ANSWERS: 2
  • that IS an interesting question. I looked at Wikipedia hoping it might give me a clue, but nothing there. SO, I shall make some observations of my own. When many Europeans marry, the bridal couple cut or untie a ribbon when they enter the room. I feel this is a symbol of the (imminent) loss of the bride's virginity. A similar custom would be to break something eg a glass underfoot (Jewish), plates (Greek), a bottle (when launching a new ship). All these originally had to do with deflowering something virginal. So I think that cutting a ribbon to open a building, although it has lost the connection with weddings, still has to do with something virginal now about to be entered for the first time. How's that?
  • 3-23-2017 For something so popular, the history is surprisingly murky. There are vague references to ribbons in European weddings, either cut or tied together, but the modern ceremony for opening a public place is barely over a century old. According to Union Parish, La. archives, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held around 1898 for the opening of a railroad line in northern Louisiana. (ehow.com)

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