Interesting Wedding customs from around the World: The Korean Squid Facemask

No you’re not imagining things. He is wearing a dried squid on his face.

I’ve been blessed to have taught English internationally and that for the past 9 years I’ve taught at a local San Diego international ESL school. I’m always amazed at the awesome, kirky and sometimes, downright hilarious customs that my students have shared with me over the years.

The Haam ceremony in Korea takes the cake for the best photo ops.

The Groom and his male family, close friends and/or groomsmen get dressed up in their best suits and strap on dried squid masks to their faces. They form a procession to the brides home to announce the grooms intention to marry her through the gift of the ham or gift box with important symbolic items inside like silk and jewelry. The ham or gift box can never touch the floor and must be carried by one of the participants, called the hamjinabi, on their back.

The group would shout merrily and jokingly through the streets to highlight the Groom’s approach, “Buy some Ham” or “Ham for sale.” Some traditions state that money was thrown at their feet in the path of the brides home to encourage them to keep walking

One tradition states that the brides’ family must pay money to the group per step, sing a song for them upon arrival or do a favor for the group members in return for their travel. Then they must be treated to a feast or dinner where the brides’ family will open the ham and examine the gifts.

http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/korea/cel/marriage.htm

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