Russia Culture Traditions Kissing Ceremony

Kissing Ceremony

The moral regulations for Russian households (Domostroi) were written by a Novgorod monk called Sylvester in the sixteenth century. These rules condemned Russian women to a life spent in solitude. Before the reforms of Peter the Great, prominent citizens did not show their wives or daughters to strangers. Close relations were required for the head of the household to open the door to the female terem.

In honour of this occasion, the kissing ceremony was performed. The mistress of the house would appear in festive attire, holding a goblet of wine. After taking a sip of the wine, she bowed and offered it to the guest. The man of the house would also bow and invite the guest to kiss his wife. The ceremony ended with the presentation of expensive shawls.

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