History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Thursday, April 14, 2005

    The History of the "Honeymoon"

    Courtesy of TigerHawk, I have found this little gem at Big Pharoah.
    One of the office boys who work in the company I am employed in is eating a lot of meat and shrimps these days. He is getting married tomorrow and he wants to garner as much energy as possible in order to perform spectacularly when he and his wife are behind a closed door for the very first time!!
    The rest goes on explaining the cultural reasons for this along with other various fascinating, and somewhat adult orientated facts. However, I was intrigued by the notion of the eating of power foods in order to "provide energy." You see, this is very similar to the "honeymoon" tradition which is part of European culture, or at least, was. The reason it was called a honeymoon was twofold. The first part, dealing with honey:
    The Scandinavian word for honeymoon is derived, in part, from an ancient Northern European custom in which newlyweds, for the first month of their married life, drank a daily cup of honeyed wine called mead. The ancient practices of kidnapping of bride and drinking the honeyed wine date back to the history of Atilla, king of the Asiatic Huns from A.D. 433 to A.D. 453.
    Honey was seen as an aphrodisiac, and the high sugar content provided extra energy. The moon part however, is somewhat more cynical:
    So that leaves us with the question of where the "moon" in the word "honeymoon" originates. One piece of folklore relates that the origin of the word moon comes from a cynical inference. To the Northern Europeans the terms referred to the body's monthly cycle and, its combination with honey, suggested that not all moon's of married life were as sweet as the first. British prose writers and poets, in the 16th and 17th centuries, often made use of the Nordic interpretation of honeymoon as a waxing and waning of marital affection.
    Apparently the term "Happily Ever After" has a place in folklore, but not folk life. And there you go: the origin of the word Honeymoon.

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