The Veil against Evil

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When a woman dons her wedding dress, she becomes part of a world of nuptial lore going back to antiquity, where most of the symbolism, sentimentalism, and the pomp and ceremony now centered around the bride began. A woman on the threshold of marriage was said to be close to her being’s fulfillment; hence, close to the happiest day of her life. With happiness being such a coveted state, a woman on its verge is open to the spite and malice of envious spirits. How then to protect the vulnerable innocent?

From this question arose a whole slew of beliefs and customs once designed to hem the bride in from the goblins and such. Her veil, to begin with, was meant to deflect the evil eye and other malign influences. In pagan times, veils covered the head of vestal virgins as they tendered the sacred fires. Much later, in Christian times, the headdress of nuns when they took the vows became a symbol of their constancy as brides of Christ. In both pagan and Christian views the veil acquired a holy connotation.

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Source:

Ira, L.B. 1990. Guidebook to the Filipino Wedding. Manila: Vera-Reyes

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