Dating customs in sicily
Should the young man die without children, the widow receives back the full value of all she brought to her husband.Her dowry invariably consists of some clothes and linen, a bed, and a pearl necklace worth from 5 to 100 ; or if her family are too poor to buy pearls of this value she must be content with coral.
A curious piece of conventionality hems in the Tuscan maiden.These become heirlooms and are portioned out to the daughters of the house as they marry.In many parts of Italy the dowry is brought with great pomp to the bridegroom's house the day before the wedding.Marry on Monday and you are sure to go mad ; on Tuesday, and there is the prospect of endless suffering before you ; " while Thursday, as the witches' combing-day, is out of the question.There are no doubt equally cogent reasons why Wednesday and Friday should be rejected.A friend of the present writer met a cart drawn by white oxen, decked with gorgeous head-fringes, on the road between Scirollo and Loreto.
The cart was laden with linen and household goods, two immense and gaily decorated pillows topping the pile.
If the parents are satisfied, a certain trial time of some months is arranged for, and the young people see what they can of each other, or " keep company " during this period.
When this is past, if they have meanwhile discovered that their tempers are incompatible, the matter drops.
The groomsman's services are frequently required during the ceremony ; he kneels on a crimson faldstool beside the bridal pair, puts the ring on the lady's middle finger, pays fees when all is over, and scatters small coins among the waiting crowd for charity.
Then he gives his arm to the bride, and all go merrily home-wards.
In the north of Italy the dowry consists of gold ornaments, and a bride will sometimes have as many as twenty-three gold rings upon her fingers at the wedding.