The Japanese Sake-Sharing Ceremony
I always like hearing about other culture’s wedding traditions. In Japan, they have a lovely tradition called the ‘sake-sharing ceremony’ or san-san-kudo meaning “three three nine times”. The sake-sharing ceremony is one of the oldest Japanese wedding traditions, dating back to the 1600s!
It begins with three sake cups (or sakazuiki) stacked in a tier. The bride and groom then take three sips of sake from each cup progressively, so each person drinks three sips, from three cups; in total – nine sips, hence the name “three three nine times”.
This ceremony serves as a formal bonding ceremony between the couple. Sometimes the couple’s parents also take part in the ceremony, also taking three sips from each sake cup. This represents the strengthening of the new family ties created during the wedding.
Korean weddings sometimes also include sake. Traditionally, a few days after the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom visit the groom’s family who, as part of various important ceremonies taking place at the house, gift the bride sake.
I think the sake-ceremony is a more formalised version of giving toasts to the newlyweds, and it’s lovely to have an extra tradition to formalise the new bond between the couple.
· JapaneseStyle.com. Japanese Wedding Traditions: San San Kudo: www.japanesestyle.com/Japanese-Wedding-Traditions-San-San-Kudo-s/907.htm