Global traditions involving drinking from the same cup?
September 7, 2018 10:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm helping with research for a wedding speech which will talk about the tradition of two people drinking from the same cup. In Scotland this is known as the Quaiche ceremony. Some Native American tribes have a similar tradition involving a wedding vase (which has been surprisingly hard to research - pointers to respectful and trustworthy sources of information on this would be very much appreciated). My question: are there any other similar traditions from cultures around the world that could be incorporated into a speech?
posted by simonw to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There's a wide variety of practice here, but various Christian denominations would share a cup for the Eucharist, particularly for a couple partaking during a wedding ceremony.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:22 AM on September 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

Nuremberg Bridal Cup
posted by atlantica at 11:23 AM on September 7, 2018

Jewish wedding Kiddush. Greek Orthodox Christian wedding common cup. Japanese wedding San-San-kudo.
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 11:28 AM on September 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

After the Sheva Brachot (seven blessings) are recited at a Jewish wedding, the groom then bride drinks from the same cup of wine. In some Jewish traditions, the father in law of the groom gives the groom the wine and the mother in law of the bride gives the bride the wine.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:29 AM on September 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Roman Catholic communion is usually given as bread/wafer only, with the celebrant drinking the wine, but during the wedding mass the bride and groom drink the wine as well. (At least at Polish weddings - as usual customs can vary per country.)
posted by I claim sanctuary at 11:35 AM on September 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Here’s a reference to the vase ceremony on the Cherokee Nation’s website.

And here is one of my favorite MeFi favorites about the ubiquity of human traditions across cultures: Humans gonna human.
posted by fast ein Maedchen at 11:47 AM on September 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Muslim weddings in Sri Lanka have a tradition where, after the official blessing has been given by the minister, the bridegroom's mother holds a cup of milk to the bride's lips and then the groom's lips and they each take a sip. I don't quite remember what the significance is, but it's either to welcome the bride into the family, or more specifically, a promise that her husband will provide for their family. A bit archaic, but quaint nonetheless.
posted by Everydayville at 12:53 PM on September 7, 2018

If you want an example that adds a little levity, consider the Mory's Cup tradition that has endured through generations of Yalies. Described in partial detail both here and here, it basically involves sharing loving cups full of alcohol, singing specific songs, and then challenging the person who finishes the cup to clean it out thoroughly (e.g., using tongue, hair, etc) before slamming it onto a white towell to confirm that the job is completed.
posted by carmicha at 1:24 PM on September 7, 2018

Well, I mean, if the party is using a puzzle cup, by definition they're all going to be drinking out of the same one. Usually, though, with a refill in between, so maybe it doesn't qualify?
posted by praemunire at 1:45 PM on September 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

The kava ceremony is a key cultural ritual in many Pacific island cultures, practised at ceremonies including weddings. Cups of kava are shared - tho not just between bride and groom - and passed around a kava circle. Here’s an academic paper (from 1947!) describing the ritual in detail.
There are many other descriptions online - tho I suggest that you avoid sites focused solely on tourism.
posted by The Patron Saint of Spices at 2:25 PM on September 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

The first thing that comes to mind not a world tradition,but the water sharing in Stranger in a Strange Land. You should understand the sexual themes of the book before you try to take any quotes from it for a wedding though. ESPECIALLY if the wedding is for a monogamous couple. Actually unless it's specifically a poly wedding you might want to familiarize yourself with that book specifically to give those themes a wide berth. It was a very popular book at the time and is on the Library of Congress list "Books That Shaped America", so it's not exactly an uncommon book.

Some modern pagan traditions sometimes have ceremonies of drinking from a common cup, though recently I've been seeing pouring from a common vessel into individual tiny cups as this is much more sanitary. How related this is to world traditions versus the Stranger in a Strange land book is debatable and probably differs among different pagan groups, both in whether it is practiced and whether there is any relation whatsoever to Stranger in a Strange Land.

Some Native American tribes have a similar tradition involving a wedding vase (which has been surprisingly hard to research - pointers to respectful and trustworthy sources of information on this would be very much appreciated)

I don't have any pointers to sources, but I do have some pointers! If you want to mention these traditions in a speech it would be best to mention the specific tribes whose traditions you are referencing, not just "Native Americans". Some tribes have changed their names away from the terms given them by colonizers, use their current names even if they are less familiar to you. Learn how to pronounce them properly (I know this is hard -- there's pueblo in my own state whose name I'm not entirely sure how to pronounce! -- But I'd certainly be practicing it repeatedly until I got it right every time for a planned speech) Oh, and learn how people refer to themselves, whether that's as a tribe or pueblo or a specific band of a tribe. Don't actually attempt to recreate drinking from a Native wedding vase in the ceremony unless someone involved actually has some sort of concrete relation that tribe. Also, not sure where you live but I've heard (hard as it is to believe living in a place surrounded by pueblos) tales that it's common in some parts of the US for people to believe there are no living Natives anymore -- if you are talking about the traditions of existing tribes you should be doing it from a context that these are existing cultures.

Hi, I live in the Southwest and hang out with a bunch of pagans and SF fans. I can't imagine this speech working well at all for a non-native non-pagan monogamous wedding in my circles, but I'm assuming you are in a different situation.
posted by yohko at 3:21 PM on September 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Not quite the same, and historical rather than global, but in Beowulf part of the female role of "Peaceweaver" is that they take the communal cup of mead and offer it round the warriors in the hall; the sharing of the drink, the order in which it is offered and so on are part of the negotiation of relationships and heirarchies within the warband. Not quite the same as a marriage, but it might be an interesting aside on the sharing of drink as a foundation of relationships.
posted by Vortisaur at 1:57 AM on September 8, 2018

Thank you all so much - this was really useful. Speech has now been delivered and it went down a treat.
posted by simonw at 12:03 PM on September 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

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