Sunday 28/10-03/11/2007 23 North Africa Times Life style
Weddings in Al-Bitnan
Crackers of Libyan Rituals
By Abdulrahman Salama
ibyan summers are so eventful day, while the groom pays for the
that they are considered to be wedding day’s ones.
the most suitable time to cel-
ebrate happy occasions, and that is The wedding day
why weddings extraordinarily boom Weddings are normally held on
in that particular period. Thursdays. On that day, the groom's
In Libya, parents always urge family sends the hairdresser's charg-
their sons to marry just after they es to the bride's family. The wedding
ﬁnish their studies and get jobs. The ceremonies start by setting up a big
campaign usually starts by encourag- tent for women invitees. Two wed-
ing them to save the needed money ding chairs are brought in for the
and look for the right person. Once bridegroom to sit in. Some of them
found, the groom tries to know more are also lined inside the tent for
about his future bride and checks her women invitees. Other tents are set
background. If not then the parents up for men.
offer their services to ﬁnd him an- Dinner is the main meal on the
other one by arranged marriage. wedding day. The majority of fami-
The mother of the bride would-be lies slaughter two calves or a few
groom and few of his sisters take up lambs to be served for the invitees.
the initiative to visit the lucky girl. Invitees express their best wishes
The aim of the visit is to get more to the groom's father during this cere-
knowledge on her and see what she mony. They also give him some cash
thinks of him. Yet, in most of the contributions or lambs for slaughter-
cases, the reply is not always imme- ing. Some may bring a lamb after the
diate. If the answer is yes, male rela- wedding, which is slaughtered on his
tives call on the girl's family to ask The wedding ceremonies start by setting up a big tent for women invitees arrival. The well-wishers and the in-
her hand formally. vitees eat from the lamb's meat. But,
Once again, the response is not the cash and lambs donations are
prompt. It may take some time as akin to a lending, which the groom
the girl's family try to establish the needs to repay when the well-wish-
groom’s background too. To convey ers or their relatives marry off.
this purpose, his cousins need to be A mix of candies, peanuts and
consulted according to established almonds are offered to the invitees
norms. inside a small bag as is the custom in
The background's check includes al-Bitnan region. Cakes and juice are
his history, family status, and way also served before dinner in the wed-
of behaving, ﬁnancial position and ding day. Children are served with
whether he is able to support a new juice, candy and biscuits.
family. Following consultations
among family members an approval A special good morning
is given before ﬁxing the wedding’s The second day of wedding is
date. In most cases, grooms are asked called Sabahiya, which has special
to give two pieces of pure gold al- rituals too. Sabahiya literally means
ready demanded by the bride’s fam- good morning in your ﬁrst day of
ily. One piece is called "Aqd" while marriage. A sultana dish, or Assidah,
the other is called “Nabila." One is served. The lunch is prepared by
piece should be delivered before the friends and the invitees, who come
wedding, while the other can wait to wish the groom a good Sabahiya.
until he can afford it after marriage.
A dowry of roughly LD 300 to A spate of visits
500 is normally paid. Some families Cars hand off the bride’s wedding clothes Some of the bride's relatives come
do not ask for dowry and leave it for to visit her at her new house to see
are served. She then shows them the
the groom, particularly if he was to how she is doing. They usually bring
bride's wedding clothes. As some
marry his cousin. Other families may a lamb with them and lunch together
relatives need to come from other
ask for a lot of money as an implicit with the groom's family.
cities, the groom's family slaughters
way to reject the proposing guy. Following lunch, another lamb is
one or two lambs to be cooked for
Despite that, money should not given by the groom's family to the
lunch and dinner. The bride's new
be a problem for those who have bride's one in exchange for theirs.
clothes are shown to the invitees in
not made enough savings. Financial One week after the wedding, the
a celebratory atmosphere.
constrains must not be a deterrent for bridegroom has to visit his wife’s
On this very day the groom's
those willing to start a family espe- family accompanied with some of
family sends to the bride's one soft
cially that in most of the time, many his relatives and offer three lambs,
drinks, three lambs, fruits, vegeta-
poor couples can manage to live vegetables and food supplies.
bles, cooking oil, tomato, rice, sugar,
a decent life following marriage. A lunch or a dinner is served to
tea and other food supplies.
This is a true evidence of the Libyan the visitors while the bride's family
The bride's family also organizes
proverb which says that marriage is offers gifts, such as robes or gold
a small party and serves dinner to the
a good deed, able to be achieved eas- rings, to the women who accompany
invitees. A big quantity of drinks is
ily. the couple.
also sent to the bride's family to be
served on the Henna dying day for Almost one month after the wed-
Tatrifa day the invitees. The bride's family may ding, the groom needs to visit the
The day before Henna dying ritu- ask for at least ten lambs in substi- bride's family. A lamb is brought in,
als is called the Tatrifa day. Others tute for drinks and food supplies. The Bride’s Car if affordable. Some people may bring
call it the groom's Henna's dying day to the bride's house in a car con- served for invitees on the wedding a few kilos of meat or chicken. This
too. Henna dying day voy to hand off the bride's wedding day in al-Bitnan region. The bride visit is called "Talkat al-Iqal.
The groom's mother invites her The Henna day is the day before clothes. goes to the hairdresser for hairstyl- Following that, the groom does
female neighbors and relatives to a wedding, mostly held on Wednes- In this occasion, a local dish ing and makeup. She then pays the no longer need to bring any more
small party where sweets and drinks days. The grooms' family sets off called Basity is often the main course hairdresser's charges for the Henna gifts to his wife's family.