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Latest blog post:

Handfasting - A Celtic Tradition

March 7, 2017 9:16 pm

Handfasting is a commitment to marry at a future date. This article talks about the defintion of the word and the history of the custom. It also discusses the ceremony itself, and why it may be popular today. Definition Obviously, the word “handfasting” comes from the combination of the words “hand” and “fasting”. The old English definition of the word “f├Žst” is “firmly fixed, steadfast, secure, enclosed.” Today we would probably use the word “fasten” in this context. If you put these two definitions together, it means “firmly securing of hands”. In addition, it may connect to the Old Norse word handfesta. That word means “to strike a bargain by joining hands.” History of Handfasting This Celtic tradition may date as far back as 7000 B.C. However, some debate whether the tradition goes back that far. Much more is known about how people used it in the Middle Ages. This is the time from roughly 500 to 1700 A. D. During that time, it was a “betrothal” ceremony. A betrothal is a formal commitment to be married at a future date. A betrothal is in the future tense. For example, you may say “I will take you to be my husband” in a betrothal. In contrast, marriage is done in the present tense. For example, you may say “I do take you to be my husband” in a marriage ceremony. So, the idea is very similar to an engagement. After the handfasting period ended,

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