Since the Middle Ages, Jewish marriages have taken place under a canopy made of a large piece of material held by four poles – the chupa. A number of reasons are given for this tradition. Some hold that the fabric canopy is a reminder of the tents in which the Israelites lived during their wilderness wanderings. Other authorities say the chupa stems from the days bride and groom were covered in garlands at the marriage ceremony. Still others see the canopy as a symbol of the room in which the new bride and groom consumate their marriage.