When People Held ‘Plague Weddings’ in Cemeteries to Try to Ward Off Disease

Article Link: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/623350/history-of-plague-weddings-to-fight-disease

Discussion posted by: David McNamara

In some ways, the wedding of Harry Fleckman and Dora Wisman in November of 1918 was traditional. The elaborate ceremony in Winnipeg, Canada, had been a month in the making. It featured music, scripture readings, and two rabbis as officiants. But despite the familiar customs, it would have been hard for guests to forget why they were there. The solemn grave markers, the sounds of a nearby funeral, and the ever-present specter of Spanish Influenza were all reminders that the ceremony wasn’t a typical wedding. The ritual was part of a decades-long tradition that was more about preventing illness than celebrating a holy union.