Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bride and Bloom - The Middle Eastern Wedding: Party Time

Since I majored in Middle Eastern Studies and minored in Arabic, I apparently hold a great passion for the Middle East-and its culture. I came across this article and had to share it with you.

The Middle Eastern Wedding: Party Time: "The Middle Eastern Wedding:
Party Time

Can’t Hardly Wait: Just like many other cultures, Middle Easterners love to start the wedding festivities as soon as possible. And who can blame them? An engagement is certainly a good reason to celebrate. The first of five wedding parties starts with the engagement party, where friends and family get together for food, drinks, music, and dancing that can last well into the night. At this party, the to-be bride can change her dress up to five times! There is a second similar celebration called the “mahar” held when the bride and groom sign their marriage license. The second to biggest party is the third one, called the “henna” party. Sound familiar? Yes, getting henna tattoos was a fad several years ago, but it all started from this very Middle Eastern tradition. At the henna party, the bride’s hands and feet are painted to ward off evil spirits. The bride wears a green dress at this party and it goes on until the dawn of the wedding day.

The Biggest Bash: By far the most extravagant of the five celebrations is the fourth one, which is like a traditional reception in other cultures. There are speeches, dancing, singing, and traditional Middle Eastern music. Very often, each guest is given five almond pieces to symbolize the five sacred wedding wishes: health, happiness, wealth, fertility, and longevity.

A Modest Finale: The fifth and final party resembles the wedding shower of the U.S. and Europe. It is called “sabaa”, which means “seven”, because it is traditionally held seven days after the wedding.

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