Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wedding Cake Under Your Pillow?

Having arrived at the Harvard Club NYC in preparation for her son's wedding, Marash Girl met her soon to be "gelin" who had just rushed in from 44th Street with last minute instructions for the gentleman at the Club who was in charge of wedding arrangements . . . As she stood there listening,  Marash Girl remembered that at every wedding she had ever been to, the wedding cake had been sliced and handed out to the guests to take home . . . if the guest happened to be unwed and a woman, she was to take the cake home and place it under her pillow with the assurance that she would dream that night  of the man she would marry. . .  Have you ever heard of that custom? Marash Girl asked the bride to be (who had grown up in Pittsburgh). No, the bride to be had never heard of such a custom.  Have you heard of the custom? Marash Girl asked Harvard Club's Maitre d'.  No, he said; strange custom indeed.

Marash Girl asked Marash Boy if he had grown up with the custom, and yes, he said, he had, of course!  She asked her oldest daughter if she had ever heard of the custom, and her daughter said, yes, Marash Girl (or her mother, in this case) had told her all about it.

Thinking that it must be an Armenian custom, as none of the odars she had asked had heard tell of cake under the pillow identifying the future husband of a young woman, Marash Girl asked her daughter to check the internet -- Sure enough, the internet confirmed that the custom of placing a slice of wedding cake under your pillow in the assurance that you will dream of the man you will marry -- that that custom is not confined to Armenian circles, but is practiced worldwide.  Marash Girl could find no reference as to the origin of the custom.  However, the custom was repeatedly dismissed as an old wive's tale.  Marash Girl would see this custom, rather, as a young woman's promise! Why Pittsburgh and the Harvard Club of New York City had never heard of such promise is left for the anthropologists (and Marash Girl) to wonder at . . .

1 comment:

  1. I have heard of the custom (in the US South [non-Armenian], first recall hearing it as a child maybe around 1950, but it was well-established at that point).

    Best wishes to the happy couple - lovely photos, and I like the one pillow wish!