Moroccan wedding ceremonies last for seven days traditionally. Here is a day-by-day breakdown of the activities that take place during a Morocco wedding:
- Day 1: The bride undergoes a beauty treatment which involves having henna painted on her hands and feet by a Nakasha i.e. the woman who does the painting. She is also adorned with antique jewelry that she will take to her new home. She also has her fingers wrapped in a skein of white wool so a friend of hers, or another woman known as a wazira has to attend to her because she cannot use her hands. During her preparation, a silver coin is put into the bride's slipper or under the hand mill used to grind the corn for the flour used for the wedding feast food. The reason is because in Morocco, silver is associated with the moon and is believed to protect against evil influences.
- Day 2 & 3: The bride and her friends stay together, sequestered form the groom and his friends. Both groups hold their own separate celebrations.
- Day 4: If the couple is Muslim an Imam will perform the traditional Muslim rites of marriage. This ceremony is attended only by the woman and the groom.
- Day 5 & 6: These are days of continued wedding celebrations and festivities.
- Day 7: The bride is officially (and literally) carried to her groom's home.
Once they are together, the wedding guests shower the new couple with figs and raisins to symbolize fruitfulness. The bride then circles her new home three times to seal her position as the guardian and her heart of her new home.
Marriage among cousins is not uncommon and superstitions dictate that a Moroccan wedding should take place either after sunset or at night. The Berbers of Morocco have been known to even refrain from giving the date and time of the wedding until the last minute.
To prove her virginity and the husband's virility, on the morning after their wedding night the bride will wear her blood-stained serwal to serve guests and hand out almonds, (a sign of good fortune), to the children who are present.
After one more night of wedding festivities, the groom finally and publicly lifts the bride's veil to reveal his new wife's face to everyone present.
Looking for a great gift for a newlywed or soon-to-be-married couple? Check out our collection of Moroccan art!
The quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love
- Moroccan proverb