Japanese Wedding

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結婚式

Short explanation of a typical Shinto wedding ceremony:
Generally, only the bride and groom, their immediate families and some very close friends attend the religious part of a Shinto wedding. The ceremony generally starts with shubatsu, or a ritual of purification. Then, the Shinto priest recites norito, or a Shinto ritual prayer in classical language, to celebrate the new beginning of the couple's life, and to ask for the Shinto god's grace. After that, sankon no gi, also known as sansankudo, follows, and the couple exchanges sacred sake poured into three cups in different sizes; one large, one medium, and one small. Then the couple exchanges the wedding rings. Next, the groom reads a vow aloud. The bride only adds her name at the end. After the vow, both present tamagushi, a branch of a sacred sakaki tree, as an offering. Finally, the couples' families exchange cups of sake to take a pledge of loyalty.The Shinto wedding is accompanied by traditional "Gagaku" music and attended by "Miko" maidens who serve "Sake" (rice wine) in red and white dresses.

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