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Weddings Around the World: Africa

18
Mar

African Weddings

Now it’s time to explore the world’s second largest and second-most-populated continent: Africa. In many parts of the continent,  African weddings are an event that simply can’t be missed. Let’s take a look at a few!

Nigerians love to celebrate such an important day, and this is seen the most in the fact that they have an open-invitation to their weddings. Nigerian weddings may have hundreds (and sometimes thousands!) of people attend who don’t even know the bride or groom but simply show up to join the festivities. Brides are typically showered with attention. In some parts of Nigeria, the Igbo tribe is required to fulfill a long list of items the bride wants.  Any request not met means no marriage—and the list can be quite extensive.

9088902298_58c70b3044_oEgypt, though traditional, has a handful of elements of Western culture found in their weddings. Though in urban environments the bride might be dressed in a Western style dress, her hands may also be adorned with intricate henna tattoo designs. Grooms will also give gifts to the bride and her family: Mahr, money that is paid to the bride’s family and Shabka, precious and expensive jewelry given to the bride herself. Often during the celebration, female guests will grab or pinch the bride to “take” some of her good luck!

South Africa is certainly a blended country, and as such the African Weddingsceremonies can differ widely from each other. Many areas have certain rules they abide by, and polygamy is seen as normal in certain regions. Other traditions include receiving good luck by marrying under a bright moon or sprinkling alcohol during the ceremony as a gift to the gods. Colors rule in South African weddings, with the groom often wearing contrasting light and dark colors and guests wearing bright colors across the color sphere.

Africa is a diverse continent and wedding ceremonies found in the countries within are equally so. Expect color, expect life, and expect tradition steeped in culture-defining symbolism.