Marriage in Algeria: The wedding (Part two)
Marriage in Algeria (Part 1)
Every step of the ceremonial of marriage in Algeria is prepared with meticulous respect of the rituals and traditions that are centuries old and that constitute a great richness and pride for the country. Preparations for the wedding start right after the engagement. The long discussions between the two newly united families allow them to decide on the tasks each of them will be responsible of. Traditionally, the more money is spent and gifts given during the wedding, the prouder are the families.
The two families can decide on either having two ceremonies, each of them organizes one; or they share the responsibilities of organizing one single big ceremony. Before the big day, the groom buys gifts for his bride and her mother to show respect for them and their family.
Most preparations evolve around the bride and her beauty: the hamam, the henna and the traditional outfit…
On the day of the wedding, the bride goes in the morning to the “hammam”, the Turkish bath, with the closest women of her family. This ritual symbolizes purity and prosperity. The women help her bath while they are singing for her.
After that, the bride goes to her parents’ house, is dressed in a green traditional outfit ready for her hands and feet are decorated with Henna. The, she goes to the hairdresser with women from her family.
Traditional Algerian dress takes a lot of time to be prepared as they are hand-made and hold a lot of broidery. Usually, seven different dresses are prepared, including the one that represents the region from which the bride’s family is. Every dress is accompanied with heavy jewelry that the parents buy some of it and borrow the rest.
Once in the wedding room, she sits like a queen in her big comfortable chair next to her groom. The families and the guests dance for them to the rhythm of the live music. The most common music used in wedding in Algeria is the popular “Chaabi” or Rai.