- Gender and Relationships
*Traditional Weddings & Ceremonies*
Korean Traditional Wedding
Traditional Korean Weddings
Most Korean American engagement parties are now held in restaurants. Gifts are exchanged -- sometimes worth $30,000 to $40,000 (WOW) and family members are formally introduced. The bride may wear the traditional hanbok (a special engagement dress). Entertainment is expected, but can range from classical Korean music to family members singing along with a karaoke machine. Marriage is considered the most important passage in one's life. This is not only the union between two individuals but two families. Additionally, a marriage was a as a way of developing and/or maintaining a social status. The traditional Korean wedding is held at the bride's family home. Korean wedding banquets can be very simple: Noodle soup is the only required dish. In fact, the wedding banquet is called kook soo sang, which means "noodle banquet." Long noodles symbolizing a wish for a long and happy life are boiled in beef broth and garnished with vegetables. Dok, a sticky rice cake, is served at most Korean events, especially weddings.
The meal is always accompanied with a vast quantity of white, sticky rice as well as gimbap, which is rice, egg, spinach, crab meat, pickled radish, and other ingredients rolled in seaweed and sliced into 1-inch rounds. Mandu, dumplings filled with cabbage, carrot, meat, spinach, garlic, onion, chive, and clear noodle. These dumplings may be deep-fried or steamed. Soup will be offered, very frequently a kimchi type, or a rice cake soup (rice dumplings with chicken broth), or doenjang jigae, a fermented soybean paste soup.
Most Koreans get married in wedding halls, which are venues built expressly for weddings. If you sign a contract with a wedding hall, they’ll take care of almost every detail imaginable, right down to the flowers, food, and music. There aren’t going to be any problems with finding the perfect chairs, table linens, or caterer – it’s all a package deal, where what you see is what you get. The Korean tradition is that both sets of parents will invite everyone they know, regardless of whether the bride and groom have any idea who they are! This can easily result in weddings with over 500 guests depending on the venue of course, leading to a stressful day for the newlyweds because they need to greet everyone who showed up (Imagine that you greet 500 guests!! - WOW). Some of the younger generation are beginning to break away from tradition in favor of more intimate ceremonies, which they may pay for themselves. Luckily, wedding halls and hotels offer rooms of different sizes, so you can celebrate in style regardless of whether your guest count is 50 or 500! Family members offer gifts of money in white envelopes to the bride. The party is then carried on all night with food, music and fun.
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Mongolian Traditional Wedding
Mongolian Traditional Wedding
From time to time traditions change. Today the traditional Mongolian wedding ceremony has slowly changed over time. Still the Mongolian people are trying to keep the traditional wedding rituals while also caring about the younger generations’ interests by mixing modern wedding with traditional ones. Most Mongolian people care about the in-law’s family roots. Mongolian people say that the future son-in-law’s father should accept their daughter and the future daughter-in-law’s mother should accept their son. This saying means that the son-in-law will treat his future wife like how his father treated his wife, and that the daughter-in-law will treat her future husband like her mother treated her husband.
During the engagement - When a young Mongolian man wishes to marry a young woman, he asks a matchmaker to send her sugar, tea leaves and pastries to her wrapped in a white handkerchief, symbolizing harmony, wealth, and prosperity. If the gifts are accepted by the family members, it means the girl's family agrees to the match. Soon after, the young man and his family will bring the girl's family gifts of hada, milk liquor, and sugar blocks, to make a proposal. It takes several proposals for the deal to be sealed and accepted by the families. The marriage is set when the boy has delivered wine three times to the girl's house, and had it accepted.
There is one tradition that is very interesting to us. So after a Mongolian groom and his party arrive at the bride's home to escort her, they're treated like VIPs pretty much and everyone eats, sings and dances together and celebrate. A person who is assigned to express god wishes from the bride's side secretly leaves the banquet and leads the bridegroom to the bride's room. After they sit down, bridesmaids take a cooked sheep neck to entertain the bridegroom and ask him to break the neck through the middle with his hands to test his strength. In order to make fun of the bridegroom, the bridesmaids will already have inserted a red willow stick or an iron stick into the marrow of the sheep neck. If the bridegroom is told by someone beforehand, he can see through the trick and first take out the stick and easily break the sheep neck. Others who don't know the trick are unable to break the neck and must endure the sarcasm of the bridesmaids.
