Although it is the twenty-first century, the culture of family formation and family life itself in Morocco is subject to a strictly traditional pattern and has not changed much over the past centuries. Men and women play the roles assigned to them by society, their freedom and responsibility are regulated by law on the one hand and by tradition on the other. Yes, in the big cities – Marrakech, Agadir and Casa Blanca – morals are closer to European, where girls communicate with young men as equals, can go to parties and even have sex before marriage, without becoming a prostitute in the eyes of their generation. Although the elders will judge, and by law, an unmarried couple cannot rent one room in a hotel or guesthouse.
Wedding ceremony in Morocco – an oriental fairy tale for two
Morocco is an Eastern Muslim country that strictly honors its traditions. Wedding customs are given great importance here, and the celebration lasts for 3-7 days. For foreigners, this is a great opportunity to touch the oriental color. And in this article we will talk about what it is – a wedding ceremony in Morocco.
The main point to consider if you want to hold a wedding ceremony in Morocco – the official registration of marriage is possible only for citizens of the Russian Federation, permanently residing on the territory of the Moroccan state.
Guests of the country may hold a symbolic ceremony, which differs from the official ceremony only in the fact that the certificate issued has no legal force. Therefore, the future spouses can formally register their marriage in Russia at the place of residence, and in Morocco to hold a symbolic celebratory ceremony.
The celebration of the wedding in Morocco lasts from 3 to 7 days. Rites in different regions of the country may vary slightly, but there are some basic ones that are observed everywhere.
According to Eastern customs
There are certain procedures that must be performed before a wedding:
– To cleanse one’s body and spirit. This involves a visit to the Hamam (in other words, an Arab bath with moderate heat), followed by a relaxing and soothing massage. In the East, purity is treated with great reverence, especially when it comes to a rite such as a wedding;
– The future bride-to-be should have a henna scratch on her hands. This indispensable attribute of an Oriental wedding is called “mehendi” and means to attract prosperity, fertility, health and love, and, moreover, to acquire a new status – that of a young wife. The future spouse is decorated with a drawing on the palm of the hand. Drawings of henna are considered amulets;
– Giving gifts to relatives and parents;
– For each wedding day, it is necessary to prepare new clothes and jewelry for the bride-to-be.
Preparing the bride for her wedding day
begins, as a rule, a day before the event. The more elaborate the bride’s hair and dress will be, the happier and happier will be her future life in her new status.
According to ancient customs, the traditional wedding begins in the evening and lasts until morning. For foreigners, the symbolic celebration is usually organized in a restaurant or in a private villa, as it is not customary to hold such an event outdoors.
According to tradition, at Moroccan weddings it is customary to serve guests lamb stuffed with prunes and almonds, puff pastry stuffed with chicken meat, couscous, various oriental sweets (baklava, sorbet, marshmallow, etc.) and drinks, and only non-alcoholic ones. The symbol of Eastern hospitality is tea ceremony and it is held not at table but on the pillows – it is quite unusual and interesting.
Next, another ritual called “beberiska” awaits her, which is the application of ritual patterns on the bride’s body and hands using henna, which play the role of peculiar talismans. It is also necessary to inscribe the groom’s name in these patterns, it is believed that this will ensure a long and happy life for the couple.
Also, much attention is paid to the wedding hair and makeup, this is done by a specially invited master. The bride’s hair is decorated with fresh flowers and covered with a veil. Wedding dresses are usually made to order from silk, satin or muslin. As a rule, they are long, free cut and decorated with all sorts of embroidery and a wide belt. Often the bride’s attire includes flowers and seashells, symbolizing innocence.
Atlantic Ocean Shore
Another no less romantic option for a symbolic wedding ceremony is to hold it on the shore of the majestic Atlantic Ocean. The ceremony can be held on the beach, against the backdrop of the sun setting over the horizon. At desire of newly-weds carrying out of ceremony is possible both in the Moroccan, and in the European style.
With the purchase of a standard wedding package the newlyweds will receive the entire range of basic services necessary for the wedding ceremony.
Wedding in Morocco is a unique chance to feel like a hero of ancient oriental fairy tales.
Stages of the wedding ceremony
As a rule, the wedding ceremony begins in the evening and continues until dawn.
The marriage itself takes place in a separate hall, and the recitation of the Koran is obligatory, as well as poems and songs glorifying the Prophet Muhammad.
IMPORTANT: Wedding ceremonies in different countries of the world
It can be held in banquet halls, villas or a hotel. Obligatory attributes are the elevation where the newlyweds will be seated and the orchestra, which must play all night. One of the most mesmerizing wedding rituals for the bride is the sevenfold change of attire throughout the evening. After each transformation, the bride must sit on a special throne. The last attire is the white wedding dress. After wearing it, the bride and her groom go around the guests and thank them for coming to celebrate this wonderful event with them, and treat each guest to a traditional bag of candy.
At the wedding feast there are many treats, mostly national Moroccan dishes – lamb with spicy herbs, meat stew with nuts, couscous, doves roasted with orange blossoms, marshmallows and many oriental sweets. The main drinks are tea, coffee and juices. Naturally, no alcohol, it is forbidden in Muslim countries.
The bride does not become a wife immediately after the wedding ceremony, but only after she has walked around the groom’s house three times and entered it as a full-fledged mistress. At the threshold, she is met by her mother-in-law and treated to milk and dates, which is a sign of respect and love.
Marrakech, the capital of weddings
Marrakech, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the kingdom, is the most popular for weddings. The whole atmosphere of the city is saturated with the magical charm of the East – beautiful palaces and ancient bazaars are adjacent to the fashionable restaurants and hotels, where the newlyweds are waiting for a first-class service.
Newlyweds are advised to use the services of agencies that specialize in wedding ceremonies. A standard wedding package includes the following services:
Wedding traditions of the world: Morocco
Drumming, whimsical sounds of national instruments – at a wedding in Morocco, musicians have to work for a week without a day off. Moroccan wedding celebrations can last from 4 to 7 days.
The event is celebrated here exclusively at night, because the daytime revelry is prevented by the scorching sun. Most weddings take place in summer, when it is at its hottest.
During the first few days before the wedding ceremony, traditional wedding ceremonies take place. These include matchmaking ceremonies and gifts to the bride by the groom’s family.
A couple of days before the wedding, a dowry party is held. The main goal of the wedding tradition is to furnish the newlyweds’ new home. The gifts include everything needed for the future home.
On the wedding day itself, according to wedding customs, the bride is bathed in milk and her body is painted with henna, an ancient ritual called beberiska. Earlier, it was considered obligatory to henna painting on the feet and hands. Then she is dressed in a wedding gown and had her makeup and hair done.
The bride is not allowed to do her own makeup and hairstyle – it is entrusted to a specially invited woman or someone from the family. On top of her hair the bride wears a fabric headdress and veil. Also the head and the outfit are decorated with flowers.
In general, flowers are the most important detail of the Moroccan wedding decoration. So are shells, which mean purity and chastity. Shells are also embroidered on the bride’s gown, who changes clothes up to 7 times.