What is the kerchief test?

The Kerchief test Is a practice performed by individuals belonging to the gypsy culture or ethnicity to determine if the bride still retains her virginity. It is performed when a couple is getting married, the same day of the wedding. Sometimes it is also called"gathering".

Basically, the test consists of taking the bride to a separate room where the ritual will be performed next to the"gatherer"(who is the specialist and responsible for performing the act to check if the girl is a virgin). Also attending this act other married women invited to the party. The only virgin girl who can be present at the event is the one that will be submitted to the examination.

Kerchief test Is.pinterest.com/pin/238479742743959712/

It uses a handkerchief decorated with a very nice appearance, usually is half a meter long, is white with some roses, bows and embroidered strips.

During the test, the assailant examines the hymen of the bride and proceeds to break it, if the handkerchief gets stained with"three roses", ie if it gets several stains ("roses") blood is determined that indeed it is a virgin And you can get married. Otherwise, if the handkerchief is not stained assume that the girl is not a virgin and can not proceed to get married.

Should you pass the test and prove the virginity of the bride, the stained handkerchief is displayed to all wedding attendees with pride.

If, on the other hand, the test is not successfully passed, the groom's family is entitled to annul the marriage, and both the bride and her family will be publicly dishonored in front of everyone.

Generally, the test is not negative because the women participating in this culture are aware that this procedure will be performed in case you want to perform a gypsy wedding and are sure to have retained your virginity so far.

Rationale and reasons

The main reason why it is performed is because certain cultures require that tests be performed to determine if the bride still retains her virginity before marrying.

It is demonstrated by the presence of an intact hymen. In general terms after the first sexual intercourse the hymen ruptures and vaginal bleeding occurs due to the tearing of it.

In addition to the gypsy culture there are also other countries and tribes that make or have made at some time in their history tests like this and to prove virginity there are other methods and physical examinations that can be performed by a doctor.

Gypsy culture

It is a term used to encompass the customs, habits and ways of life of the gypsy people.

The gypsies have their origins in the northwest of India and their traditional works were the singing, the dance, entertainment and the music.

They have fairly marked moral values, for them it is extremely important to obey their laws, purity and respect for God.

Generally their families are quite numerous and as many men as the women marry very young. The virginity and the purity of the bride is something very precious in this culture for which the test of the handkerchief is realized, but also there are other accepted ways to realize the marriage as long as both parties agree.

To be able to perform the wedding, the groom must make a gypsy request where he asks the bride's hand to the family, they are granted permission and are considered grooms and have permission to go out together.

There are weddings that can last for days but there are also more simple ones depending on the families, customs and region.

As for other gypsy customs, death is highly respected and if a gypsy dies to a relative or close friend should wear a mourning in black to demonstrate his pain for at least 12 months.

In case a gypsy sees another in mourning (and even if they do not know each other) he must show respect for that person by not singing or dancing, turning off music or television, etc.

Gypsy Tissue Test Tradition

According to the gypsy tradition, the bride and groom should marry for the evangelistic or Catholic rite early in the morning, and virgins must come to the marriage, although the man has the freedom to decide whether or not to comply with this point because there is also no way to prove His virginity.

Gypsies value purity a lot, their culture values ​​it as much as life, and if the girl is not a virgin she can not marry, the only exception is that she finds a man who is not married and has access despite that.

After performing the test of the handkerchief on the wedding day, the"alboreá"is produced and it is exhibited showing the blood stains that show the three roses and accustom to perform a mystical song that says:"In a green meadow I stretched out my handkerchief, three roses came out like three stars." After the wedding the man must be faithful to his wife.


The word"hymen"has its origin in the Greek god of marriage, Hymenaeus, and is a small tissue in the form of a fleshy ring located in the opening of the vagina.

According to several studies, the belief that it is necessary to have sex to tear it is erroneous since it has been concluded that an intact hymen is not a 100% accurate and reliable indicator of the absence of vaginal penetration and sexual relations Previous The tearing of the hymen can occur due to other circumstances or simply can also be born without a developed hymen or possess a thin and elastic one that does not bleed or in any case that bleeds very little.

Currently there are surgical procedures to repair or replace the torn hymen and to successfully pass the virginity tests required by various cultures, this procedure is called"hymenoplasty".


  1. Bonilla, Kristina (1977). "The test of virginity, the most important thing in the gypsy wedding". Taken from elpais.com.
  2. "Wedding for the gypsy rite. Ceremony and protocol. Gypsy marriage Curiosities". Taken from protocol.org.

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