When the bride arrives at the groom's house on the wedding day, she and the groom kill a chicken together, looking for a lucky sign on its liver. They'll kill as many chickens as necessary to find the lucky sign that they are looking for, and one that happens then they know that they will have a good life. After that, the new couple attends a ceremony in which a bowl of wine with ghee on the bowl edge is put in front of them; they drink a bit themselves and then drink from each other's cups. After that a party is held where everyone dances and enjoys wine all night.
Chinese Traditional Wedding
Traditional Chinese Wedding
Weddings in China have changed a lot since the ancient times. However, Chinese weddings now include both traditional Chinese customs and Western wedding customs. Chinese people treat marriage very seriously! Due to the wide range of ethnicities and the vast landmass, wedding ceremonies can vary for different backgrounds, cultures and regions and also the families. When the male’s parents found a girl that they thought would be a good candidate for their son’s wife, they would send a matchmaker to the girl’s home and negotiate the possibility of the marriage.
If according to Chinese astrology, the couple was compatible and both families agreed to the marriage, then after the boy's family would send exquisite gifts to the girl's family. The gifts mainly included clothes, jewelries, gold, silver and cash. In addition, a gilded silver coin bearing the word "qiu" (meaning "proposal") will be among the gifts. The girl's family would send back another coin bearing the word "yun" (meaning "agreed") among their gifts presented in return. This of course means that the marriage is confirmed. During the period between the wedding date settlement and welcoming the bride there's just one thing that must be done, the boy's family would customarily urge the girl's family to send her dowry in for bridal chamber decorations, otherwise the wedding could not be held on schedule. After being urged, the girl's family would begin to prepare the dowry, which would be sent to the boy's family on a chosen date. The amount and quality of the dowry would determine the girl's future status in her husband's family. The more gold, jewelry and money the better it is for the girl and her future with the husband. On the wedding day, the bridegroom's family would welcome the bride to the wedding in a bridal sedan accompanied by a wedding procession after that the couple would perform formal bows. The rituals were also called "bowing to Heaven and Earth", which were conducted to gain approval of the marriage from gods and their parents.
Japanese Traditional Wedding
Traditional Japanese Weddings
Japan is a beautiful country filled with tradition, culture and beauty. This is a beautiful story. It is very rare these days for a Japanese couple to get married in a traditional Japanese ceremony. Many opt for the Western ceremony which I kind of find really sad because after looking at this video, the symbolism and intimacy of this ceremony is just beautiful. While in turn Japanese weddings are really beautiful.Today, the traditional Japanese ceremony is Shinto-style, performed by a Shinto priest and held at a shrine. The ceremony is very formal and usually very private, with only close family and a few guests present.
The most popular tradition during a Shinto-style wedding is the exchange of nuptial cups. It is called san san ku do. San means three and ku means nine. So san san ku do means three, three, and nine. The groom and bride drink sake, which is rice wine, three times each, from three different-sized sake cups called sakazuki. Exchanging cups represents the exchange of marriage vows. Many hotels and ceremony halls have a room with a miniature Shinto shrine where couples can perform their marriage vows. Japanese wedding rituals often incorporate items that have strong symbolic meaning. Because of its strength and simple elegance, for example, bamboo represents both prosperity and purity, while the mizuhiki knot given at Japanese weddings is often shaped like a crane, symbolizing prosperity and a long life.
For the traditional wedding, if you are attending a Japanese wedding reception, then you are expected to bring cash for a gift. The amount depends on your relationship with the couple and the region, unless fixed amount is indicated in the invitation card. It's polite to use new bills with no creasing or markings on them. When you go to the party, hand the envelope to the person at the reception desk and sign your name in the guestbook. During a wedding reception, the married couple sits on a stage, enjoying the guests' speeches and performances. Many people sing congratulating songs for the couple. It's typical for the couple to cut a wedding cake and to walk around the reception room, lighting the candles and greeting guests. A full course meal is always served. It's common for the bride and groom to change costumes a couple of times. Colorful wedding kimono worn by brides are called iro-uchikake.
