Any man that intends to get married is worried and indeed also terrified. I suspect that of many other men, however I know that about me. All my friends were continually encouraging me whenever I go to Grasic. I, too was conscious that this was an example of unreasonable feelings. Nevertheless, sad to say, they were strong. The day of the wedding was approaching.
When the wedding was starting, I was happily too occupied to continue with any battle with feelings. In Loglandia, weddings are quite complicated. This is as expected, because the form of Loglandian weddings is rooted in Xia.
Before the ceremony, the bride and bridegroom habitually separately visit all the houses in the town, and politely announce the coming marriage to all their friends and neighbours. Clearly these people already are aware of the wedding, however, this is the old custom. And they pretend to be surprised, and cry out happily, clap, and offer food and drink.
The ceremony takes place in a special clearing not far from the town. According the the old Xian tradition, the guests stand in a ring. On one side stand the family and guests of the bride, and on the other side the family and guests of the groom. Because my family was not here, the Snorrydin family stood on my side. All the inhabitants of the town were here, dressed in the traditional embroidered clothes.
In the middle of the clearing, was a hole in the ground, and a fire had been built from several branches that were in the hole. When the guests are ready, and the fire is burning brightly, the groom should arrive at his side of the clearing, and the bride on her side. Mr. Snorrydin had carefully taught me the traditional methods. I arrived at the west side of the clearing, and BabyJane arrived at the same time on the east side. We saw each other, and acted surprised. We slowly approached the fire, and stopped there. At this point in the ceremony, the celebrant (the celebrant was Mr. Snorrydin), proclaimed the qualities of the couple, and the spectators cheered. The guests of the groom said "Indeed Alex was lucky becasue he met such a good woman". The guests of the bride said the same, using the name of BabyJane.
Mr. Snorrydin finally finished his proclamation. He said "The lucky couple will weave, so to speak, their future life from Grandfather Fire."
The spectators started singing the traditional Xian song, and BabyJane and I, looking at each other continuously across the fire, went around it three times. When we had arrived back where we had started, we threw a handful of sweet herbs in the fire, and said "For you". We went around three times again, and then offered the herbs, and said "For me". We went around again three times, and then said "For the children". Then we jumped across the fire. I crossed to the starting point of BabyJane, and she crossed to mine.
Mr. Snorrydin spoke loudly to Grandfather. He said:
O Grandfather, you see that Alex went hunting for BabyJane, and she showed the way to him. You see also their two hearts, honest and loving. I ask something from you. And that is that you bestow a long and happy life together to Alex and BabyJane.
Mr. Snorrydin then threw a handful of the herbs on the fire, which sizzled. There was a sudden loud explosion, and many sparks flew out of the fire. He said:
"Happily Grandfather agrees and is satisfied. Alex and BabyJane are now man and wife."
He hugged me, and noisily kissed BabyJane on the cheek. All the guests approached and congratulated us. We were each given a cup of dragonpiss, and we had to swallow it in one gulp. Wow!
The whole group then went to several large tables on which were set many pots and bottles. In the middle of a table, Mr. Snorrydin had placed the head of my stag. I finally was traditionally obliged to present the head to BabyJane's uncle. He said:
"Well, the modern society is interesting, certainly. Our family, which is now also your family (alas, with only a few members) will for the first time have a foreign member. You are lucky, certainly, because all of us now speak Loglan. Even if you would have never married the beautiful Xrmm'gyc." "That was the Xlang name of BabyJane", he laughed."
In fact the same sounded like somebody coughing and spitting. I could not pronounce it.
All the guests banqueted, and drank dragonpiss and then wine. Several guests became rather drunk. After the meal, a musician played, and everyone danced. All Loglanders, it seems, have much fun at parties. This continued until dark. Several went to sleep on the grass. The guests that were awake sat around the fire, and Mr. Snorrydin recounted the deeds of the Loglandian dragon. I believe that he used a traditional story, and added events that he had invented.Anyway, his stories were comical and exciting.
Most of the guests were going to stay in the clearing the whole night, briefly sleeping, then more drinking, and again dancing or sleeping.
During a short time that most were asleep, BabyJane and I silently left.We had pitched our tent near the Lake of the Princess, and intended to go to bed there, and together enjoy the summer night.