Birds of a Feather…
Korean grooms traditionally give the mother of the bride a wild goose. Because wild geese mate for life, the gesture is a symbolic promise from the groom to his future mother-in-law to always love her daughter. Today, a wooden goose is often used in place of a live bird [source: Korea].
Most men look forward to the conclusion of their weddings, but in South Korea, the groom has to endure a beating before he can retire with his bride. But don't worry too much; it's only a beating of his feet -- called a bastinado or falaka -- and though it can be painful, it's over quickly and is intended to be more funny than cruel.
The foot beating takes place after the wedding ceremony and is its own ritual. The groomsmen or family members remove the groom's shoes and socks and use a rope or sash to tie his feet together. They then lift his legs off the ground and take turns beating the soles of his feet with a stick, cane or fish.
Yes, a fish -- usually a cod or a dried yellow corvina. The purpose of this tradition is to test the groom's strength and knowledge, as he's often asked questions and quizzed during the ordeal. Beating the soles of a man's feet with a dead fish probably isn't going to make him any smarter, but it's a fun tradition that holds an important place in Korean wedding culture [source: Korea].