Afghan weddings are unique and modern celebrations of the Afghan people. It's a tradition in which the bride and groom are respected as King and Queen of the night. To welcome guests entering the door, a line of women stand on the right and a line of men on the left.
Afghan weddings are unique and modern celebrations of the Afghan people. It's a tradition in which the bride and groom are respected as King and Queen of the night. To welcome guests entering the door, a line of women stand on the right and a line of men on the left. The bride and groom's families greet and escort the guests to their tables. Guests in an Afghan wedding are dressed at their best in expensive clothes and jewelry.
King and Queen of the Night
In Afghan culture, the bride and groom are considered the 'king and queen' of the night. This tradition arose from majesty Amanullah Khan during the wedding of his cousin, when he laid down his sword, knelt on the ground before the bride and groom, and declared that their night was truly respected, and they could make any demand they wanted, as king and queen of the night.
The Nikah is a religious Islamic marriage ceremony in which a marriage contract is agreed upon. It is traditionally held in private with the gathering of the couple's immediate family and is led by an Islamic clergy, the mullah. In Afghan weddings, the bride and groom are traditionally kept in separate rooms. The bride is represented in the Nikah by her father or a close male relative. The Nikah is negotiated before the mullah between the groom and bride's representative. Once the groom has accepted the terms of the marriage, the mullah then comes before the bride and asks three times if she accepts the marriage. Once the bride accepts, they are pronounced husband and wife. After the Nikah is complete, the bride and groom enter the wedding hall and the traditional song "Ahesta Boro", which literally translates to "Walk Slowly" in Farsi, is played.
Historically, little incisions were cut into the bride and groom's palms so that they could be joined in blood. As time progressed it was replaced with henna, considered more sanitary and less messy. At this moment, a girl dressed in traditional Afghan clothes would come though the door with a silver tray with candles and an assortment of fresh flowers with little containers of henna dancing and twirling all the way to the bride and groom. The mother of the groom would place a teaspoon full of henna onto the bride's palm and cover it with a triangular cloth made of fine and shiny fabric. The bride's mother would place the henna on the pinkie finger of the groom and likewise cover it with the fabric.
Attan is the national dance of Afghanistan and the traditional dance among the Pashtuns. It is a circular dance, performed at the end of ceremony, and its origin is dated deep in Afghanistan's pre-Islamic Avesticera. Although in modern Afghan weddings Attan is performed only once, it is traditionally performed twice (at start of the wedding and at its end) and sometimes even more, especially among Pashtuns.
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