Origin of the Honeymoon Tradition
Click Here to E-mail this Page to a Friend.

Today, the tradition of a honeymoon following nuptials has, long way from its original meaning. Today's "happy ending" to the wedding event is a far cry from its much different beginnings. The word honeymoon has its roots in the Norse word "hjunottsmanathr" which was anything but blissful. Northern European history describes the abduction of a bride from a neighboring village. It was imperative, that the abductor, the husband-to-be, takes his bride to be into hiding for period of time. His friends assured his and her safe keeping and kept their whereabouts unknown. Once the bride's family gave up their search, the bride groom returned to his people. This folkloric explanation presumably is the origin of today's honeymoon, for its original meaning meant hiding.

The Scandinavian word for honeymoon is derived, in part, from an ancient Northern European custom in which newlyweds, for the first month of their married life, drank a daily cup of honeyed wine called mead. The ancient practices of kidnaping the bride and drinking the honeyed wine date back to the history of Atilla, king of the Asiatic Huns from A.D. 433 to A.D. 453.

So that leaves us with the question of where the "moon" in the word "honeymoon" originates. One piece of folklore relates that the origin of the word moon comes from a cynical inference. To the Northern Europeans the terms referred to the body's monthly cycle and, its combination with honey, suggested that not all "moons" of married life were as sweet as the first. British prose writers and poets, in the 16th and 17th centuries, often made use of the Nordic interpretation of honeymoon as a waxing and waning of marital affection.

As it is with many of our wedding customs, this one also has an alternative explanation of its origin. The term "honeymoon," we are told, comes from an old northern European custom in which newlyweds would, for a month, consume a daily cup of mead, a brew that is made from honey.

Certainly we have, long way and there is a vast difference between the original meaning of honeymoon and its present-day connotation. The newer version is, of course, the more pleasant one!

Click Here To Return to Wedding Guide & Planner Index
Click Here To Return to Welcome Page

©The right to download and store or output (e.g., print) materials found in Hudson Valley Weddings Web Site is granted for personal use only. Materials may not be reproduced in any edited form. Any other reproduction or editing by any means mechanical or electronic without the express written permission of Hudson Valley Weddings is strictly prohibited. Certain names, logos, and/or phrases on these pages may constitute trademarks or tradenames of Hudson Valley Weddings or its clients.