Six weeks before the wedding, the bride starts to train in the special dances that she will dance on the day of ‘Subhia’ , the first day of the marriage. Two days before the wedding the bride invites her female friends for El henna. On this day, ‘El Hanana’, the woman comes to decorate the hands and legs of the bride with henna and she and her female friends dance, sing, and spend a happy day together. That night the groom also has his Henna night with his male friends and women relatives. The groom doesn’t decorate his legs only his fingertips and bottom of feet. In the groom ‘Henna party’ right before the wedding, his mother, sisters, and aunts get together, sit him on a decorated bed, and put henna on his feet and the palms of his hands (not drawing). In addition, some of his male friends do the same on their hands.
The wedding party ‘Al Dukhla’ takes place in houses, large tents, in the streets or in the clubs. The bride’s family gets a singer for this cheerful night. There is a lot of music and dancing and a beautiful dinner is served for the relatives and guests. Everyone is invited and everyone is happy. The bride wears a white wedding gown and the groom wears a full suit or ‘jalabbiya’ (garment) and turban.
On the first day of the marriage, ‘Al Subhia’, the bride’s mother invites all the women of the family and the female friends of the bride. Only certain men can attend ‘El Subhia’: the bride’s father, brothers, uncles, and the groom. The bride dances three or four dances for her audience, changing dresses for each dance. A woman sings and drums on the ‘dallooka’ songs that all the girls know, and they all sings along, clap and have a great time!
After she finish dancing, it’s time for the final ritual it calls the ‘jirtig’. It has special traditions, and a special red and yellow tray with pottery to put the perfumes and ‘bakhoor’ in. the bride changes into a colorful tobe, the famous Sudanese costume and sits with her new husband on a bed with a beautifully decorated red and gold sheet called “milayat aljirtig”. All the elder women are around them, and one of the older women comes and wishes the happy couple wealth, health and the blessing of children upon them. She perfumes them both, singing meanwhile, and ties the red ‘hareera’ and ‘hilal’ around the groom’s head, and the ‘sibhat el_yassur’ around his nick.
Then, the groom gets up and sprays the audience with perfume. Then the woman offers them a cup of milk. They both take a drink and spray some of it over each other a sign of love, piece and hope for a clean, pure life together _ pure as milk!
About a month before wedding, the bride’s mother, sisters, and aunts start making her special perfumes and clothes to get ready for the big day, or should we say, the big DAYS! All these perfumes are mixed to make the bride’s special perfumes. It’s a lot of work, and takes weeks to finish!
There are some types of folkloric rituals that take place in Northern Sudanese weddings. Elsubhiya, Eldukhla, and the clothes that made especially for the bride are dominant. A bright dress, a colorful “firka” or “garmasees”, and lots of gold! What is more, we can’t forget the bride’s henna! Sudanese wedding events are enjoyable. All relatives and friends are ever happier.
post from: groups.yahoo.com/group/tagananet
Authour: Hala Fawzi.