There are certain things that must be followed in Japanese wedding:
- Men: wear a dark suit (preferably black) with a white tie. Do NOT wear a black tie, as they are for funerals.
- Women: wear a dress or skirt (little black dress is perfect).
- Know the costs of the parties you'll be attending
- Take a money gift if invited to the wedding ceremony
- Do not bring a guest!
- If you are chosen to speak at the wedding party, be prepared to give your speech.
As for the cake the bride and groom may choose to cut a wedding cake in western fashion if they choose. Usually, these are not wedding cakes in the western sense. The top layers of the cake are fake and the quality of eatable cake is not up to western standards. Many times, there will be a couple, or few layer cakes served to the guests. So now something that usually doesn't happen in western weddings in an intermission. The intermission during the reception is to allow the bride and groom to leave the room and change their clothing one more time. The groom may change his tuxedo. The bride, on the other hand, will go through an entire wardrobe change for the last time. It is common for a bride to wear a brightly colored gown for her last entrance.
The couple gives gifts to their wedding guests. This is an old tradition that is meant to display the family's wealth. There is no wedding registry or gift list, and guests do not bring store-bought gifts. It is tradition to give a gift of money. And of course the dancing and fun is always present is every wedding.
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Persian Traditional Wedding
Traditional Persian Weddings
Persian weddings are amongst the most beautiful weddings. They are filled with glamour and sparkling dresses here and there. The “Aghd” which is the legal ceremony of the Persian wedding, is a spectacular and joyous event celebrated with family, friends, music and fun. The Aghd usually takes place in the afternoon at the bride’s family home or other venue of choice. This is the time when the bride and groom sign a wedding contract, legally binding them as husband and wife.
A Persian wedding is the most conspicuous of all the occasions and is celebrated in the presence of a fairly large crowd. In the past the parents and older members of the family arranged almost all marriages. This is still the case in rural areas and with traditional families. Modern couples on the other hand, choose their own mate but their parents’ consent is still very important and is considered by both sides no matter what religion. Even with modern Persians, after the couple have decided themselves, it is normally the grooms’ parents or other relatives who take the initiative and formally ask for the bride and her family’s consent. Once this is done then the marriage will be announced. It is tradition that on the day of "khastegari" or asking for consent the groom will bring the bride gifts like jewelry sets, sometimes-gold coins or sweets with flowers (red or white roses are common.) The couple become engaged in a reasonably lavish party. Rings are exchanged; the engagement rings are simple, mainly gold with no stones. While the wedding ring presented to the bride will be lavish expensive with precious stones. The engagement ring is sent to the bride’s house with female relatives of the groom. A few days before the actual ceremony again more presents are taken to the bride’s house. The wedding dress itself is beautiful and stunning. In Iran if you are getting married, although it is required to cover your hair on the streets, but with the exception of a wedding it's quite ok if you want to have a white furry beautiful hood over your hair or you don't really have to, as long as you have a veil that covers it.
Just a little back up into the history with Alexander. Let's take a look as to what has happened in the past history with brides and weddings. Bride in Persian is called 'Aroos', which means white. The word was used in Sassanian period. The oldest historical record describing marriage ceremonies is by the Greek historians following Alexander’s invasion of Persia. Alexander and his men married a number of Persian women, mainly from the royalty and aristocracy. In one account it is mentioned that the marriage ceremonies were in Persian fashion; chairs were set for the groomsmen in order of precedence. Wine was served and they all drank to health. Then the brides entered and sat by their grooms, including Alexander. The men took their brides hands and kissed them. The king was the first to perform the ceremony. After the ceremony both the bride and groom ate from a loaf of bread, halved by sword and drank more wine. Then they took their wives into their private quarters. It is also mentioned that dowries were paid for the brides. Alexander provided the money from his treasury.
