5 Things you don’t know About the Origin of Honeymoon
We all know that the best place to go on a honeymoon is the beach. Speaking of which, when we hear the word honeymoon, we automatically associate it with the period of bliss and harmony during the first months of a newlywed couple. But do you know that the origin of this perfect “happy ever after” is far from its original meaning? There are a lot of things we don’t know about the word honeymoon, so let’s start counting.
- Honeymoon = Hjunottsmanathr
Equals what? Hjunottsmanathr is the Norse word that is considered to be the origin of the word honeymoon. It means “in hiding.” Once upon a time, the norm to get a bride is to simply abduct her and take her into hiding. The groom and his men would throw a blanket over the bride and carry her off on horseback, which is literally “sweeping her off her feet.” It sounds barbaric and romantic at the same time, but it’s true. This culture of kidnapping of brides goes as far back as Attila the Hun, AD 433-453.
- “Honey” is the aphrodisiac
While in hiding, whether the bride likes it or not, the couple would share a daily cup of mead – a cocktail made of fermented honey and water for about a month. Mead is considered to be a love potion and an aphrodisiac. The people back then believed that if the couple drink mead during the honeymoon, they would be assured of the birth of a child.
- “Moon” means the waiting period
The “moon” in honeymoon is associated with different things. First, it was linked to how much time the relatives of the bride spent in finding her. The end of their search is marked in their calendar which is based on the phases of the moon, thus the word “moon.” Another explanation is that the moon is related to the body cycle of the woman, which is related to fertility. A month in hiding is definitely a lot of time for the bride to conceive.
- “Bridal tours” for the well-off
As centuries passed, England’s upper class would take a “bridal tour” after their wedding. Back then, arranged marriages were the custom, especially for the wealthy. The tour was seen as a time to get to know each other more and produce an heir in the process. They would usually travel to the countryside or visit relatives who weren’t able to attend the wedding.
- Honeymoon for tourism
It was just in the recent century that the term honeymoon began to be defined as the after-wedding vacation. In the Philippines, they used the term in advertisements, particularly targeting newlyweds. The ads were meant to boost tourism in places like Boracay. This is one of the reasons why it remains to be one of the most popular honeymoon locations in the world.