Mythological Origins of Wedding Fights

Ergun M.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.101, pp.60-72, 2014 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.60-72
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Marriage is an important transition phase like birth and death. Traditional culture accepts marriage as the most important transition phase. Therefore, both the concept and ceremonial practices of wedding includes more mythological elements as compared to birth and death. Similar to many other practices, wedding fights has mythological roots. Wedding fights are mostly between two in-law families and their relatives. Sometimes fights can be seen between two families' tribes, clans or extended family or between villages or neighborhoods of the two families. Fights in marriage mostly start with the wedding. Reason of the wedding fights has something to do with our cultural codes. This reason should be looked in the mythological subconscious. According to traditional culture, a chaos situation emerges along with the wedding. One of the indicators of this chaos is that bride and groom are seen as strangers for the other family. Wedding fights through the practices, which incorporates the bride, who is seen as stranger, into the family, aims to wipe away the chaos and bring the order back. According to Mythoi-poetic view, disorder starts with the wedding and harmony is disrupted for a while. This is a temporary shock. Accordingly, disorder that starts with bridal procession picking the bride from her father's house only stops after newlyweds return to house of bride's family with various gifts. With this visit disrupted harmony starts to be regained and order starts to be reestablished. Disorder starting with the wedding is repaired by newlyweds stay for a while with bride's family before moving to their home and harmony is established. According to traditional world view exchanging women is seen as the most important exchange. Along with the importance of exchange of women, which also means chaos in traditional culture, some cultural practices like clan's being rivals, competing; joking, ridiculing each other and fighting came into existence deep within cultural history. After a while, many of these practices are executed as a festival or games and the psychosocial reasons behind their emergence are forgotten. However, their psychological standing is still perceived as it was in the beginning. Wedding fights are manifested due to this psychological state is being recurred.