hist-brewing: Honeymoon Tradition?

Eoin mac Eanruig blkarrow at uswest.net
Sat Jan 1 15:51:44 PST 2000


Mead, Honeymoons and Love

Who would have thought that the bees, the moon and the magical brews of man
could combine to add to the bliss, luster and memories of weddings?
     Mead is a beverage of love. The drinking of mead has been held
responsible for fertility and the birth of sons. This is where the tradition
of the honeymoon got its start. If mead were consumed for one month (one
moon) after a wedding, then in nine months a son would be born and the mead
maker congratulated. The custom of drinking mead at weddings and for one
month after initiated our present-day custom of the honeymoon.
     Interestingly, mead drinking developed quite a reputation for its
ability to increase the chances of bearing sons. So much so that a special
drinking cup, called the Mazer Cup, was handed down from generation to
generation. The couple who drank from the cup would bear sons to carry on
the family name and increase the male birth rate, important in the days of
constant war.
     Fact or folly? Scientists have been doing animal experiments and have
found they can increase the chances of bearing males by altering the body's
pH. It is known that the acidity or alkalinity of the female body during
conception can infiuence the sex of the newborn. Blood sugar levels do alter

    Mead is indeed a noble drink. For more than 5,000 years, Virgil, Plato,
Plutarch, Zeus, Venus, Jupiter, Odysseus, Circe, the Argonaut, Beowulf,
Aphrodite, Bacchus, Odin, Valhalla, the Sanskrit Rig-Veda, Thor, King
Arthur, Queen Elizabeth I. the French, Greeks, Mayans, Africans, English,
Irish. Swedes, Poles, Hungarians, Germans, present-day homebrewers and even
the Australian Aborigines all likened part of their enjoyment of life to
     Centuries ago the making of mead was art, regulated by custom and
statutes. The brewing of mead was not done by just anyone. Certain
individuals were trained and held in the highest esteem for turning honey
into the magic of mead.
     Today every homebrewer has the know-how to become a dignitary and the
maker of mead for those special occasions or for any occasion. The stronger
versions keep for years. as does a good marriage.
     And as for having sons, you will have to experiment on your own.

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