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Eighth Wedding Anniversary

Health and Wellbeing

Celebrate with salt!

From ‘salt‘ to ‘marriage’ might seem a bit of a stretch but the many qualities of salt typify the positive values necessary in the making of a successful marriage. Of all the ninety named wedding anniversaries, the 8th Wedding Anniversary, symbolised traditionally by salt, has to be one of the most intriguing. Though not a milestone wedding anniversary as such (maybe they all should be?!) the 8th Wedding Anniversary is still an achievement. Couples may, at this point, be ‘getting their feet under the table’ but this celebration represents an opportunity to consider the many qualities of a seemingly ‘humble’ seasoning that capture the essence of a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Buy an 8th Wedding Anniversary salt gift here.

What are Anniversaries?

According to Merriam-Webster, an anniversary is “the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event”. The word is derived from the Latin ‘annum’ meaning a year. Anniversaries punctuate our calendars and serve to remind us of some past ‘happening’ which may be religious, cultural, (national, international) or personal.

Each year the majority of societies around the world commemorate many different anniversaries. In the West religious anniversaries include the most important of Christmas and Easter. Cultural anniversaries such as Remembrance Day and Bonfire Night are celebrated in the UK and parts of the Commonwealth: Halloween ‘erupts’ annually in North America and much of Europe: Burn’s Night is very popular in Scotland at the end of January and February’s Valentine’s day is observed in the UK and around the world. On a personal level we celebrate or commemorate so many anniversaries. We all have birthdays: we remember the significant dates of happy occasions – wedding days for example: we commemorate the sad times – maybe the loss of a family member, or friend. We create our own individual anniversaries according to the significance we place on particular past events.

Why do we Remember Anniversaries?

Anniversaries are a means by which we focus attention at a certain time on an important past event, whether joyous or sombre. They are an opportunity to pause and consider the things we hold dear and to concentrate on what really matters. They help to remind us how history has affected our lives, taught us valuable lessons and shaped the people we are now. They allow us to keep alive significant memories, to unite us in a common cause, to reminisce and even indulge in a little sentimentality. They enable us to reflect on the bonds that hold us together and cement relationships. They can demonstrate our mutual need to show respect to someone or give thanks for a meaningful, historical event. It is a chance to remember, to reflect on and reaffirm folklore and pay homage to traditional values. It is one of the many ways in which we strengthen cultural identity.

How do we Celebrate Anniversaries?

There are common practices around the world when it comes to marking or celebrating these various anniversaries. From church services to parades, gatherings round bonfires and dining tables, fireworks, holidays and special days out, not to mention social gatherings involving eating, drinking and making merry. Who doesn’t love to party?!!!

Of course for many of these anniversaries – especially Christmas, Easter and birthdays the giving or exchanging of anniversary gifts is an integral part of the celebrations. Certain conventions surrounding gift giving have evolved over the years and we tend to adhere to an established formula for what is appropriate and when. Many of the original reasons for giving – demonstrations of wealth or to help someone through the afterlife for example, are no longer relevant. However, as an appreciative gesture or an affirmation of the bond between individuals the process is as pertinent now as it ever was.

Wedding Anniversaries in an Historical Context

One of the celebrations that immediately comes to mind when we use the term ‘anniversary’ is that relating to weddings. During the Middle Ages husbands in the Roman Empire gave silver wreaths to their wives on achieving their 25th Wedding Anniversary and golden wreaths on their 50th Wedding Anniversary. These commemorations were especially significant since life expectancy in those days was limited. Similarly, in Medieval Germany, wives attaining their 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries were given wreaths by those around them and feted for their good luck. Today the Queen sends congratulatory messages to her subjects in the Commonwealth who make their 60th, 65th, 70th and subsequent wedding anniversaries. With marriages lasting for an average of 12 years – around 40% of couples divorce or separate – this may never become an overwhelming chore…

In the 1800s, with an ever increasing emphasis on enduring marriages and a stable family life the celebration of other wedding anniversaries became increasingly popular. Inevitability this resulted in ever increasing commercialisation. In 1937 the American National Retail Association ‘jumped on the bandwagon’. To encourage a hoped for spending spree the organisation produced a list of different symbolic materials, one for each year. In an attempt to indicate the worth of an enduring marriage, these ranged from paper for a 1st Wedding Anniversary, salt for the 8th Wedding Anniversary to diamond for the 75th. (When Queen Victoria achieved her ‘Diamond’ Jubilee after 60 years on the throne a 60th Wedding Anniversary also became ‘Diamond’.) It has to be said that 75 years of marriage, though possible, is pretty aspirational!!!

In subsequent times different colours, flowers and gemstones were added to each year. In fact a ‘modern’ list of items associated with the endurance of marriage evolved which is possibly more sophisticated though less practical then the traditional one. As the length of a marriage increases and the associated wedding anniversary gifts become more luxurious, the celebrations themselves often evolve into more ambitious ‘in your face’ affairs.

