Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Armenian Marriages Traditions

The traditional Armenian wedding, or harsanik begins the night before the wedding and begins with the bridegroom's family and friends bringing over the bride's veil, Armenian cognac, and other gifts. The bride's shoes are traditionally stolen by a member of the wedding party, and the maid of honour and the best man must pay them to get it back. The bridesmaids are not married women, and they all sign the bride shoes before she gets them back. As those women get married, the bride will cross their names off from her shoe.

Her shoes are then placed on her feet by her brother or close male relative, and he places money in them for good luck.

Before the bride places her veil on her head, she will circle it around above the heads of the unmarried bridesmaids to bring them luck in finding a man. Then, a married woman will place the veil on the bride's head, to give her good luck for her marriage.

Traditional bridal wear for an Armenian woman would be a red silk gown and a gorgeous headdress. Often times, the bride and groom would wear gold or silver crowns and carry lit candles as they proceeded to the church on horseback. The bride wears an outer and inner veil, the inner veil is only removed after the ceremony in private with her husband. After the ceremony, two doves are released to symbolize the peace and love of their new relationship.

The godparents will hold a cross over the new couple's heads, and tie their wrists with a thread. Sometimes, the bride's mother would place a flat-bread on the bride's head, to show she is now the bread-maker.

A common Armenian toast for newly wed couples is "May you grow old on one pillow. Also, the couple may step over a flame to show they are purified, or they may break eggs or dishes, before entering their new home. Traditional dishes served at an Armenian wedding would include shish kebabs, rice pilaf, hummus, baba ganoush, or bourek, which is a delectable meat-filled pastry.

Source : videobabylon

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