Wedding Rituals--May is Morocco Month

Morocco wedding traditions are celebrated in a similar fashion as other Muslim countries.  These weddings last from three to seven days, with extravagant meals, music, and clothing. 
The preparation for the wedding for the bride begins as she goes through a process of purification.  This happens when she visits the Hamam, the Moroccan sauna, with her friends and relatives.  While enjoying the spa services, her family and friends sing traditional songs and set a happy mood for the wedding. 

The following day, the bride and her family and friends get henna painting from a professional artist.  The brides hands get decorated with symbols of happiness and good luck, and the family takes part in the ceremony.    

On the wedding day, the celebration begins with recitations of the nikkah (muslim wedding ceremony), Koranic verses and songs that praise the Prophet.   

Later, the guests gather is a large room, followed by the bride and groom.  The bride and groom enter the room on a large chair called the “amariya”.  The bride and groom are carried around the room, as the guests wish and bless the couple with happiness and good luck. 

 Throughout the celebrations, the bride changes her outfits.  This occurs up to seven times, with the last change, into a magnificent white wedding dress.   There is celebration with a lot of food, songs, music, and dance!  

To help her with her attire, hair and makeup, a woman (or group of women), called the “neggafates”.  They would be invited, as advisors,  to make sure the bride and groom had proper attire, and that the ceremonies were going as they should in proper social hierarchy.  The family would usher them with traditional gifts of scarves, sugar, honey, candles, etc.  The more modern neggafates are hired and paid in flat fees to maintain the attire and presence of the bride and groom. 

The celebrations would encompass grand feasts of traditional Moroccan cuisine, such as couscous, baby lamb, tajine (stew meat with almonds and raisins), and mint tea.  

At the end of the wedding, the couple cruises around the area to take photos, before heading to the groom’s house.   This is where some families choose to have a second celebration of the wedding  The bride is welcomed in her new home by her mother-in-law with offerings of dates and milk, as a sign of welcome and affection.