Atheist weddings

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Per capita atheists marry significantly less (see: Atheism and marriage and Atheism and fertility rates).

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[1] See: Asian atheism and European desecularization in the 21st century and Western atheism and race

Atheist weddings in the Western World

Due to the Christianization of the Western World, in the West atheist weddings are generally similar to Christian weddings minus the religious elements.

Due to the limited amount of atheist music about love and marriage (see: Atheist music and Atheism and romance and Atheism and love), atheist weddings feature nonreligious songs, but not atheist wedding songs.

Atheist weddings in China

Illustration of Confucius

See also: Asian atheism

China has the world's largest atheist population.[2][3]

In recent times, Confucian wedding rituals have become popular in China. In these type of ceremonies, which are a recent invention with no historic precedent, the bride and groom both bow and pay respects to a large portrait of Confucius hanging inside the banquet hall while wedding attendants and the couple are dressed in traditional Chinese robes.[4]

The four bows in Chinese weddings

Before the bride and groom enter the nuptial chambers, they exchange nuptial cups and perform ceremonial bows as follows:[8]

1. First bow - Heaven and Earth

2. Second bow - ancestors

3. Third bow - parents

4. Fourth bow - spouse[5]

Weddings in atheistic Japan

Japan is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[6]

Ceremonies modeled on the Christian chapel weddings of Europe and North America have generally replaced traditional Shinto wedding rites in recent years. It is estimated that 75 to 85% of marriage ceremonies are conducted at wedding halls or at hotels providing Western weddings.[7]

Atheist weddings in North Korea

In North Korea, your wedding isn’t just your moment, because the government and Workers’ Party often intervene. There’s no such thing as a bouquet being thrown in the DPRK, instead newlyweds bring flowers to pay respects to the statue of Supreme Leader Kim Il-sung immediately after their official ceremony.[8]

North Korea has state atheism and public religion is actively discouraged.[9]

The Guardian reports:

In North Korea, your wedding isn’t just your moment, because the government and Workers’ Party often intervene. There’s no such thing as a bouquet being thrown in the DPRK, instead newlyweds bring flowers to pay respects to the statue of Supreme Leader Kim Il-sung immediately after their official ceremony.

Wedding photos are also taken at the statue. It’s not forced upon the newlyweds, but most couples feel obligated. There’s also one very important rule: you cannot walk down the aisle on 15 April or 16 February, the birthdays of the former leaders.

Most ceremonies are still held in the traditional way, passed down for generations. If you’ve ever watched a Korean drama, most often they depict the bride and groom wearing traditional hanbok dresses, with their neighbours and relatives coming to congratulate them while enjoying food and liquor, which is true to life for most North Koreans.[10]

See also: North Korea Just Temporarily Banned Weddings, Funerals, And Leaving Pyongyang

See also

Notes

  1. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  2. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  3. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  4. 江苏将推广设立离婚缓冲室(Chinese), sina.com, May 23, 2011
  5. Li Wenxian (2011). "Worshipping in the Ancestral Hall". Encyclopedia of Taiwan. Taipei: Council for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  6. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  7. Edwards, Modern Japan Through Its Weddings, pp. 50-1.
  8. Ask a North Korean: what happens on your wedding day?, The Guardian
  9. Elizabeth Raum. North Korea. Series: Countries Around the World. Heinemann, 2012. ISBN 1432961330. p. 28
  10. Ask a North Korean: what happens on your wedding day?, The Guardian