The Red scarf blessing or Zosimo (ζώσιμο), as it is called in Greek, is a ritual performed at the bride’s home on the wedding day.
When the bride is dressed and ready, her parents, grandparents and other relatives, just before they all start their way to the church for the wedding ceremony, they will say goodbye to the bride and give her their blessing. The father of the bride will cross a red scarf three times around the bride’s waist and her head as a way to symbolize fertility and then they will use a censer to bless her and to protect her from the evil eye. During the red scarf blessing the musicians (usually with a lute and a violin) used to sing:
“Φωνάξετε τον τζιύρη της να την ισφυκτοζώσει , τζιαι την ευτζιήν του που καρκιάς σήµερα να της δώσει.”
“Call her father to tie her tight with the scarf and give her his blessing from his heart”
Then it’s the mother of the bride’s turn to give her blessing and cross the scarf around her daughter’s waist. The musicians sing the same song, but they are calling for the mother this time
“Φωνάξετε της µάνας της, νάρτει να την ιζώσει τζιαι να της δώσει την ευτζιήν τζιαί να την παραδώσει.”
”Call her mother to come and tie her, to give her her blessing and give her away”
Watch this video and catch a glimpse of the mother of the bride crossing the scarf around her daughter’s waist on 3:51
Similar preparations are done in the groom’s house where he is shaved by the koumbaros accompanied by the singing of the musicians. When the groom is ready his parents bless him by crossing the red scarf around his waist too, and then all together begin their way to the bride’s house, and after that both families unite and head to the church with lots of singing and dancing along the way.
Did you have a scarf blessing at your wedding day?
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