Ok now back to the wedding itself..Three days or a week before the actual wedding the bride would be taken to female beauticians or was visited by them at home for the ritual of removing body hair. A significant rite of passage is marked from girlhood to womanhood. Also the beauty of the face, removing extra eyebrows and making the skin glow is the most important. We also described each of the elements of the Sofreyeh Aghd, the table on which all the symbolic elements of the wedding are placed. When the groom enters, with his mother and father bringing him he is then facing the guests with the mirror and candlesticks faced towards him. He can see his reflection in the mirror, and this is representing eternity. The candlesticks are lit before the ceremony begins. There are two of them representing the bride and groom and the eternal light and passion they will share with one another. This fire element comes directly from Zoroastrian tradition, like most of the other traditions of the ceremony. Usually after the vows have been read and everything is set, they exchange rings and dip their finger in honey and give to each other in order to symbolize a sweet life. At this moment people who have brought gifts will give them to the bride and groom. After the 'aghd' the bride and groom arrive together as husband and wife for the first time at the venue for the party. The first dance happens and later on it's the dinner (which usually is quite a lot) and the cake cutting is the most interesting part of it all. Usually 3 ladies take the knife before the cake is cut and dance with it, and the groom has to pay them in order to take the knife, usually by the third one the knife will be handed over and the cake is cut. The rest of the night is dancing and filled with happiness.
Just a highlight of a Persian wedding...
Traditional Indian Wedding
Traditional Indian Weddings
In the Indian culture, marriage symbolizes not just the sacred union of two individuals, but of the coming together of two families and extended families as well! Their level of involvement is so profound that typically the family decides the bride/groom. In fact, even till a few decades ago the bride and the groom saw each other for the first time only on their wedding day. This trend has changed in urban areas, and in the present day, youngsters have a better say in choosing their life partner. Families search for eligible partners for their children through word of mouth or marriage priests primarily. However with the internet revolution in India online matrimonial sites are also becoming quite a hit!
There are several important ceremonies that take place in the days before your wedding; the first is Misri this is the ring ceremony. This will take place several days before your wedding and calls for seven married women to draw the sign of Lord Ganesha in red powder spread above a bowl of rock sugar. Prayers are said by you and your fiancée and your parents and you will exchange flowered garlands and gold rings with your beloved in the presence of your priest. The next ceremony, Mehndi, takes place the day before the wedding at a ladies-only afternoon tea. Intricate patterns drawn with Mehndi (henna) are applied to your hands and feet and symbolize the deepening of bonds with your future husband.
The fun is just getting started as you begin the next ceremony called Sangeet, this is totally the best part of the wedding. This is a joyous nighttime party held the evening before the wedding and is an opportunity to enjoy the spirit of the moment with music, dancing and food. Just make sure you get some sleep because you will have a long day ahead of you tomorrow. Alright so you are now about to get married to the man of your dreams and you want to look your best.The day begins with the Haldi (turmeric) ritual, in which you are cleansed at your home with turmeric powder. This is followed by the Swagatam ceremony, in which your female relatives help you dress in your wedding sari. Your fiancée will also do the Haldi ritual and will be dressed in his wedding attire at his home before coming to your residence.
Ok so the groom has to your place of residence and now you are about to go to the temple or the ground where you have chosen to have your ceremony. A huge beautifully decorated canopy is there that is typically decorated with bright and vibrant colors under which burns Agni, the sacred fire that is witness to the ceremony (this is very common in Indian Weddings). The ceremony begins with what is known as Madhuparka as your fiancée receives gifts from your father. Mantras are chanted during Kanya Daan as your father presents you to your fiancée and he takes your left hand in his right in Pani Grahan as he accepts you as his wife. The chanting and the prayers continue, then you and your fiancee will now walk around the fire seven times while chants are being read. Then afterwards you are now husband and wife.
Arriving to the wedding party is huge and the biggest thing ever! It's like going to a huge ball. Everyone is dressed in beautiful colorful saris and a lot of jewelry. The first dance takes place and then the bride and groom sit and watch as the entertainment comes along. Maid of honors, bride's maids and other family members or friends dance to music, and believe me they are very upbeat and great. And of course you have the typical cake cutting, dinner and dancing. The end of the night, the bride and groom will leave, while the bride and their family is crying because they are giving their daughter away. The two will enjoy their life together.
