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Wedding traditions in the Middle East

Splendor, grandeur and beauty are words that sum up traditional weddings in the Middle East.

With centuries-old traditions, weddings in the Middle East follow customs from ancient civilizations. Wedding rituals and beliefs are passed on from one generation to another: the focus is on the beauty of the bride, protecting the couple, and on majestic parties that not unusually last a whole week...!

The Middle East is of course a set of countries whose cultural traditions are different. The region consists of weddings conducted according to Arab and Persian rites but also following the Jewish culture.

The great sense of celebration in the countries of the Middle East will perhaps inspire you with some ideas for your own wedding.

Wedding festivities in the Middle Eastarab-bride

In the Middle East, there are many similarities in traditions, such as the celebration of an engagement, the first major step in the joining of a man and woman.

This is an opportunity for families to enjoy a party that is often just as beautiful as the wedding feast. The engagement party is a very important moment in many parts of the Middle East, and it is organized with great care. The table is usually groaning with food, as many women are involved in bringing their own specialty. The evening is very festive, full of music and traditional dances. These are magical, joyous nights. Traditional dances allow many people to come together to dance and sing.

At the engagement party, the greatest attention is paid to the clothing and in particular that of the bride. Thus, in the Middle East, it is not uncommon in some areas to see the future bride dress change her outfit several times during the party, sometimes more than 5 times.

The last part of the event may include the giving of gifts between families or the couple. Traditions are not the same from one country to another but it is common to celebrate weddings over several days and each day corresponds to a specific ritual or party at which we have to respect customs in a specific order.

When the couple are formally joined together at the civil marriage, it's party time all over again. But in some areas another festive evening is also celebrated amongst the women, following the ritual of applying henna tattoos on the hands and feet of the bride as well as the arms and legs.

hennaThe tradition of henna at weddings in the Middle East

Used in many countries, henna is much more than a beauty accessory in the cultures of the Middle East. It is a ritual for brides, representing protection and good luck. Through the henna ritual, the women hear and drive away evil spirits.

In fact, traditionally henna designs have a special significance. At weddings, the henna tattoo is not only to make the bride look attractive.

Henna tattoos are just for the women. This is a very important time during the wedding celebrations, involving the sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, and also the friends of the bride. It is a moment of shared happiness between women who can share their thoughts about marriage. The future bride benefits from her last moments of her single life with her family and friends.

Ancient wedding traditions

It is probably in the Middle East that the tradition of exchanging wedding rings was established centuries ago.

Another beautiful custom is to offer the couple almonds representing what we would like to wish for them during their married life together. The guests are given 5 almonds each. These symbolize their wishes for the newlyweds. These vows are made so that their life is the best possible, with of course happiness and health but also prosperity, the birth of many beautiful children and a long life for the couple!

This custom, like many others, goes back many centuries, some even dating back to the Middle Ages.

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