Vyshivanka in the Ukrainian wedding customs
Each holiday or traditional event in Ukrainian families was associated with a certain meaning, thematic rites and various significant rituals. Among all the important events, the key was considered the wedding, which was distinguished by the richness of various ceremonies and rituals. During the wedding ceremonies, each element had a special meaning - clothes, songs, dishes, customs of the family, signs and even weather conditions. Consider the features and symbols that were used in women's and men's wedding embroidery.
Women's wedding embroidery
Each Ukrainian bride had to personally embroider a festive shirt. Young girls often used secrets that were inherited from her relatives. Embroidery could only be done in a calm and good mood. In this case, the shirt can bring good luck and protect against harm. One of the key symbols in the wedding embroidery was considered the ornament of Mother Berehini, who was known as the protector of the family, family, home and children.
Externally, the sign of Beregini looked like a female figure with arms stretched down or up. Hands stretched up meant a plea for help from the Most High Forces, and lowered hands symbolized a blessing.
The use of the “x” sign or a small cross in a wedding shirt was considered a symbol of a rich harvest. That is why the girls' dresses and shirts always had many similar crosses. It was believed that this ornament allowed to give birth to healthy children, brought prosperity to the house and an abundance of harvest on the field. In addition, the symbols of the family nest and marriage were actively used - embroidery in the form of a turtle-dove or pigeon.
During the wedding process, young brides usually wore wedding embroidery with elements of poppies, viburnum or mallow. Such designations symbolized the immortality of the race and the prosperity of the family. Images in the form of poppy and viburnum flowers were often used in the wedding decoration of the young, emphasizing its beauty and charm.
Men's wedding embroidery
Men were also equally responsible for choosing their wedding attire. Not every shirt was suitable for the wedding ceremony. At a very young age, all the boys wore protective shirts, and in adolescence they embroidered shirts, symbolizing good health.
Especially for wedding celebrations, the young groom dressed up in a special shirt, which was decorated with signs that symbolized the protection of his family, contributed to the multiplication of male power and procreation. Also used ornaments associated with agriculture and aimed at the cultivation of rich harvests.
Men's wedding shirts often had in their design a rhombus sign with a dot in the middle. This sign was a symbol of male fertility and semen. Our ancestors believed that this pattern on clothes helped in the quick conception of a child. Many oblique lines signified rain, without which a generous harvest was impossible. Men wore similar shirts from the wedding day until the moment when children appeared in his family.
An interesting point is the factor that it was possible to find not only male but also part of female symbols on men's wedding embroidered shirts. The ancestors believed in the single fate of the wife and husband, in the presence of a masculine and feminine element in each person. Therefore, some samples of shirts could be embroidered with both male and female symbols.