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Life & Events > Relationships > Have You Ever Heard of a Charivari?

Have You Ever Heard of a Charivari?

It is pronounced shivaree and my Mom and dad had one when they married. I think it has passed out of tradition except perhaps in the depths of Louisiana. When newly weds spend their first night together a band of friends get together and when the lights go out, they begin a mock serenade with pots and pans and noise makers. Then the protocol is to invite them all in for refreshments. The more popular the couple, the more people attend. By the time of my first wedding in 1947, the custom had disappeared and was no longer a feature of country weddings. It is a quaint and charming old ritual and like so many others is lost in the past.

posted on Mar 20, 2021 4:09 AM ()


I've heard of it, but it wasn't done around here in Colorado. The settlers in this area tended to be from Germany and German-speaking areas of Russia.
comment by traveltales on Mar 21, 2021 10:05 AM ()
I can see that it is lost in time. My father's family homesteaded in Oklahoma and they were from Nebraska. It was such a contrast to my mother's background. My sister and I have stayed close to the maternal side of the family.
reply by elderjane on Mar 22, 2021 1:41 AM ()
I'm pretty sure there was one featured in the movie, "Oklahoma"!
comment by marta on Mar 20, 2021 3:40 PM ()
i bet there was.
reply by elderjane on Mar 21, 2021 4:28 AM ()
Sounds like they didn't run off on a honeymoon right after the wedding.
comment by jjoohhnn on Mar 20, 2021 12:38 PM ()
I think honeymoons area luxury country people did not have. At least I never had one save for the third time around in Mexico. ted and I had a home wedding and the festivities lasted until the wee hours. It was a fun time.
reply by elderjane on Mar 21, 2021 4:32 AM ()
My parents were married in 1927 so it was a pretty old thing then. there is a lot of French in my family tree and from the spelling I am assuming it is a French word. Next time I am in Louisiana, I will ask if they still do it. I have an abiding love for New Orleans so it is on ,my bucket list.
comment by elderjane on Mar 20, 2021 11:29 AM ()
I think I've read of it, but didn't know how to say it. And I confused it with charabanc, that some people pronounced cherry-bounce and is completely unrelated. Tell us more words anytime.
comment by drmaus on Mar 20, 2021 9:24 AM ()
I love words and old customs. This is surely a French one with that spelling.
reply by elderjane on Mar 20, 2021 11:25 AM ()
I have not heard of this. This is the first time!
comment by kristilyn3 on Mar 20, 2021 6:22 AM ()
See above.
reply by elderjane on Mar 20, 2021 11:30 AM ()

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