What is the origin of the bridal veil?

December 7, 2016 | Author: | Posted in History, Weddings

The wedding or bridal veil is believed to be a survival of an ancient superstition dating back to the time of the Greeks and Romans, if not much earlier. It was first worn to conceal and protect the bride from evil spirits that it was thought would harm her if she were not veiled. Perhaps this was the origin of the general custom of wearing veils, which still prevails to a great extent among women of the Orient. Bride, it is supposed, is derived from an ancient Teutonic root signifying “to cook.” Bridal as an adjective meaning “pertaining to a bride or newly married wife” may or may not be derived from bridal in the sense of a wedding party. The latter term is derived from two old English roots meaning “wedding” and “ale.” Bride-ale is still a historical term. Bride-ales  (bridals) were wedding festivals at which the guests were served ale. It is probable that the adjective bridal was formed from bride under the influence of the older noun brid-ale.

 

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