What Is A Wedding Broom?
Who doesn’t love a wedding? Attending weddings is not just about love, but also the rich traditions that wedding are based upon. Different cultures, different rituals and traditions reflect the joy of union in any culture. One of the many unique? The jumping over the broom wedding tradition.
What is a traditional wedding broom?
A broom is an object used primarily in cleaning but can symbolize a lot of things depending on how and where it is used. For the brooms used in traditional wedding ceremonies, it holds spiritual and practical values. Women, specifically the wives, will use the broom in maintaining the cleanliness and organization in their homes and family.
Spiritually speaking, the broom also symbolizes as an object that will sweep the bad spirits and negative vibes away from the couple and the family that they are about to build. And since the couples both jump over the broom during their wedding, the jumping of the broom in a wedding ceremony means that the two individuals are equally determined and will work hand in hand in running their household.
What is the history of “Jumping The Broom”?
So, where does the wedding broom tradition come from? The tradition of “jumping the broom” is a wedding tradition practiced by many African Americans on their wedding.
The practice of such tradition dates back as early as the 18th century in the West African country of Ghana. The country was then ruled by the Asante of Ashanti Confederacy who were very particular in keeping the urban areas and roads clean with the use of their locally made brooms.
Wedding brooms to sweep away evil
The importance of brooms does not stop in cleaning their roads that it even made its way on their wedding ceremonies. Ashanti believed that the brooms will help the wedded couples to brush away evil spirits from their households. Their jumping will show how determined the couples are in keeping their relationship and in building their own family.
Furthermore, whoever jumped the highest, which oftentimes are the men, will become the decision maker in their household.
What does “jumping the broom” signify in a wedding?
The broom in the tradition is a symbolism of marriage that binds the couple together and how they will face their new beginning or their life after being married. Since they are about to start their own family, the broom symbolizes how the couples should sweep away the past.
Moreover, the broom means the union of the two families and the respect that both couples give to each. Since it’s the woman who usually holds the broom, it also means that she will keep her household clean and organized. While the man, who usually happens to jump the highest, will be the one to lead his family.
Does the wedding broom tradition include the wedding guests?
The tradition of “jumping over a broom” in wedding ceremonies are done after the couples shared their vows and kiss as married and before they head back down the aisle.
While traditionally, only the married couples jumped over the broom; today, couples can choose to include their guests in the jumping tradition. After the couples have jumped on the broom and before the guests leave the church or the venue, they can jump over the broom. This means that their well-wishes and blessings will go with the married couples as they start their own family.
How are wedding brooms different from regular brooms?
The brooms used in early ceremonies were made of wooden handle and natural bristles; and were also the same brooms women used in cleaning the roads and their homes.
Today, the tradition has become somehow different because many households are no longer using brooms in cleaning their homes. Inventions such as vacuum cleaners and mops have replaced the traditional brooms. Somehow, the “jumping over a broom” has become a part of the family’s history and culture. However, the desire of couples to have a blessed marriage remains the same.
Is the broom decorated?
Nowadays, several modifications are made with the broom used in the tradition. The brides are now free to decorate and even make their own brooms for the ceremony. They can personalize it to match the wedding’s theme such as decorating it with ribbons, fresh garlands, beads, and so on. Brides can even write some verse on the handle of the broom.
As time evolves, so are the traditions and customs that we believe. Some variations were added to the traditional practices of “jumping over a broom” to make it more personalized. Nevertheless, the purpose of this tradition still remains —- to bind the newly wedded couple and to sweep away negative things along their journey.