Highlights from a Indian Wedding
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Tamil Traditional Wedding
Traditional Tamil Weddings
Although there might be some similarities in the North Indian weddings and Tamil (South Indian) weddings there are also some differences in culture and traditions.Tamil wedding includes many traditions that differ from community to community. Still basic details are the same. One of them is the time of year when the wedding is organized. According to Tamil calendar weddings are not organized in the months of Aashad (15th July to 15th Aug), Bhadrapad (15th Sep to 15th Oct) and Shunya (15th Dec to 15th Jan). This is one of the most beautiful weddings with a lovely ceremony.
With Tamil weddings, a couple days before the wedding the bride's family performs a ceremony called Paalikali Thalippu/ Karappu. With the sounds of music (Gauri Kalyanam), special clay pots are decorated with sandalwood paste and kumkum powder. Little bit of curd and nine types of grain (“nava dhaanyam”) is put in each pot. All of these are done by 5 or 7 married women in the family and each one ends up getting a gift afterwards. On the first day after the wedding bride and groom throw the pots into a nearby pond. It is believed that the fish in pond will eat the grains contained in pots and bless the couple. Tamil wedding rituals are very elaborate. They involve a number of ceremonies that are performed to ensure that the bride and the groom, who are going to tie the wedding knot, enter their new phase of life in the most elegant manner. A number of ceremonies revolve around the wedding, which is very charming and glamorous to look at. Every stage of the rituals is performed with religious observance.
The ceremony is the most vital part of the Tamil Hindu weddings, with interesting elements, adding up to give life to the setting. The Gurukal (which is the priest) conducts the ceremony in a decorated open canopy called the Manavarai, which hosts the holy moment of the bride and the groom tying their knot. The holy fire in the center of the Manavarai serves as Agni Saatchi (holy witness) to the communion. The priest offers prayers, and coconut symbolizing purity of character, is broken at intervals to honor the realization of supreme self. Brass pots filled with water and placed in front to symbolize deities. A branch of the tree is also decorated in the middle to symbolize fertility.Praying to Lord Ganesha to remove all the obstacles and ensure harmony in the life of the bride and groom, the priest offers prayers on behalf of the groom. The Pooja that follows is meant to purify the Manavarai, the mind and the body of the groom before he steps into the holy state of matrimony. The Groom is then given a Thetpai (grass ring) that symbolizes the cleansing of mind and a zaffron thread is tied to his right wrist for the guarding against any forthcoming evil.
So now the moment that we have all been waiting for, the most significant and awaited moment of the wedding. Dressed in her koorai (wedding sari), the bride makes her way into the Manavarai holding a garland for the groom. Representing Lord Shiva (The 3rd God of the Hindu Faith) and Parvathy, as two halves completing the self, the groom and the pride sit in the elevated space in middle amidst the prayers chanted by the priest. To the beat of the Thavils (drum) and music of Naathaswarams (classical pipe music) the Groom ties the Thaali (golden thread) around the Bride’s neck signifying long-lasting love. Guests shower the couple with atchadhai (flowers and rice grains) as a blessing. The couple is then declared husband and wife as they exchange garlands with love. In a traditional Hindu society, wearing sindoor (red dot on the forehead) is considered a must for married Hindu women. It is a visible expression of their desire for their husband’s long life.
Vidai marks the departure of the bride from her parental house. This is the final phase of the long ceremony, and it gets emotional as the bride’s family sends their daughter off to a new life with the groom.
Tamil Wedding Highlights
Nepali Traditional Wedding
Traditional Nepali Wedding
Wedding in Nepal is a multi day event, which may engross an entire village. In its essence, it reveals the very strong social and communal values of the Nepali people. Few things in Nepali culture take precedence over a wedding and most people treat the time as the opportunity of a lifetime and a time to hold back and celebrate with varieties of foods, fun and dancing.
Weddings generally take place in tender age in Nepal. It is normal for boys and girls to be married during their teens but in few cases in very young ages. The wedding procedure usually begins with an arrangement of a boy and a girl with comparable backgrounds; often with the help of a priest who are well know as matchmaker. The meeting takes place between the parents of the two families. In an arranged marriage, it is the parents who choose their children's partners. One additional note concerning the arranged marriage: even though the parents choose the individuals, the children are commonly given a voice to accept or decline the match.
