Oscar H. Hanson House B&B

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What is “jumping the broom?”

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What is “jumping the broom?”

  1. A term used by parents for the creative ways teens get out of doing chores.
  2. A phrase used by novice high jumpers.
  3. Slang for the lowest level in Chinese Jump Rope.
  4. Symbolic ritual at the end of a wedding ceremony.

Jumping the broom at the Hanson House B&B

The answer is D. Jumping the broom originated in Africa and continues in African-American families. Jumping the broom symbolizes a new beginning, a welcoming of the new- sweeping away the old, or sweeping away old cares and worries.  It represents entering into a new life of husband and wife.

It may also occur as part of a Renaissance wedding. In one version, the maid of honor and the best man hold a crossed sword and broom just behind the couple. As the couple starts the recessional, they must jump the sword and broom to symbolize the cutting and sweeping away of ties to their parents. Kristin and Scott were married in a Renaissance-style wedding at the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B on Monday, June 21, 2010. In this photo the mothers are holding the broom. Afterward, Kristin and Scott gleefully skipped out of the courtyard.