The Polterabend is strongly anchored in the Austrian wedding tradition, especially in the West. But why does the Polterabend actually exist? What is it about pre-wedding celebrations in general? We’ll tell you.
The wedding eve – superstition meets optimism
As already mentioned in our article on the history of the polterabend, the most famous polterabend tradition is related to superstition. Dishes were smashed, either as an offering or else to scare off evil spirits, on the pre-stag night. But that’s not all.
The polterabend in its original form also served as a celebration for the village community. Poorer social classes in particular could hardly host a wedding party for so many people – but they could host a small feast the night before, where the bride and groom would come up with less elaborate treats. In return, they brought all kinds of dishes to wish them a good married life.
The joint sweeping of the dishes should now also immediately help the couple to get in the mood for the future everyday life of marriage. Cynics would probably say that this is a way of making it really clear to the partners-to-be what is in store for them – but it is nicer to think that the bride and groom could and can get in the mood for their future together.
As much as it may have changed over time, why the bachelor party exists has not: A communal celebration of the community before the big step is taken.
And what about the bachelor parties?
At the bachelor party it looks a little different. Here, the focus was and is rather on “letting off steam” one last time before surrendering to the “bland” married life. Admittedly, this idea is an outdated one. In times when people of no status whatsoever choose their partners for reasons of love, the bachelor party – and also its counterpart for the ladies – can be seen as a simply casual counterpart to the often somewhat more formal wedding celebrations.
However, one thing has held true – through challenges and challenges for the groom and for the bride, you are supposed to prepare for the ups and downs of married life. The well-known handle to the belly store finds its origin in the old tradition that man has to provide financially for house and yard. All the nicer that this – both at the bachelor party and in life – has long ceased to be just a male thing.
Why is the wedding party not everywhere?
Actually, that’s not true. Pre-wedding celebrations are a tradition in most regions. In India, families meet several times before the wedding and the bride and groom often have a whole list of tasks. In the U.S., in addition to Bachelor and Bachelorette parties, you’ll also find the Rehearsal Dinner, where not only is the food for the wedding tasted, but a few speeches and funny anecdotes are shared at the same time.
It’s true: people love to celebrate and what could be wrong with celebrating that you will celebrate?