Why is Salt the Traditional UK Symbol for an Eighth Wedding Anniversary?

How many of us are aware that the traditional symbolic ‘material’ for the 8th Wedding Anniversary in the UK is salt? Salt is probably one of the more obscure substances used to represent marriage. Probably not as ordinary as paper (1st Wedding Anniversary) but is it really less valuable than the precious metals and gemstones of ‘milestone’ wedding anniversaries?

How Important is Salt?

It may not always be visually exciting, capable of being used as an adornment or of great monetary value. However, it has properties that are far more useful than gold or diamonds. Without salt the human body cannot function. All our cells rely on it. We acquire it through natural foodstuffs supplemented by the mining of rock salt and the evaporation of seawater on an industrial scale.

The value of salt cannot be underestimated. Throughout history it has been an essential seasoning and flavour enhancer as well as a means of preserving food. It is an antiseptic, a disinfectant, a powerful antibacterial agent and a purifier. It can remove stains, kill weeds melt ice and mummify bodies! These capabilites made salt a very important and precious trading commodity in years gone by and led to the development of important transportation routes. It incentivised exploration, may have been used as currency, played a part in religious ceremonies, caused salt wars, was one of the first things to be taxed (which may have been a contributory factor in the French Revolution!) and is currently essential in many chemical industrial processes. Inevitably much prized, its influence in the way civilisation has evolved cannot be undervalued!

To think that the ‘humble’ 8th Wedding Anniversary has been endowed with the symbolism of salt a wonderful life-preserving product!! What an honour!

The Symbolic Significance of Salt

All wedding anniversaries are a reminder and reaffirmation of personal commitments, an opportunity to spend time reflecting on special relationships. The materials defining the different wedding anniversaries each have a special significance and become more ‘robust’ as the years go by. They reflect the strengthening of marital ties that comes with time – and patience! Biblical allusions to salt embody all the positive qualities of a genuinely healthy alliance incorporating love and companionship. 

Wikipedia – ‘The Bible contains numerous references to salt…it is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value and purification’.

In terms of marriage they embody all the values most of us would prize!

Salt has played a significant part in religious ceremonial and is conspicuous in the realms of folklore, mythology and superstition. Not only is it said to represent strength, purity, trust, friendship and hospitality, it is also said to bring peace and calm, to aid vitality and longevity, to balance energy and to bring prosperity and abundance. Last but not least it wards off evil. Of course, we all know that misfortune could befall us if we spill salt and forget to throw more of it over our left shoulder with our right hand!!

‘Salt’ Gift Suggestions for that 8th Wedding Anniversary

An appropriate salt gift for an 8th Wedding Anniversary certainly allows for a little creativity and imagination. A 25 kilo bag of de-icing salt may not quite ‘hit the spot’ in the glamour stakes! Instead of raising eyebrows, raise a smile! An unusual, yet still practical offering could require the originality of thinking ‘in the box’ not ‘outside the box’! Seasoned Pioneers’ Worldwide Salt Gift Collection is an ingenious answer to the dilemma. With 10 exotic salts from around the globe it would make a truly sparkly 8th Wedding Anniversary salt gift. Team it with a stylish salt shaker or salt grinder for a classy and sophisticated 8th Wedding Anniversary present.

An alternative 8th Wedding Anniversary ‘salt’ luxury comes by way of Seasoned Pioneers’ Herbal Foot Spa Ingredients Collection. With three of the most unusual salts from around the world and seven herbs, enjoy giving this soothing and relaxing salt gift. As an 8th Wedding Anniversary salt gift, it’s different, it’s offbeat – it shows how thoughtful you can be.

Capture the sentiments that are implicit in the properties of salt and their relevance in marriage today. Do something special. Show how much you care.

See details below for a full list of popular wedding anniversary gifts.

Year of Wedding AnniversaryTraditional Anniversary GiftModern Anniversary Gift
1PaperClocks
2CottonChina
3LeatherGlass/Crystal
4Silk (UK) Fruit/Flowers (USA)Electriacal Appliance
5WoodSilverware
6Candy (UK) Iron (USA)Wood
7Wool (UK) Copper (USA)Desk Sets Brass
8Salt (UK) Pottery; Bronze (USA)Lace
9Copper (UK) Pottery; Willow (USA)Leather
10Tin (UK & USA) Aluminium (USA)Diamond Jewellery
11SteelAccessories – Fashion Jewellery
12Silk (UK) Home Décor (USA)Pearls
13LaceFurs Textiles
14Elephant or IvoryGold Jewellery
15CrystalWatches
16 Silverware
17 Furniture
18 Porcelain
19 Bronze
20ChinaPlatinum
21 Nickel Brass
22 Copper
23 Silver Plate
24Opal (USA)Musical Instruments
25 Silver Plate
26 Pictures
27 Sculptures
28 Orchids
29 Furniture
30PearlDiamond
35Coral (UK & USA) Jade (USA)Jade
40 Ruby
45 Sapphire
50 Gold
55 Emerald
60 Diamond

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