If you aren’t familiar with the Arab culture, it is very likely that attending an Arabic wedding will be an experience you will never forget. The urban Arabic wedding borrows a few Western practices, but still largely remains true to its Arabic wedding traditions.
Before we go on, it’s good to understand what an Arabic wedding really means. Many people often confuse themselves with the term “Arabic” and find it hard to distinguish it from other related terms such as “Middle East” and “Islam”. What Arabic simply means, is the language, culture and common history associated with the people who speak the Arabic language.
So when we talk about Arabic weddings, we refer to the typical wedding that will take place in these regions. As these currently include 22 countries, the wedding practices naturally differ from region to region and depend largely on the nationality.
That said, Arabic weddings share enough points to be identified together.
Arabic Wedding Ceremony
Arabic weddings are exciting events. Traditional or urban, an Arabic wedding celebration begins with an enthralling procession called the zaffa. This takes place after the marriage ceremony is completed – which will be dependent upon the couple’s religion.
Arabic Wedding Zaffa
A typical Arabic wedding begins with a bang. A parade of guests and entertainers gather to announce to the streets the couple’s wedding. In this parade, loud noises and cheers are made as guests enthusiastically clap along to the rhythm.
View an Arabic wedding zaffa in the video below.
Arabic Wedding Reception
After the zaffa, the wedding couple makes their way to the kosha, which are throne-like seats placed in front of the guests. Once seated, Sharbat (popularly known in the West as Sherbet) is served to the guests who then symbolically drink to the bride and groom’s health.
Arabic weddings follow the typically Christian tradition of exchanging rings. Taking turns, the groom and bride each removes their wedding band from the partner’s right hand and places it on their left hand. Other similar elements include cutting of a multi-tiered white wedding cake and the bride being dressed in a white bridal gown.
Kosha (Wedding Stage)
The kosha is a platform, or a stage, where thebride and groom will reside during their time in the wedding party. Many event planners will provide the design and setup of the kosha for Arabic weddings.
Arabic Wedding Songs
Throughout the night, the wedding couple will dance with each other and with their wedding guests to Arabic music. Entertainment will be thoroughly provided to the party. Formal entertainment will usually be, is not limited to, a belly dancer or a singer. Thereafter, urban Arabic wedding entertainment is usually left to a DJ, who will be in charge of keeping the guests up and moving until very late.
Arabic Dance Dabke
In some Arabic weddings, dabke is also a popular form of entertainment. It is a joyous folk dance that is performed in a circle. The Arabic dance dabke is more popular in the Levant and is also performed in other festive occasions.
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