Wedding feast

After returning from church, the wedding procession headed back to the bride’s house. There the bride and groom were welcomed by their parents, already married. The mother and father went out to the front door with bread, salt and vodka and served the bride and groom. While doing so, the mother would say and ask her daughter: “I welcome you with bread and salt, agree with God’s will. Bread, or salt, or the bridegroom?” and the young one answered: “And bread, and salt, and the bridegroom to do for him. “1 The bride and groom then treated themselves to bread dipped in salt, drank vodka and threw the glasses behind them, their breaking signifying future happiness. Once inside the house, refreshments followed – sliced bread, bigos and other simple, traditional dishes were served. Throughout the wedding there were chants, often humorous or even insulting descriptions of individuals, saying: “Please don’t be angry, because it’s at a wedding you can sing all sorts”. Examples of such chants:

„Te nase druhnicki, oj to tak spoważniały,
uoj dać jam z kopa jajów, oj to by wysiedziały.”
„Starościna jidzie miedzo
komary jej tyłek jedzo,
a starosta jidzie bruzdo
ji uogarnia tyłek rózgo”.
„Nasza kucharecka kapuścina warzy,
sama się upasła, co już ledwo łazi.
Kucharecko, lepi gotuj,
nie jidz mięsa,nie daj gniotów.”

In addition to the mocking chants, virtually every activity, even the smallest, was called for or described by singing, e.g. “Elder Druzebko, come slowly, give us, give us, to the cabbage salt.” After the meal, people moved to the barn, possibly to a neighbour’s, or tables were brought out of the room and a dance party followed. It was traditionally started by the senior best man with the senior bridesmaid. The following feasts and dances took place alternately over several days. After 2-3 days of feasting at the bride’s home, the usher would use the wedding rod to announce the transfer of the bride and groom to their home, and their dowry would be packed onto the cart. Guests from the bride’s side would take as many things as possible to enrich the new marriage. According to Helena Kawa (b.1915): “And all those guests that were from his side, when she went to him, they had to be so careful. Because whatever was on the table, whatever was on the wall, whatever was in the chamber, they just wanted to get it. Whether it was in the yard, a chicken, a pig, a rake or a hoe, they caught everything and followed the bridegroom. Already when they caught anything, it was gone.” Special songs were sung to the bride and groom for boarding the cart, such as:

„Węder, Kasiuniu, węder,
uod mamusinych węgieł.
Połóż kljucze na stolje,
już to rzędy nie twoje.
Już żeś się narządziła,
kljuczami nadzwoniła.”
„Oj siadaj, siadaj, zakochanie moje,
już to ni pomoże to płakanie twoje,
Już ten płacz twój nie pomoże,
zaprzęgnięte konie w wozie,
już musisz siadać.
Ach, rada by ja z wami usiadała,
jeszcze swoji mamie ni podziękowała:
Dziękuje ci, moja matko,
żeś mnie wychowała gładko,
teraz ni będziesz.”

Upon arrival at the bride’s house, the newlyweds were also greeted with bread, salt and vodka, and upon entering the house they had to go around the table three times with the bread and then place it on the table. This meant that they would now work for the bread themselves and would never run out of it in their home. Then feasting and entertaining followed anew.