The groom’s father and a few relatives come to the bride’s house and formally ask the bride’s father for his daughter’s hand for his own son. On this occasion, the father and introduces his son and the father of the bride also introduces his daughter. This ceremony is very short, and is funny in the sense that both brag about the qualities of their children. Once the introduction finishes, then the father of the bride gives his verbal consent and offers to send the groom an invitation to the Swyambara.
The Nepali Hindu engagement ceremony is called the Tika-tala. This roughly translates to the exchange of good wishes and promises through the Tikaa, the crimson marking made between the eyes during an aarti. While the Nepali Hindu engagement ceremony kicks off the wedding, it remains generally low-profile with a simple meeting of the bride and groom. The groom usually comes to the bride's house accompanied by his friends and family. The actual ceremony involves the simple exchange of a promise between the bride and the groom to get married. This is usually solidified with spoken vows. After that the couple agree on their wedding date.
The day before the wedding a ceremony called duradai takes place. A pathi (milk with molasses and cardamom) is delivered at the girl's house to repay the mother for the years she spent take care of her daughter and the hard work that went into that, although in modern traditions it's not really done, but in some parts of Nepal this is still practiced. The next evening a feast is held at the girl's house where gifts are brought. At the same time a procession takes place at the boy's home. A large crowd joins in the eating and having a good time.
The ceremony is the most beautiful party of the wedding, usually lasts around 2 hours or so but it's really worth watching. The high priest comes and reads/chants the prayers, during this portion the families are involved. After the exchange of the rings, just like in Indian weddings the Sindoor ; red kumkum is placed on the hair of the bride to give the symbol that she is married. The other thing that is special to Nepali weddings is that of the Tilhari, a thick loop made of multiple strings of green glass beads attaching to a large golden ornament, which is worn like a sash. The groom now puts the Tilhari across the bride’s chest. Unlike the indian wedding saris, the traditional wedding clothes wore in Nepal are exclusive to the weddings, even the veil is set to a specific kind, it's not your typical white veil.
Once the ceremony is finished, the bride is given a farewell by her family (parents and siblings). With this blessing the parents give all their good wishes for their daughter to start a new life as a member of her new family and household.
That evening, there will be a reception in the home or a large venue. The bride is dressed again in another set of bridal attire. At the venue the bride and groom are seated in a specially decorated platform. Each guest comes up individually and greets the couple, sometimes forming a line if many guests approach at the same time.
The reception is a very informal event, like an open house (sometimes). People come and go as they like and rarely stay the whole time. Drinks and snacks are offered on arrival to the guests, and a dinner buffet is set (the food is unbelievable and amazing - so delicious). People come greet the couple, meet parents and friends, drink, dance and socialize, and eat; tables are set but seating is open. There is a DJ playing music throughout the party. After this bride and groom come home and rest in their own room. This is the end of the wedding itself.
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Turkish Traditional Wedding
Traditional Turkish Weddings
Turkish weddings are very amazing ,full of fun and dancing. Well let me tell you that arranged marriages were once a very common tradition in Turkey. Nowadays, this does not really happen with the same regularity although it’s not unheard of for some more rural districts to continue to arrange weddings between local families. These arranged matches were initiated by the groom’s family, who would actively seek the right bride for their son. In rural areas, everyone in the village would often join in with finding the perfect bride! But now in modern traditions it's left for the bride and groom to choose each other, although there's still an exception for the parents approving.
A small engagement for an arranged or directly agreed marriage may both include a customary ceremony, 'Söz Kesimi', an agreement to have the marriage performed in front of guests. The groom's family bring a ring, an embroidered handkerchief and sweets. The ring and kerchief are given to the bride once both families have given their consent to the wedding and then the sweets are shared with the guests. After that a wonderful engagement ceremony may take place in order to have the families know each other a little better and interact with each other. These traditional engagement celebrations are more likely to take place in rural areas, while urban customs have been greatly influenced by the west and now include engagement celebrations in wedding halls, which are a full on party celebration and can be almost a mini wedding in themselves.
