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Bride’s procession



Bride’s procession

The bride's procession involves escorting her from her family's home to her new marital residence. In the Al Ain oases, a week prior to this event, her entire body is treated with neel and warss, and she adorns herself with a neel burqa and a neel kandoura. These plants are known for enhancing the beauty of the skin.

As part of the wedding customs, the bride's friends come together to fulfil their responsibilities towards her, singing to her, especially during the henna ceremony. The muhannya (henna practitioner) oversees the ceremony to showcase the bride in her most exquisite attire. Throughout this time, the bride remains hidden from view until the actual wedding day.

On Thursday, the miksar or zuhba (bridal shower) is transported to the bride's family home in the presence of older women. The zuhba is then distributed among the bride's relatives, either immediately or at the miksar. The counting ritual involves reciting, "There is no god but Allah, there is no second to Him, three are the sunnahs of His Prophet." The bride's zuhba is tallied and showcased, followed by a meal of ryooq (breakfast), including harees and fiqaa (luqaimat), and dessert. The lunch comprises rice and beef majboos (qabuli), stuffed with raisins and dango or nakhi (chickpeas).

In the Al Ain oases, tradition dictates that if the bride's house is nearby, she is brought on foot after the Fajr prayer. However, if the distance is significant, the wedding would take place on horseback, with the groom approaching and greeting her afterward.

The bride would traditionally adorn herself with various types of clothing, including a thawb, a kandoura, and a mazray, typically in shades of green or blue, and complementing her attire were bou badla trousers and a burqa. In terms of jewellery, she wore a murtaisha, kawashi, and rings. Adding to her charm, she adorned her hands and feet with henna, and her hair with bida'ah and yass, while saffron adorned her cheeks. As the saying goes, " الزعفران الشامي على الخدود رضوف". “The radiant blush of Levantine saffron glows on rosy cheeks”.

Some of the popular chants and songs dedicated to the groom on this joyous occasion include:

يا من يعدونه ولا شفتــه راجب ذلوله ومن بعيد اعرفـــته
وغنن له يا بنات الحارة ومحلا البريسم في طرير وزاره

"Those who recount his tales, yet have not beheld him... on horseback he rides, his presence known from a distance.
The girls of the neighborhood serenade him... praising the ibreesim (silk) that graces his izar, embroidered and adorned."

Some of the popular songs dedicated to the bride include:
ويا عمــــتي خلي ولدج ايينـــا لمهاجرنا من ثمـــان أسنينـــــــا
وفي التاسعة جان القلوب اتلينا وفي العاشرة نرجو الحبيب ايينا

"Dear Auntie, inquire of your son who left us eight years past... May he return to us.
In the ninth year, his heart may soften, and by the tenth, our beloved might come back to us."

Expressions of congratulations were warmly extended to the newlyweds and their families, such as:

Mabrouk al ammar

To which they would reply, “Allah yibarek feekum.”

Mabrouk ma dabbart

To which they would reply, “Allah yibarek feekum.”

Bajerrak walad ya ma’arass

To which they would reply, “Wa man yaqouk ma yaflass”.

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