To avert the risk of sounding ignorant, I must state that what I’m going to describe by way of an unusual practice which inspires wedding anniversary gifts is indeed unusual and is not the norm. In fact, head on down to South Africa and ask many of the natives about it and you’ll probably get those quizzical looks they often give geo-ignorant travellers who still think they live in huts and have pet lions named Simba.
So anyway, this is a discussion about what is indeed an unusual inspiration for the contents of a specific anniversary gift by way of those baskets you can buy from a gift shop or have delivered through an online store. I’m not quite sure the people in charge of putting these together are aware of the ritual or that they even have anything to do with the ritual, but it makes for a very interesting story either way.
Hey, I’m not one to judge or to make assumptions so it’s irrelevant whether I believe in the effects of the ritual or not. I’d probably be willing to give it a try in any case because it doesn’t involve anything like the butchering of animals in an inhumane way…
I’m talking about a cleansing ritual which is of a rather unusual variety, even in the case of the Zulu Sharman who brought it to my attention that the contents of a specific anniversary gift basket bore a special significance to the ritual. His methods are somewhat ‘revolutionary’ because he doesn’t make use of the traditional bath herbs that often accompany a ritual involving some slaughtering of a couple of chickens and a goat.
I’m not going to go through every single detail of the ritual and the significance thereof, but what happens is white cake is bought as part of the contents which are to be used in the ritual, so too some sweets of a specific variety though, as well as flowers and ribbons. Perhaps a little less curiously, regular grooming goodies such as those which would be used at a health and beauty spa are added into the mix and the ritual kicks off.
First, the subject prepares a bath with scented candles lit to mark every corner of the bath. If it’s a hot tub type bath then that’s still okay, as long as the candles illuminate whatever looks like a corner.
Next, the subject smears the cake all over themselves and tries to cover the entire body, before entering the bath filled with water and sweets to just chilling for a while!
After a few minutes they are to wash off the cake and then take a regular bath with the contents they’d find in something like those 50th wedding anniversary gift baskets sold by Braodway Basketeers!
The sweets which were in the bath are not to be eaten, but to be wrapped up into a ‘present’ that is tied with ribbon, to be discarded in a flowing water source such as a river!
Apparently it’s a cleansing ritual which brings good fortune and many married couples seeking to celebrate their anniversary in this way buy all the contents in a gift basket…