7 big and electrifying Lebanese wedding traditions
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Minimalists the Lebanese are not, rather Lebanese Weddings are a spectacular extravaganza! There is no such thing as less is more, the bigger the bolder, the grander the better! Lebanese Weddings are a true celebration of two families becoming one.
The Lebanese love fireworks and it is very traditional in Lebanon to use it at Weddings. After all, nothing says extravaganza quite like some good old fashion fireworks.
A certain degree of stamina is required for a Lebanese Wedding as they can go on for a loooong time. In fact, the festivities commence long before the actual Wedding! Both Bride and Groom will have separate pre-Wedding celebrations at their home as they get ready for the big day, each hosted by their families.
Typically only close family come to these celebrations but don’t assume that means that numbers will be small! One can expect to see flowers galore, plenty of food, dancing and music. Just before it is time to leave for the church the Grooms parents come and present the Bride with a gift. Usually it is a gold necklace or diamonds for her to wear on her Wedding Day.
Something that you are bound to encounter at a Lebanese Wedding, that may be something of a surprise if you have never heard it before, is something called the ‘Zalaouta’ or Ululation. This is a loud high-pitched cry done by Arabic and African women as a way of expressing happiness and traditionally performed at Weddings. Just think of Xena: Warrior Princess…
A Lebanese Zaffe is a quintessential element to any Lebanese Wedding. This is one extravagant warm up to the big party; both Bride and Groom make their way to the church surrounded by drums and Zaffe dancers. The Newlywed couple also make a loud and elaborate entrance into their reception equipped in a similar fashion, with dancers, music and drums in tow.
Image source: pintrest.com
Middle Eastern culture places great emphasis on the importance of food, and this comes through at their weddngs. Whether it’s Mezza style, with multiple platters of plentiful delicious food or a formal sit down 3 course meal, you can guarantee that all Lebanese Weddings will have a scrumptious feast that will give you all the energy you need to party and dance for the whole night!
Now thats a cake knife
Another Lebanese tradition that is common in Middle Eastern cultures is to cut the Wedding cake with a sword. Below is an image of Queen Rania of Jordan on her Wedding Day to Prince Abdallah.
It’s not a Lebanese Wedding if there’s no dancing. In fact there’s so much dancing at a Lebanese Wedding that you may want to prepare yourself with a nanna nap and some sturdy shoes prior to heading to one. In fact, the entire reception centres around the numerous times you get everyone out on the dance floor!
In addition to the traditional Zaffe dancers you may also find Belly dancers at a Lebanese Wedding. But they are all just added extras for the entire Wedding party and guests already out on the D floor!