Wedding Traditions - Jumping the Broom
This is a ceremony dating back to the 1600s and derived from Africa. Dating back to slave days, jumping the broom together has been part of weddings for couples who want to honor that tradition. It also has roots in the Celtic, Welsh, Druids, and Gypsies and some aboriginal or shamanistic cultures.
The “Jumping the Broom” is a ceremony in which the bride and groom, either at the ceremony or at the reception, signify their entrance into a new life and their creation of a new family by symbolically “sweeping away” their former single lives, former problems and concerns, and jumping over the broom to enter upon a new adventure as wife and husband.
The broom has both symbolic and spiritual importance in the African culture. The ritual itself was created by their ancestors during slavery. Because slaves could not legally marry, they created their own rituals to honor their unions. Some say broom jumping comes from an African tribal marriage ritual of placing sticks on the ground representing the couple’s new home.
The straws of the broom represent family; the handle represents the Almighty; the ribbon represents the tie that binds the couple together.