The ritual of jumping the broomstick as part of a wedding ceremony has formed part of a number of cultural traditions over time, and is once again gaining in popularity.
Many people have heard of the expression jumping the broomstick, although fewer know its origins or meaning.
It is generally agreed that jumping the broomstick originated in the Britain and can be traced back to a centuries-old Welsh custom, “priodas coes ysgub”, or “broom-stick wedding”. It is associated specifically with the Welsh Romani community. In the early 16-18th centuries in the Americas, jumping the broomstick was widely practiced among the slave community as their only recognized form of marriage. The tradition also features in pagan marriage ceremonies.
Increasingly in modern times, as couples seek different and more personal ways to mark and celebrate their union, jumping the broomstick is a feature of both marriage and handfasting ceremonies. The broom is often said to represent the threshold of the home, and jumping the broomstick is symbolic of entering a new home together. Even if couples are already sharing a home or are already married and are renewing their vows, jumping the broomstick can symbolise entering a new stage of their relationship, and the leaving behind of old thoughts, behaviors and patterns between the two. Other meanings attributed include sweeping out old energies and clearing away negativity. Couples can add their own meaning to the ritual to personalise it to their situation and relationship.