Skip to Content

What was the black wedding history?

Black Weddings are a fascinating historical tradition that originated in Eastern Europe during the height of the Black Death. During the Middle Ages, Jews used weddings to cure plagues, and the tradition continues to this day with occasional Black Weddings still being held in Israel and other parts of the world. In this blog post, we will explore the origins and history of Black Weddings, and why they remain a significant part of Jewish culture.

The Black Death and its impact on Europe

The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. It occurred between 1347 and 1351 and wiped out approximately 25 million people in Europe, making up to one-third of the population. It was an incredibly contagious disease caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis, which was transmitted between people through fleas.

Due to the high mortality rates, people were desperate for a cure and willing to try any method they could think of to avoid the disease. Jews, in particular, were severely affected by the Black Death as they were often scapegoated for its spread. Despite this, they came up with a unique and enduring solution.

The origin of Black Weddings

It is unclear how Black Weddings first originated, but it is believed that they began as a superstition that merging two people, both of whom carried the disease, would somehow cause the plague to disappear. The idea was that if two people who were sick with the plague got married, the disease would be appeased, and the newlyweds would somehow be able to absorb the disease. In other words, they thought that the marriage would act as a form of sacrifice to god.

The first recorded Black Wedding took place in the city of Besalú, Catalonia, in Spain, in 1379. The groom was named Abraham ben Isaac, and the bride was Esther bat Joseph. This wedding was unique in that it is the only recorded instance where both partners were already infected with the plague when they got married. It is also the only known instance where participants were explicitly aware that they were taking part in a Black Wedding.

The practice of Black Weddings

The practice of Black Weddings quickly spread throughout Europe, especially in Eastern Europe, where the Jewish population was particularly affected. Typically, Black Weddings were not celebratory events but rather solemn ceremonies, with the couple and the guests dressed in black. The weddings were usually small, as many people were terrified of attending and potentially catching the disease.

After the wedding, the newlyweds would be isolated for several days, taking steps to ensure that the disease was not spread further. It was also common for those in attendance to disperse in multiple directions to avoid carrying the plague to other towns or cities.

The role of Black Weddings in Jewish culture

Black Weddings continue to be held in Israel and other parts of the world, although their occurrence is quite rare and usually takes place in cases of dire medical need. The ritual of the Black Wedding has significance in Jewish culture that extends far beyond the medical context. It symbolizes the Jewish people’s ability to survive and thrive in times of crisis and tragedy and has served as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the Jewish spirit.


The Black Wedding history is a fascinating and unique aspect of Jewish culture that originated during one of the darkest periods of human history. Despite the fact that the Black Death is no longer a threat, the legacy of the Black Wedding remains, a testament to the perseverance and adaptability of the human spirit in times of crisis.


What is the tradition of the black American wedding?

The black American wedding is a beautiful cultural celebration that has its roots in both African traditions and the African American experience. One of the most widely known traditions is jumping the broom, which is believed to have originated in West Africa before being brought over to the United States during the transatlantic slave trade.

Jumping the broom is a ritual in which the bride and groom jump over a specially decorated broom, symbolizing the start of their new life together. It is often accompanied by music and dancing and is meant to ward off evil spirits while bringing good luck and prosperity to the couple.

Another tradition in black American weddings is the pouring of libations. Libations involve the pouring of a small amount of liquid, usually water or alcohol, onto the ground to honor ancestors and ask for their blessings. This tradition also originates from West Africa, where it was believed that by acknowledging and honoring their ancestors, people could receive guidance and protection on their journey through life.

In addition to these traditions, black American weddings often incorporate music and dance. African rhythms and beats, such as those from the Congo, are often heard at these celebrations, and dancing is an integral part of the festivities. In some cases, there may even be a drumming ceremony where guests and family members play traditional African drums together, creating a connection between past and present generations.

The black American wedding is a rich and vibrant celebration of culture and tradition that continues to evolve and thrive. While each wedding is unique, the common thread of honoring and celebrating African and African American heritage runs through them all.

What does black mean in wedding?

The color black has been long associated with formality, elegance, and power. As a result, some brides may be considering wearing a black wedding dress on their special day. However, for many years, the wedding dress has been traditionally white, symbolizing innocence and purity. Therefore, some may question the appropriateness of wearing a black wedding dress.

