Russian Wedding Tradition

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Russian
Age: 24
Occupation: Student
Residence: Glendale
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/3/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Russian

каравай

Transliteration: Korovai

Description: Korovai is a large bread that is baked for the wedding day. It takes a few days to prepare it. The bread is always round, decorated, and supposed to represent the God of the sun. The bread is brought out on a towel or a blanket that has symbols of love and happiness. On the day of the wedding, the couple need to take a bite out of the bread. It is supposed to provide a blessing to the couple. After the couple takes a bite, then the rest of the guests can have a bite.

Background Information: Common Russian wedding ritual. Not necessarily practiced by Russians living outside of Russia. Seen as an older ritual that does not necessarily need to be practiced in the present day.

Context: The informant told me about this tradition through a video call. She told me this after I asked her about Russian wedding rituals/traditions.

Thoughts: I think that the wedding tradition of baking and eating Korovai is done to make sure the couple’s marriage is prosperous and fruitful. I believe that the laborious preparation of the bread is to show the immense amount of work that it takes to ensure a successful marriage which includes having children, sustaining a household and finding happiness. Possibly shows that Russians value a prosperous marriage and want to make sure that it is.