Mun Wedding Traditions
Like with many Mun traditions, there are two different wedding ceremonies, providing equal balance in the world. Which wedding ceremony is used may depend on what time of year it is, or whether those who are marrying have yet chosen to dedicate their lives to either the dark face of the light face of their god. At other times, weddings contain pieces of both ceremonies.
The first known Mun wedding dates back to 1123. At the time, it was common practice that two people getting married could do so by proclaiming their marriage to each other in front of a witness. A variation on this tradition had developed in rural areas in which, in lieu of a witness, the couple would say their vows under a tree and stand vigil with the tree all night. Then the tree was declared the witness. The Mun tradition combined the two variations by having a couple plant a tree and say their vows under it with a Mun clergy person as witness. The tree represented the couple's new life together, and the couple was expected to tend the tree throughout their lifetime. In fact, tending to the tree together is often directly mentioned in the words that the clergy speak at a Mun wedding, though this is sometimes viewed as symbolic. The earliest documented case of this tradition underwater is in 1129, where coral was used instead of a tree. In 1161, a new variation was created on this tradition as part of the balance of the Mun tradition, for those who had dedicated their lives to the face of the Mun god that represented darkness, cold, and the past. In this tradition, rather than burying a new tree to symbolize new life, each person took a cutting from a tree near their childhood home, and these were planted together to symbolize bidding farewell to a past life. I242, the tradition was further colored by the contact of Mun with Xurugwi traditions, and instead of tree cuttings, the couple would bring objects from their homes or childhoods, which they would bury together. This quickly became popular both because the tradition could be practiced as easily underwater as on land and because it was believed to be a better symbolism of a life ending--in this case, the couple would literally bury their old lives. In 1273, the tradition once again evolved as Lumida Barat, a well known Mun clergy woman herself, was unable to bring an object from her childhood home, as her parents had died in a plague, after which her childhood home had been burned down, and she had led a transient life. As a result, she traveled to many of the places she had lived as a child in search of an object. She likened this to the symbolic journey from the Mun tradition, and the idea was taken up by others, soon becoming the most common version of this Mun wedding tradition. The first documented case of the two traditions combined comes from 1307, in which a couple buried objects from their past lives and planted a tree on top of them. Today, this is perhaps the most common form of Mun wedding traditions.
The ceremony of the god's light face is held in the daytime, often in the morning. The couple traditionally wear white, yellow, and orange, symbolizing dawn and their coming future together. On land, the couple will plant a young tree together, and then vow their love and lives to each other underneath it, with a Mun priest as witness. This is followed by a group dance among all of the wedding-goers. In underwater weddings, the couple plant coral instead of a tree. The ceremony of the god's dark face is held at night or in the evening. The couple traditionally wear black, blue, and purple, symbolizing the end of the life they are leaving behind. Sometimes, especially in weddings which mix the traditions, they remove these clothes at the end of the night to reveal light colors underneath--ushering in their new life together. Before the ceremony, the couple travel together to locations that represent their lives before each other. They each gather 3-5 items from these places that represent their old lives and bury them together, to symbolize leaving their old lives behind. Often, they bury them at the front of their house, as a sign of two lives becoming one. They then give their vows over the buried items, with a Mun priest officiating. Like in the ceremony of the light face, this is usually followed by dancing. In some instances, the group dances together. In others, the attendees gather and a circle holding candles or glow lamps and the newlyweds dance alone.
Components and tools
There are no specific elements required for either ceremony outside of the "planting" tradition. Therefore the couple needs a shovel and a sapling or the objects from their past lives (which may also be put in a bag or a box.) Couple traditionally wear specific colors, but even the dress is not very specific. If the marriage is to be legally binding, the correct paperwork is required.
Aside from the couple, there is almost always a member of the Mun clergy, who serves to witness the couple's vows to each other, and usually blesses them in the name of the Mun god. If a clergy person is unavailable, the couple may choose to have a friend or family member witness instead, and in rare cases, the practice of standing vigil with the tree (or the buried objects) as witness still occurs. Obviously, in these instances, the marriage is not legally binding. Though all that is required for the tradition is that the couple have a witness, most couples invite family and friends to attend and celebrate with them.
Mun weddings can take place at any time of the year, though day/light weddings are more likely to occur in the spring and summer, when the god's light face is dominant, and dark/night weddings are more likely to occur in the autumn and winter, when the god's dark face is dominant. Similarly, light weddings are usually held in the mornings, and dark weddings are usually held in the evening, often around dusk.