While wearing a black wedding dress may seem unconventional to some, it can be seen as making a bold statement. Black is a color that represents strength, sophistication, and individuality. It can also add a touch of mystery and glamour to the wedding ceremony. Many brides want to stand out from the traditional white bridal gowns and show their unique personalities on their special day.

The interpretation of the color black in a wedding ceremony varies from culture to culture. In some cultures, black is seen as a symbol of mourning and death and is not recommended as a wedding dress color. However, in Western culture, black is generally associated with formality and elegance and can be appropriate for a wedding.

The choice of wedding dress color should be a personal decision made by the bride. It’s important that she feels confident and comfortable in her choice of dress, regardless of color. Some brides may prefer the traditional white wedding dress, while others may opt for a black wedding dress to make a unique statement. By wearing a black wedding dress, a bride can show her creativity, sense of style, and her willingness to take risks.

What is the African tradition of tying the knot?

In various cultures throughout Africa, the act of getting married is traditionally referred to as “tying the knot.” This phrase represents a physical manifestation of the commitment made between two people, and it is a representation of the bond shared by the couple. The tying of the knot is not just a symbolic gesture, but it is deeply rooted in the cultural traditions of many African communities.

The knot is often formed from materials that are significant to the community and holds specific meanings. For instance, Kente cloth is a popular material used to tie the knot by some African cultures. The cloth is a brightly-colored, intricately-woven textile that is symbolic of African heritage, and it is usually reserved for significant occasions, such as weddings or graduations. The use of Kente cloth in tying the knot underscores the importance of the commitment being made and serves as a reminder of the cultural heritage of the couple.

In some cultures, the knot is formed using a string of cowrie shells. Cowrie shells are considered a symbol of prosperity and fertility, and their use in the tying of the knot accentuates the couple’s desire for wealth, prosperity, and healthy offspring in their union. Similarly, some African traditions require that the knot be made using braided grass. Braided grass is a symbol of the wealth of the earth and is used to represent the fruitful abundance of the couple’s union.

Once the couple has exchanged their vows, the officiant ties the knot using the chosen material. This act not only symbolizes the binding of the couple but also represents the joining of families, the merging of lives, and the beginning of a new chapter together. The knot is said to represent the strength of the bond between the couple, and it is seen as unbreakable by the community.

The African tradition of tying the knot is deeply symbolic of the commitment made by the couple. This tradition represents the merging of families, the beginning of a new chapter together, and the joining of two lives into one. The materials used in the tying of the knot hold significant meanings and serve as reminders of the community’s cultural heritage. The knot is seen as a powerful symbol of the bond between the couple, and it is an important and meaningful tradition in many African cultures.

Were wedding dresses originally black?

The concept of wedding dresses has evolved over time in different cultures, and thus, the color and style of wedding dresses have also changed. The tradition of wearing a white wedding dress on the wedding day is a relatively recent phenomenon that began in the 19th century. Before the emergence of the white wedding dress trend, brides in Europe wore a dress of their choice, usually selecting a color that happened to be their favorite or one that complemented their skin tone.

Although the white wedding dress has become a worldwide symbol of purity and innocence, especially in Western countries, some cultures had a tradition of black wedding dresses. For example, during the Middle Ages in Europe, black was a commonly preferred gown color for the bride, signifying modesty and simplicity.

In fact, the trend of wearing a white wedding dress only started gaining popularity in 1840, when Queen Victoria wore a white gown to marry Prince Albert. The British Royal wedding ceremony was the first time such a color was seen for the bride, and Victoria’s gown set a fashion standard that was followed by brides for generations afterward, from upper-class families to working-class ones.

Nevertheless, even in modern times, some brides choose to wear dresses in colors other than white, including black, as it reflects their personality or cultural tradition. For instance, in Japan, some brides wear a white kimono with a black obi belt as a sign of respect for their families, while African-American brides may opt to wear Kente cloth-inspired wedding dresses, which come in different bright colors and patterns.

While the modern tradition of wearing a white wedding dress has been popularized over the years, the history of wedding dresses is far more nuanced. Historically, brides wore dresses of any color they fancied, with black being a popular choice. Today, brides have more freedom to choose from a broad spectrum of colors and styles that represent their unique personality and culture.