Arras Coins- A Hispanic wedding tradition of 13 coins.
Arras in Spanish means pledge. Thirteen gold coins (arras) are given by the groom to the bride during the marriage ceremony. The groom giving the coins signifies his willingness to support her and trust in her. The bride accepting them signifies her willingness to trust him and be prudent.
Some say the thirteen coins represent thirteen words; Love, peace, commitment, trust, respect, joy, happiness, nurturing, caring, harmony, wholeness, harmony, and cooperation. Others believe it is representative of the 12 Apostles and Christ. Yet, others see it as the lunar calendar of 12 months and the 13 as the honeymoon. Whatever the tradition stems from, it is a beautiful part of the Hispanic wedding ceremony.
The Padrinos (Godparents) are the ones to purchase the 13 coins for the groom. This signifies that the Padrinos have shared their wealth of knowledge with the bride and groom prior to the wedding concerning life and marriage.
The coins are kept in a small decorative box. This box which contains the 13 coins is presented to the priest during the wedding ceremony by the Padrinos. The Priest bless the coins and gives them to the groom who pours them from the box into the bride's cupped hands. The bride accepts the coins and pours them back into the box. The bride sometimes hands the box back to the Padrino till the ceremony is over.
There are of course with any tradition variations, but the underlying sentiment of the 13 coins is a beautiful Hispanic tradition.