Marriage Knot

(The). The bond of marriage effected by the legal marriage service. The Latin phrase is nodus Herculeus, and part of the marriage service was for the bridegroom to loosen (solvere) the bride's girdle, not to tie it. In the Hindu marriage ceremony the bridegroom hangs a ribbon on the bride's neck and ties it in a knot. Before the knot is tied the bride's father may refuse consent unless better terms are offered, but immediately the knot is tied the marriage is indissoluble. The Parsees bind the hands of the bridegroom with a sevenfold cord, seven being a sacred number. The ancient. Carthaginians tied the thumbs of the betrothed with leather lace. See Nineteenth Century, Oct., 1893, p. 610. (A. Rogers.)

Around her neck they leave
The marriage knot alone.

Southey: Curse of Kehama.

When first the marriage knot was tied
Between my wife and me,
Her age did mine as much exceed
As three-times-three does three;
But when ten years and half ten years
We man and wife had been.
Her age came then as near to mine
As eight is to sixteen.

Ans.: 15 and 45 at marriage, 30 and 60 fifteen years afterwards.

The practice of throwing rice is also Indian.

“Hamilcar desired to unite them immediately by an indissoluble betrothal. In Salambo's hands was a lance, which she offered to Narr Havas. Their thumbs were then tied together by a leather lace, and corn was thrown over their heads.” —Flaubert: Salambo, chap. xi.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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