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The Most Special Traditions of an Afghan Wedding

Wedding isn’t only about relating two persons physically, but it attaches a man and woman emotionally and spiritually. In almost every region of the world, it is celebrated as one of the most joyful events of life since it occurs only once.

Unlike American Muslim weddings, the ceremonies in Afghanistan and its cities are pretty different and traditional. The ceremony of tying the knot between a man and a woman in Afghanistan corresponds with various traditions that sketch the past customs.

It is the main reason many people around the globe always wonder what happens at a typical Afghan wedding or what are the wedding traditions there?

In Afghanistan, a marriage ceremony is like a complete collection of exhilarating observances of the old traditions and customs. After comprehensive research and observation, we have compiled some most special traditions of an Afghan wedding.

So let’s unwind the traditional beauty of these marriage traditions.

1. Shirini– The Wedding Proposals

Unlike all the other Muslim weddings, the story for tying the knot between a man and woman starts with an official proposal or an engagement ceremony. The boy’s family heads to the bride’s home to see the girl. The family observes her, approves her for the son and tells the husband or other sons about the bride’s family. However, when both the girl’s side and boy’s side families approve of each other, they exchange Dismal or Khimcha to each other.

In addition to this, the name for this ceremony or tradition comes from the girl’s approval – it is called SHIRINI. It can be defined as the statement of yes from both families. Thus, after the approval, both sides of the family start preparing for the festivities and traditions.

2. Pre-Wedding Festivities in Afghanistan

The approval of the proposal gives rise to additional responsibilities and formalities for both families. There come many occasional days when they have to exchange gifts or arrange a meetup for better understanding.

Some of the pre-wedding festivities in Afghanistan are:

Iftari: It is exchanged in the month of Ramadan. The bride’s family arranges an evening meal for the groom’s family in the holy month of Ramadan.

• Eidi: Being Muslims, the groom’s family arranges some lavish gifts for the bride on both Eids in the year

• Nowrozi: The celebration of the new year in Afghanistan also correspond with an extensive range of gifts given to the bride by the groom’s side of the family. It involves a wide variety of seasonal cuisines and traditional dresses.

3. Sher-E-Ne Khore – The Engagement

After confirming the relationship between the groom and the bride, an official ceremony called engagement takes place. The primary purpose of this custom or tradition is to announce the upcoming marriage ceremony between the two families. The function of engagement is arranged by the bride’s side of the family. No doubt, all the other expenses of marriage festivities in Afghanistan are paid by the groom, but engagement is arranged by the bride’s family.

According to Muslim wedding traditions, an engagement ceremony is one of those customs where the bride and groom get to know each other properly before marriage. The relatives and friends of the bride play the tambourine as a sign of celebration and joy.

4. Price of the Bride

One of the strangest traditions in Afghani ceremonies is that the groom’s side of the family takes care of all expenses done at the marriage by the bride’s side. It is also known as the price of the bride. In another sense, the groom’s side of the family purchases the bride or the girl by paying her family for all the expenses they do. However, the current price tags for tying a knot in Afghanistan are estimated at 10,000 USD.

Other than this, there are also some fixed prices in the different casts of Afghani people. Thus, the bride’s side of the family doesn’t have to bother about a large amount of money while handing over their daughter.

5. Khina Night – Mehndi Night

It is included in the list of those Afghani traditions or customs that make the celebrations memorable in Afghanistan. It brings a lot of joy, enjoyment and excitement to both families. This event is followed by Khina Night. The groom wears a traditional dress at the Mehndi night. This wedding attire comprises the Afghani shirt, pants and a headgear called lungy. Musicians play a leading role in amusing the guests by playing cheerful music.

A fun custom to talk about here is that the bride closes her hands with her utmost power at the mehndi night. The groom’s mother tries to open the bride’s hand tirelessly. If she cannot open her hands, she gives her an expensive gift in the form of a penalty.

6. Tying the Knot – Nikah

The most important tradition that ties the bride and groom in a single relation is Nikah. It mainly occurs on the big day. However, some Afghani families prefer arranging a Nikah ceremony many days before the actual marriage day. It’s not considered a grand ceremony in Afghanistan. In short, it is a short and private tradition. Only the couple’s family members, the Mullah and Islamic clergy, are present at the Nikah moment.

7. The Tradition of Mirror and Quran

Here comes one of the cutest and essential traditions of the Afghani ceremonies. It’s also the most special tradition among the bride’s and groom’s families. The couple is provided with a shawl to cover themselves. Then they are given a mirror. Through that mirror, the couple sees the reflection of each other for the first time as a married couple.

After seeing each other’s reflection, the couple then reads some Quranic verses to each other under the shawl. This Muslim wedding tradition makes them aware of the Islamic laws regarding married life.

8. After the Afghani Wedding

There are many traditional steps when the Afghani couple enters their new home right after marriage. An animal (a sheep or a goat) is mainly sacrificed upon the entry of the groom and bride into the house. The act of sacrificing the animal is giving SADQA in the name of Almighty Allah for the upcoming prosperity in the life of the couple.

Another common custom in Afghani houses after the wedding is that the bride hammers a nail in the doorway of the house. Regardless of the strangeness of this tradition, it symbolizes the strength of the marriage of the couple. Another tradition about the Afghani ceremonies is that close family members and friends gather together in the housewarming party after a few days of the marriage. They show their love for the new bride.

9. Emerging Afghani Marriage Trends

Besides the old traditions and customs, many other trends are emerging now with the concept of extravagance. Meals of Afghani marriages are an important symbol of royalty in Afghanistan. But now, many emerging trends of cuisines are getting popular.

In addition to the meat dishes, ice-creams, juices and other snacks are offered at the Afghani ceremonies. Traditional dresses are also getting replaced with the new designs of attires. Furthermore, some marriages are also evolving and following the modern wedding ways. But if you want to witness a traditional Afghani wedding, you can visit a village somewhere in the country.

A Quick Wrap Up!

All Muslim wedding traditions in Afghanistan symbolize affection and love among each other. We’ve tried to cover most of them in the above content. Hope you get a chance to witness one of these amazing, traditional wedding ceremonies in Afghanistan. You’re definitely going to admire the events because of how fun and joyful they are!

Source: Visual Artistry