Assyrian Wedding Rituals

assyrian.jpgBy aliwaqas1
Assyrian wedding rituals have a rich history of about 3000 years. The today’s modern Assyrian rituals are shaped with the rich Assyrian heritage and culture.

In Assyrian culture, marriages are considered as cherished and merry making occasions. The marriage event consists of different interesting rituals. In Assyrian homeland, wedding ceremony lasts for 2 to 3 days, in diaspora it lasts for 1 to days while in some Assyrian regions, it lasts for a week. Each day of the ceremony is marked with different rituals and customs which make the marriage a really memorable event for the bride and groom.

Some of the famous rituals practiced at Assyrian weddings are:

The Blanket Ritual: This is really an interesting ritual practiced mostly by Assyrians in Syria. This ritual is performed a week before the wedding ceremony. All the women from neighborhood gather at the bride’s house and sew a very big blanket for honeymoon. The blanket has to be sewn by each and every lady. So the needle is passed from one woman to the other ensuring participation of each woman in sewing the blanket. The young girls dance around the blanket while the older women sing. The party is served with the sweets and food. The ritual ends when the blanket is done.

Henna: Henna is a substance which looks like mud. It is prepared a day before the wedding. All the ladies and family friends gather at the house of the bride. The groom and bride have to put their little fingers in the henna and their fingers are wrapped and connected to each other with a ribbon. Traditional Assyrian dances are also performed in this ritual. Usually the person who holds the henna bowl has to dance around others.

Washing of the Groom: This ritual is performed before the wedding. All the men from neighborhood and groom’s friends go to the groom’s house and shave his face and cut his hair. After that the groom receives good scrubbing from head to toe. This washing is symbolized to be removing of evilness. Then a young boy is bathed by his mother. Afterwards, the groom takes the shower.

M’Pulata d’Chalo: This is another ritual which is performed when bride is leaving for church from her parent’s house. The bride takes pictures with her family when the groom’s family comes to take her to the church. The women dance and sing at the occasion. When the bride leaves, any member of the bride’s family stands at the door blocking the way and demand money from member of the groom’s family. The amount of money is decided by the person holding the door.

Burakha: Burakha is the ritual performed by the priest at the church. The details of the Burakha differ from village to village. Usually this ritual lasts from one to four hours. In some villages, the groom is pinched with a needle to protect him against any evil spirit while in other villages the noise is made with cutting motion of scissors to deter the evil spirits. After the ritual when bride and groom comes out of the church, traditional Assyrian dances are performed and rice, coins and sweets are thrown at the groom and the bride.

All these rituals make the Assyrian weddings a precious and memorable event.

Tagged: Assyrian Bride, Assyrian Marriage, Assyrian Wedding