age, the mixture contained the flavor of old wine. As time passed by, couples believed that the daily consumption of mead, during their honeymoon period, would increase their chances of giving birth to sons.
In the 1820s, the concept of honeymoon was initiated in England, during the Victorian era and soon became popular throughout Europe. The groom and his family had to bear the entire cost of the honeymoon. While the groom and bride were separated after their engagement was announced, going on a honeymoon after marriage helped the husband and wife to reacquaint themselves in peace and quiet. The French introduced their own special term for honeymoon as “voyage a la facon anglaise”, although the actual French term for honeymoon, is “lune de mille”.
The First Reference
The first ever literary reference to the word ‘honeymoon’ was in 1552, in Richard Huloet's (a lexicographer), ‘Abecedarium Anglico Latinum’ (a bilingual English-Latin dictionary). The meaning of the word was thus stated ‘Hony mone’, a term proverbially applied to such as be newly married, which will not fall out at the first, but th'one loveth the other at the beginning exceedingly, the likelihood of their exceadinge love appearing to aswage, ye which time the vulgar people call the hony mone.’
Meaning Of The Word Honeymoon
The word honeymoon is packed with symbolism. The mead and honey wine, which are sweet, symbolize the sweetness of the first month of marriage. This is the time where the bride and the groom are free of all the stress and tensions of everyday life. The moon signifies the phases or cycles of the couple’s relationship, in the manner it changes its shape; from the full moon to the new moon. Like the moon, the couple will have happier or brighter times and also, many dark ones.
Ever since the 1800s, the most popular destination for honeymoon in North America was the Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada. The other, popular honeymoon destinations in the United States are Hawaii, Florida and Las Vegas. Apart from these places, couples are also seeking other exotic and popularized locations like the Bahamas, Alaska, Rome, Venice, Switzerland, and even the Indian Subcontinent. Some even prefer to spend their honeymoon on cruise ships. Whatever the place, the aim behind a honeymoon, remains the same.