Origins of the Honeymoon

Most people know what the honeymoon is but do not know its origins.  There are a few different thoughts on how the honeymoon came to be.

In ancient times, many first marriages were not by choice; they were actually by capture.  When early men felt that it was time to take a wife, they quite literally took a wife.  The man would actually carry the woman off to a secret place where her family could not find her.  They would stay in the location until the moon had gone through all of its phases, which is about 30 days.  While there, they would drink a brew made of honey, thus the term honeymoon.

In other ancient times, the Teton people would hold their weddings only under the light of the full moon.  After the ceremony, the bride and groom would drink honey wine for thirty days, while the moon went through all of its phases.  So, the period right after the wedding became known as the honeymoon.  The name has survived through the years though the purpose has changed.  Today, the honeymoon is a time for the newlyweds to leave their family and friends and go on vacations, usually somewhere romantic, to spend time together alone.

In the 16th century, the word honeymoon had a more symbolic meaning.  Honey is a reference to the sweetness of the new marriage.  Moon does not actually refer to the lunar moon, but it is actually a bitter reminder that the sweetness of the marriage, like the full lunar moon, quickly fades.  Basically, the term honeymoon in the 16th century was not a happy word and was used almost like an omen for things to come.

The last origin for honeymoon comes from a tradition where the bride drinks meade, a honey brewed drink, for one month after the wedding.  This is said to encourage fertility, particularly a male child.

Just remember, your honeymoon should be a time of happiness and fun.  It is the start of your new life together.  Wherever you decide to go on your honeymoon, just be sure to start your marriage off right. Enjoy the time alone together, without worrying about the lives you’ll soon be back to, the house, the bills, the thank you notes. Take the time off to relax and just enjoy being married.

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