Cementing the marital bond with ‘sake’

The wedding traditions of every nation are based on the culture and religious influences of the region. That is why there are so many unique and different wedding traditions all over the world.



One of the unique customs of the Japanese people is the sake ceremony. This ceremony is common in both Buddhist and Shinto weddings.


Sake is kind of a rice wine made from fermented rice. The rice is first polished to remove the bran, later it is soaked in water and is brewed to convert it into alcohol.




Sharing this sake is said to create a strong bond among the newlyweds and their families. The sake sharing ceremony is called san-san-kudo.


The word san means three, ku refers to deliver and do means nine.  Nine is a lucky number for the Japanese people so the nine sips of sake.




Three flat sake cups are stacked atop one another and the bride and the groom will take three sips each from these cups. After them, their parents also drink the sake ending the ceremony.




They believe that this sake sharing would seal the strong bond between the families.


Another belief is that as the sake itself is very strong sipping it symbolises that there may be many hardships that the newlyweds will have to overcome in the future, but by observing this process the couple will be helped by the spirits to defeat these hardships.

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