Jacqueline was reading The Berenstain Bears and The Week at Grandma's yesterday when she came upon the word "honeymoon" and asked me where the word came from. I said: "That's a good question. I'll have to find out". So, I checked it out in Wikipedia and it states:
One early reference to a honeymoon is in Deuteronomy 24:5 “When a man is newly wed, he need not go out on a military expedition, nor shall any public duty be imposed on him. He shall be exempt for one year for the sake of his family, to bring joy to the wife he has married.”
Originally "honeymoon" simply described the period just after the wedding when things are at their sweetest; it is assumed to wane in a month. The earliest term for this in English was hony moone, which was recorded as early as 1546.
Honeymoon is translated as "lune de miel" in French and "luna de miel" in Spanish or "luna di miele" in Italian. In Hungarian, it's referred to as "honeyweeks". It seems to be a universal word and a universal concept that started with the Indian elite whose newlweds would go on tour to visit relatives who couldn't attend the wedding. By the early 19th Century, young British couples were also taking a honeymoon and the custom later spread to continental Europe. Frequent honeymoon destinations were the French Riviera or Italian cities like Rome, Venice or Verona. Originally honeymoons would start midway through the reception when the bride would don a "going away outfit" and the guests would shower her with confetti as she and her groom rushed out to catch a train or a ship. However, many couples now wait a day or two to open wedding gifts and rest before they embark on their journey.
Honeymoons are a great tradition! If you want to learn more about my honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies, please read my post "Our Ogopogo Encounter" (July 23, 2011).
Precious Moments figurines courtesy http://pics.hoobly.com