The wedding bread and dance
The wedding bread goes back many years in our culture. Bread is the most revered food in Macedonian life. It is the staff of life. The bread is made in celebration of an engagement or wedding. It is round and semi-sweet. Bread symbolizes the continuity of family life.
The Koumbaro or best man leads the dance with the bread held high on the right hand and dances around. The wedding party, then relatives, then friends join in the dance. Eventually everybody joins in the dance. In general there will be more good luck for the bride and groom, the more people join in and dance under the bread.
The bride and groom may try to divide the bread by pulling it apart. Who ever gets the bigger part will be in charge of family life. Then the bread will be pulled apart into smaller pieces and passed around to the guests.
As far as the bread is concerned, it is semi-sweet to remind us of the sweetness of life with a little bit of lemon rind to remind us of the bitterness of life. It has a pinch of salt to remind us of the trials and tribulations of life. It has eggs in it to remind us of fertility. It is usually braided to represent the entwinement of two lives. It is round for the oneness of life, thus, it has no beginning and no end.