5 Lebanese wedding traditions you probably don't know

5 Lebanese wedding traditions you probably don’t know

Lebanese weddings are known to be fun and energetic, with great food, spectacular venues, and lots of partying. Some say that several Lebanese wedding traditions have faded away with the times, but many still celebrate the event with age-old cultural practices.

Events surrounding marriage begin way before the actual wedding day, with the reception being the grand finale of it all. Since there are many traditions that occur in the lead-up to the nuptials, some Lebanese people believe that the reception should bring it all together with a bang. For this reason, there are also various traditions that are practiced on the wedding day.

Here are some Lebanese wedding traditions you should know about:

– Zaffé 

The Zaffé stems from the Middle East and can be traced back to the 14th century. This tradition sees the bride and groom being escorted from each of their family homes to the location of the wedding. It calls for music, dance, and often has many onlookers joining in on the festivities.

When they reach the reception venue, the bride and groom walk in behind the Zaffé, showing themselves together as a married couple for the very first time.

– Cutting the Cake

The details of this tradition vary from source to source. However, it is clear that cutting the cake is an important part of traditional wedding celebrations.

According to the 365 Days of Lebanon blog, the tradition began in ancient times and was initially practiced by breaking a cake made of wheat or barley over the head of the bride. Now, the tradition is practiced through the cutting of the cake instead. The couple place their hands together (symbolic of their unity) and cut the cake (the wheat used to make the cake is symbolic of fertility and the cake’s sweetness represents the sweetness of their new life together).

Other sources also report the same tradition, however, they add that the cake is to be cut using a sword.

– Fireworks 

It is quite common for the Lebanese to have fireworks at their wedding reception. Usually, it takes place after or during the cutting of the cake.

– Dancing

Dancing is a big part of weddings in Lebanon. Often, weddings incorporate belly dancers as entertainment and of course, the newly-weds and their guests join in on the fun too.

– Staying at the reception 

In many cultures, it is common for guests at the wedding to see the newly-weds off as they leave for their honeymoon or to their new home. It is tradition, however, for Lebanese couples to stay at the reception until the very last guest has left. It is considered extremely impolite and disrespectful for them to leave any earlier.

Image: Instagram / blended.bliss

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