As I have just celebrated my golden wedding anniversary – I was married when I was a toddler - I thought I would post about the origins of wedding anniversaries.
Some historians say this tradition dates back to the Holy Roman Empire when husbands gave their wives a silver wreath on their twenty-fifth anniversary, or vicennalia, and a golden wreath on the fiftieth. Later commercialism led to the addition of more anniversaries being represented by a named gift.
However, other sources suggest celebrating the 25th and 50th anniversary originated in the Germanic region of Middle Europe in mediaeval times. This also involved the presentation of a silver wreath after twenty-five years. Silver is said to symbolise harmony which is assumed to be necessary to make a long marriage possible. On the 50th anniversary again a golden wreath was presented.
The custom of celebrating an anniversary wedding can be traced back to the early Victorian era. After all they introduced Valentine, Christmas cards and Christmas trees, so why not sell mass-produced items to a gullible public for anniversary gifts?
It wasn't until after 1937 that the other anniversaries were allocated items for suitable gifts. The earliest reference to anything other than the silver and gold was for the fifth anniversary which was wood. This would have been an item started on the wedding day and given to the wife on completion on the fifth anniversary.
The symbols have changed over time. For example in United Kingdom the 75th anniversary used to be represented by diamond but this changed to the more common 60th anniversary after Queen Victoria had been on the throne for sixty years.
My son and daughter-in-law celebrate their 10th anniversary next month and this, it would appear, is tin or aluminium. Any suggestions as to what we might buy them? He's very fond of baked beans so maybe a tin of those? Can't think of anything made of aluminium, can you?
|Out 23rd March - £1.99|