Handfastings and More

Handfastings and More


Handfasting is a historical term for "betrothal" or "wedding". In the Early Modern history of Scotland (16th and 17th centuries), especially in the Hebrides, the term could also refer to a temporary marriage. The term has come to be used as a replacement for "marriage" in the vocabulary of Neopaganism, especially in Wicca.

 The marriage vows taken may be for "a year and a day," "a lifetime", "for all of eternity" or "for as long as love shall last." In some traditions, the couple may jump over a broom at the end of the ceremony. Some may instead leap over a small fire together.​

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