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Scourging of the Groom

In the Kingdom of Kjörnsholm, a prospective groom has first to prove his worthiness by spending a week living in the wilderness, to prove that they are strong enough to survive the rigours of marriage and can provide for their prospective family even in the darkest of times.

Execution

In essence the tradition is a very simple one to conduct. The prospective groom is escorted to the edge of the settlement that they reside in and is sent out into the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on their back, an empty water skin, a hunting knife and small hatchet. From then on they are expected to survive on their own in the wilderness for seven days, and they will not be allowed back into the settlement until sunrise on the eighth day. It is not permitted for anyone, to accompany the prospective groom as they undergo the scourging, nor is it permitted for anyone to stand in for them or take their place.

Participants

A prospective groom will enter the wilderness to undergo their scourging alone. If they are found to be helped or accompanied by anyone then their proposal will be rejected by both families and they will bring shame upon their household.   The prospective groom will be escorted to the outskirts of the settlement where they reside by members of their family and their prospective spouse’s family, who will then see them off into the wilds. Each family will further appoint a representative whose duty it is to ensure that the groom does not return unawares to the settlement and lie low in civilisation for the duration of the scourging.

Observance

This practice is observed once an initial proposal of marriage has been accepted by the prospective spouse and their family. Once this initial agreement has been secured, the groom has a week to get their affairs in order after which they must undertake the scourging, or risk their proposal being rejected and their being labelled a coward.


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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah

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