Preparing for the Big Day: Unique Wedding Rituals in the Middle East

Published June 24th, 2018 - 10:05 GMT

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Written by Sally Shakkour

Every Arab country has its own rituals for marriage, and also we may have different rituals inside the same country.

These wedding rituals were created to attract good fortune and a healthy, hassle-free married life.

 
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Step on fish, Tunisia: This ritual is very common among the people of the city of Sfax. A big fish, decorated with colorful strings, is brought to the couple on a dish. The groom holds his bride's hand as she takes seven steps on the fish, then they switch roles. (erinegold.files.wordpress.com)
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Image 1 of 8:  1 / 8Step on fish, Tunisia: This ritual is very common among the people of the city of Sfax. A big fish, decorated with colorful strings, is brought to the couple on a dish. The groom holds his bride's hand as she takes seven steps on the fish, then they switch roles. (erinegold.files.wordpress.com)

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Crack an egg on the wedding night, Morocco: In a bid to expel evil and mark the beginning of a new chapter, a Moroccan bride might break an egg painted with henna on the wall of her new home. She does this on her wedding night. (kojo-designs.com)
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Image 2 of 8:  2 / 8Crack an egg on the wedding night, Morocco: In a bid to expel evil and mark the beginning of a new chapter, a Moroccan bride might break an egg painted with henna on the wall of her new home. She does this on her wedding night. (kojo-designs.com)

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Groom takes off a piece of clothing and makes a run for it, UAE: In the Emirati Shihuh tribe, the groom-to-be takes off a piece of clothing (nothing too reckless though, it's usually just the 'amama turban) as he sprints to his bride's family home. The symbolism behind this ritual is unclear.(catersnews.com)
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Image 3 of 8:  3 / 8Groom takes off a piece of clothing and makes a run for it, UAE: In the Emirati Shihuh tribe, the groom-to-be takes off a piece of clothing (nothing too reckless though, it's usually just the 'amama turban) as he sprints to his bride's family home. The symbolism behind this ritual is unclear.(catersnews.com)

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Bride intentionally falls while dancing, Sudan: Husbands should always have their wives' backs, and this maxim takes literal effect in some Sudanese weddings. Brides put their grooms to test. One minute they're dancing, and then without warming, they intentionally fall to the ground.(blackbride.com)
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Image 4 of 8:  4 / 8Bride intentionally falls while dancing, Sudan: Husbands should always have their wives' backs, and this maxim takes literal effect in some Sudanese weddings. Brides put their grooms to test. One minute they're dancing, and then without warming, they intentionally fall to the ground.(blackbride.com)

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Single ladies write names on the bride's shoes, Iraq: the next time you get invited to a wedding, write your name on the back of the bride's shoes. The universe might just respond and swing the perfect suitor in your direction.(pinterest.com)
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Image 5 of 8:  5 / 8Single ladies write names on the bride's shoes, Iraq: the next time you get invited to a wedding, write your name on the back of the bride's shoes. The universe might just respond and swing the perfect suitor in your direction.(pinterest.com)

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Pinch the bride, Egypt: After the bride is dressed up, single women surround her and each pinch her knee. This is said to improve her chances of finding a partner at the wedding party. (thespruce.com)
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Image 6 of 8:  6 / 8Pinch the bride, Egypt: After the bride is dressed up, single women surround her and each pinch her knee. This is said to improve her chances of finding a partner at the wedding party. (thespruce.com)

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Stick dough on the door, Lebanon: Some brides in Baalbek stick a piece of dough on the doors of their new houses. This is said to predict the success of the marriage. If the dough remains in place, they will have a long, happy life. If not, the marriage will is going up a slippery slope, so to speak. (fiskars.com)
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Image 7 of 8:  7 / 8Stick dough on the door, Lebanon: Some brides in Baalbek stick a piece of dough on the doors of their new houses. This is said to predict the success of the marriage. If the dough remains in place, they will have a long, happy life. If not, the marriage will is going up a slippery slope, so to speak. (fiskars.com)

