The United States, although a country filled with a variety of cultures, primarily weddings are still very traditional in our ceremonies. Here are few interesting facts and traditions about weddings around the world.
Africa – With over 1,000 cultures in this continent it is filled with wedding traditions for each region. One common aspect is the joining of two families. In many countries in Africa, young girls are taught early how to be good wives. They even learn secret codes and languages that allows them to talk to other married women that only they can understand. Polygamy (one husband many wives) is not uncommon for this region if the husband is able to financially support them. It is not uncommon in some African countries for a girl to be engaged even before she is born.
Egypt – Egypt was the first civilization to recognize marriage as a legal relationship. Egyptian marriages are still primarily arranged with the groom’s family proposing to the bride. The ceremony starts with a car parade. Decorated each families cars drive to the ceremony with continuous sounds of horns. Before the wedding the vows begin the wedding march called the Zaffa is performed. This tradition is a human parade with belly dancers and performers with Egyptian music with drums and horns.
Morocco – As with many Muslim countries, a Moroccan wedding can last 4 to 7 days. There are many pre-wedding parties. One of these parties is a purification milk bath preformed by the bride’s female attendants. Another is held the night before the wedding a Henna Party is held to paint the hands and feet of the bride with Henna in intricate designs to ward off evil spirts, good luck and increase fertility. The groom’s name is imbedded somewhere within the designs. After the vows the bride must walk around her house three times before entering.
Carribbean – Although this country is influenced by traditions from around the world, they have their own customs and traditions. Guests are invited to the wedding by word of mouth and everyone is invited only a few honored guests are given written invitations. Caribbean tradition states no guest can be turned away! The bride and groom walk from either the bride’s home or the groom’s home to the church while the wedding bells are ringing announcing the wedding to the whole island. They are dressed in their finest clothes and everyone of the village lines the street to view the couple and comment on their attire.
Around the world wedding traditions differ and add their own spiritual beliefs and practices for the union of marriage.