Hospitals or deathbeds?
One of the beauties of the Palestinian culture appears in the wonderful practices they have at weddings and celebrations. The traditional Palestinian wedding and the events leading up to it are forever a mesmerizing beauty one should read about.
Although the wedding practices are different for Muslims and Christians, the wedding, the songs, the food, and the joy are pretty much the same. In this article, we will take you on a journey of a traditional wedding celebration in Palestine.
One day, a young handsome man, fell in love with a young beautiful woman, in one of the saddest and happiest countries ever. So, he decided to tell his family and propose to her. He called the young and the old people in his family and called people of high status in the community to come with him. In Palestine, this is called the Jaha. and it is when the groom takes a big group of people who have a high status in society to propose to the girl in a way to show her and her family that she is of very high value to him.
When the Jaha arrives at the house of the pride, they talk to her father and convince him the groom is good and will take care of his daughter. If the dad and the pride agree, they get engaged and then the celebrations start.
The couple has something called a Betrothal Feast, where animals are slaughtered and cooked with rice, and drinks are offered to everyone as a celebration and a way of informing society that these two people are to be wed.
Before the wedding, long nights of singing and dancing are celebrated for three days and sometimes more, they are called “nights of the groom”. The bride’s family goes to the groom’s family house, and they invite friends and family members to dance, eat, and sing for a few nights before the wedding.
One day before the wedding, another event is celebrated. The henna night is the last night of celebration before the wedding. But this time, it happens at the bride’s house and all the attention goes to her. The ladies of the groom’s family go to the bride’s house and stain her hands with different designs of henna. The groom and bride first mix the henna powder with water together and then they put a little bit of henna on each other’s palms in a circle shape. Young children and men of the family stain their hands with henna too.
On the wedding day, everyone is both so happy and so anxious. Especially the bride and groom, they want everything to be perfect. The bride is taken from her father’s house with singing and clapping and car honking all the way to the wedding hall. A long night of dancing and celebrating the newlyweds happens followed by a stuffing meal at the end of the day.