10 Things About Palestinian Weddings You Should Know

10 Things About Palestinian Weddings You Should Know

1. When the actual wedding day arrives, you are exhausted.

Palestinian weddings are week-long affairs. They start one week before the actual ceremony and there are parties every night at both the groom and bride’s family homes. One or two of these parties are held at a wedding hall, where the more traditional practices take place like the tejlai (transfiguration) for the bride, and zeyane (decoration) for the groom.

Wedding parties are attended by 200-700 guests consisting of extended family and friends. By the time the last party is held, you will be a professional at smiling, gently clapping, sipping drinks from others who give you their cup to say “Saha!” (to health), and dancing your way through the night.

2. You can do the lululeeesh sound!

This is the traditional sound that women make with their mouth and tongue after one woman has given her blessing to  the bride or the groom. quote one poem

Here is a sample of a poem that at the end of it, all the women make the Lululish sound:

آويها ..إيش هاد وإيش منوا
آويها ..إيش هاد وإيش فنوا
آويها ... هيدا فرح (( اسم (فلان)العريس))
إنشالله بفرحة أولادوا
نزغرد هيك ونعمل أكتر منوا

Aweha is the sound the is made at the beginning of each line.
What is this and what has come from him?
What is this and what are his talents?
This is the wedding of (groom’s name)
God Willing we will also sing at his children’s wedding
and even more.

3. You look fancy!

Women: You are expected to wear different dresses for each party preceding the wedding.  You cannot wear the same dress to any two parties, especially the ones held in wedding halls. Keep it glittery. The higher the heel, the better, especially for those closely related to the bride or groom.

Men: You have  to wear a nice shirt and pants. It is still fashionable to wear pink shirts or ties. There is no such thing as casual in a Palestinian wedding, so get your fancy clothes out and look sharp.

Well, at least for the entrance part, because after a dance or two the men look like this:

4. Shaving cream smudges your clothes!

This is when the groom is placed on stage with two men (usually uncles), one of whom is holding shaving cream and the other a fake razor. Music begins, and the boys just make foam and splash it on others celebrating the groom’s transition to marriage. The shaving cream is suppose to represent a wish of marriage to the single  guests. So, if you get shaving cream on you, that’s a compliment because that mean you are close enough to the groom. You might even be given a girly towel with the groom’s initials on it to wipe off the cream or smudge it all over.

5. Don’t forget the snapshot with a candle at one hand, and the bride on the other!

This is your time to shine. All the single ladies are called to greet the bride as she dances her lonely dance holding two lit candles  with smoke machine and fireworks.

6. Impaired hearing for weeks after the wedding.

The singer and his band come with 235,334 loudspeakers and make sure you hear every instrument, loud and clear!

7. Time to smile (and keep smiling)!

Make sure to smile to the 14 cameras during the wedding ceremony and afterwards as they float around  the wedding hall, and during the wedding ceremony.

8. Time to say goodbye (to the bride)!

If you are from the bride’s side, you will probably spend a few hours before the wedding ceremony crying with the bride’s family while she says her goodbyes and watching the bride receive her gold jewelry or money

9. Cherish every gift!

After waiting in line to congratulate the happy couple for hours, you get a useless ornament and five white or pink candied almonds in sugar coating. Usually you do not know what to do with the ornament. Most families have  a glass cupboard with a collection of random wedding objects.  Children get chocolate.

10. Mercedes car ride!

On the day of the wedding ceremony, the bride is picked up in the decorated car and taken to the ceremony by the groom’s family, and the bride’s family follows their cars. If the groom doesn’t own a Mercedes then one can be borrowed and the rich friend gets to drive the car.

If you see a line of cars lead by a decorated car in the street, that means they are on their way to the wedding. If you happen to be driving, honk with them as a gesture to say “Mabrouk”!

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