Just like modern and western cultures the bride wears a bright wedding dress and veil, with a red sash around her waist and red bows on her dress or in her hair. The bridal veil is also important, but nowadays, traditions are changing and even the traditional marriages have brides wearing dresses without bridal veils, but of course this really depends to your liking. Bright colors are worn because they reflect joy and happiness. The groom is dressed in a tuxedo or dark suit. Once the documents have been signed, the newly married couple opens the first dance. The bride, accompanied by her female relatives, then makes the rounds of her guests, carrying a basket lined in red. Guests kiss the bride, can pin a gold coin on her sash, may also slip a gold bracelet on her wrist, and deposit money in the basket.
Finally, the bride and groom cut the wedding cake, being one of the most exciting times in a wedding. Each guest is given a piece to be consumed after dinner. The rest is packed in small parcels to be taken home. The bride and groom stay with their guests until the end of the celebration. They do not sneak out to start their honeymoon early, but traditionally spend their first night in the hotel where the wedding reception takes place.
Moroccan Traditional Wedding
Traditional Moroccan Wedding
Morocco is a place with a very rich cultural heritage and active traditions and many of these can be seen at Moroccan wedding ceremonies. Usually the entire affair is quite expensive. It starts with the paying of a dowry that is spent on household items and furniture for the bride.
The bride also receives golden jewelry and is sent presents of cloth, clothing and perfume from her groom every feast day. The courtship period can last from six months to two years. Once a date has been set for the wedding, the real preparations begin. Five days before the wedding event, necessities such as a mattress and blanket are taken to the bridal chamber. There the bride is given a bath in 'hammam' which is a sort of milk bath that is meant to purify the bride and make her skin more beautiful and shinny. Her negaffa (female attendants) will usually supervise the event. The 'negaffa' who are usually older married woman, female friends and relatives then set about trying to beautify her. After dressing her in decorated wedding kaftan (usually white) they proceed to decorate her with heavy jewelry and darken her eyes with 'kohl' which looks a bit like thick dark eyeliner. On the night before the wedding women of the family and their female cousins organize Henna Party. Henna is kind of traditional tattoo art which originated in India and has been used around the world for hair and body art.
On the day of the wedding the ceremony begins with song and dance, the tradition of Islam demands the ceremony begin by reading Quranic verses and songs in praise of the prophet. You have dinner, dancing and of course the cutting of the cake. The bride can wear as many as seven different outfits, with the last wardrobe change, in general, a magnificent white wedding dress. The wedding will go on all night and later on the bride and groom will be escorted to their new place now as husband and wife.
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Russian Traditional Wedding
Traditional Russian Wedding
Russian weddings are celebrated on a grand scale. The extent of celebration and thoroughness of preparation are only limited by the financial situation of the family. Some couples choose to adopt western traditions, including the priest, marriage vows, staged shows and special tents for guests. Famous performers may be invited and celebration scripts may be written by professional directors. However, such celebrations are more of an exception in modern Russia.
In order to get married on a set date, couples should submit an advance application to the registry office. Known as "zags", the registry office is the official body for marriage registration in Russia. The husband-and-wife-to-be will usually file an application several months in advance to allow some time to think over their decision in case something might change. Ok so now let's just fast forward a few hours, the bride arrives approximately an hour and half before the official ceremony of registration. That's about time when a comical wedding tradition takes place. The parents of the bride pretend to steal the bride and ask the groom to pay a ransom. The groom usually ends up paying some symbolic monetary value or jewellery to get his beloved back. Of course, the entire event is played out only for amusement of the guests it's not real at all. The guests who are present give flowers to the bride, and drink a bottle of Champagne. Nowadays many couples opt for a marriage in a church but church marriages in Russia still do not have official status, and the church requires a civil marriage certificate to arrange the ceremony for the couple, but they must be officially married by ZAGS in order to be married in a church.
There is no tradition of a wedding cake in Russia though they will probably adopt this western tradition soon, but seeing that Russians enjoy rituals it will probably not be soon. They give a cake at the end of the reception (which most guests miss dancing and having fun; there is much more dancing at Russian weddings), but there is no custom of bride and groom cutting it together. Often guests leave the wedding in such a condition that they cannot remember what happened. If that was the cause with majority of the case this means that the wedding was a huge success.
Traditional Wedding Ceremonies and Dresses
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