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Henna Night in Palestine: The henna party is the Arab version of the West’s bachelorette party. “Henna usually takes place one to two weeks before the wedding night.” (Twitter)
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Image 8 of 8:  8 / 8Henna Night in Palestine: The henna party is the Arab version of the West’s bachelorette party. “Henna usually takes place one to two weeks before the wedding night.” (Twitter)

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Step on fish, Tunisia: This ritual is very common among the people of the city of Sfax. A big fish, decorated with colorful strings, is brought to the couple on a dish. The groom holds his bride's hand as she takes seven steps on the fish, then they switch roles. (erinegold.files.wordpress.com)

Image 1 of 8Step on fish, Tunisia: This ritual is very common among the people of the city of Sfax. A big fish, decorated with colorful strings, is brought to the couple on a dish. The groom holds his bride's hand as she takes seven steps on the fish, then they switch roles. (erinegold.files.wordpress.com)

2

Crack an egg on the wedding night, Morocco: In a bid to expel evil and mark the beginning of a new chapter, a Moroccan bride might break an egg painted with henna on the wall of her new home. She does this on her wedding night. (kojo-designs.com)

Image 2 of 8Crack an egg on the wedding night, Morocco: In a bid to expel evil and mark the beginning of a new chapter, a Moroccan bride might break an egg painted with henna on the wall of her new home. She does this on her wedding night. (kojo-designs.com)

3

Groom takes off a piece of clothing and makes a run for it, UAE: In the Emirati Shihuh tribe, the groom-to-be takes off a piece of clothing (nothing too reckless though, it's usually just the 'amama turban) as he sprints to his bride's family home. The symbolism behind this ritual is unclear.(catersnews.com)

Image 3 of 8Groom takes off a piece of clothing and makes a run for it, UAE: In the Emirati Shihuh tribe, the groom-to-be takes off a piece of clothing (nothing too reckless though, it's usually just the 'amama turban) as he sprints to his bride's family home. The symbolism behind this ritual is unclear.(catersnews.com)

4

Bride intentionally falls while dancing, Sudan: Husbands should always have their wives' backs, and this maxim takes literal effect in some Sudanese weddings. Brides put their grooms to test. One minute they're dancing, and then without warming, they intentionally fall to the ground.(blackbride.com)

Image 4 of 8Bride intentionally falls while dancing, Sudan: Husbands should always have their wives' backs, and this maxim takes literal effect in some Sudanese weddings. Brides put their grooms to test. One minute they're dancing, and then without warming, they intentionally fall to the ground.(blackbride.com)

5

Single ladies write names on the bride's shoes, Iraq: the next time you get invited to a wedding, write your name on the back of the bride's shoes. The universe might just respond and swing the perfect suitor in your direction.(pinterest.com)

Image 5 of 8Single ladies write names on the bride's shoes, Iraq: the next time you get invited to a wedding, write your name on the back of the bride's shoes. The universe might just respond and swing the perfect suitor in your direction.(pinterest.com)

6

Pinch the bride, Egypt: After the bride is dressed up, single women surround her and each pinch her knee. This is said to improve her chances of finding a partner at the wedding party. (thespruce.com)

Image 6 of 8Pinch the bride, Egypt: After the bride is dressed up, single women surround her and each pinch her knee. This is said to improve her chances of finding a partner at the wedding party. (thespruce.com)

7

Stick dough on the door, Lebanon: Some brides in Baalbek stick a piece of dough on the doors of their new houses. This is said to predict the success of the marriage. If the dough remains in place, they will have a long, happy life. If not, the marriage will is going up a slippery slope, so to speak. (fiskars.com)

Image 7 of 8Stick dough on the door, Lebanon: Some brides in Baalbek stick a piece of dough on the doors of their new houses. This is said to predict the success of the marriage. If the dough remains in place, they will have a long, happy life. If not, the marriage will is going up a slippery slope, so to speak. (fiskars.com)

8

Henna Night in Palestine: The henna party is the Arab version of the West’s bachelorette party. “Henna usually takes place one to two weeks before the wedding night.” (Twitter)

Image 8 of 8Henna Night in Palestine: The henna party is the Arab version of the West’s bachelorette party. “Henna usually takes place one to two weeks before the wedding night.” (Twitter)

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