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It was 14 for boys and 13 for girls in the 16th century.In 1721 it was raised to 21 and 15 respectively, but the sons of peasants were permitted to marry at age 18 and this was effective until 1922.In western Finland when banns were published (from the 18th century on), the bridal couple was given a small silver stick and a crutch to express that the couple had been "cast" from the pulpit and had in the process "broken their legs".According to an tradition, a betrothed woman in Finland was called a maiden or bride; in Karelia she was also "something to be given away." Upon marriage she became a young wife.Later the young people traveled into town together to buy rings and a silken scarf. According to the ecclesiastic order of 1571 the banns had to be published before a betrothal.The betrothal was made in the presence of a pastor.
The purpose was to collect gifts, usually linen, wool, cloth, and money.
When the girl made her appearance, a bottle of spirits and gifts were handed over. Receiving gifts didn't mean a binding acceptance, because the gifts could be returned if the suit was rejected.
If the answer was favorable, the girl and her parents visited the suitor's home.
In western Finland a party was held on the first day the banns were published.
In eastern Finland it was customary to hold both betrothal and banns parties.
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There were also various church holidays and festivals.