Wedding traditions of Turks: From past to present
Marriage Marriage, one of the basic landmarks of life, is both an individual and a social concept. As a term it is a continuous union of a man and a woman as husband and wife under all kinds of conditions of life. That family is the foundation of the social structure makes this unity a universal character. Especially in small settlements and villages, a wedding has the quality of a holiday ‘bayram’ since it involves the whole population. After a decision was reached to get married, the first thing to do for a groom candidate was to choose a bride. Especially in traditional parts of Turkey, the selection of a wife was done under the guidance of the parents. This trend has changed lately. Now, young persons choose their own wives after they get to know them after a period of dating. The house of the bride is visited by the parents of the groom (act of go-between) and the hand of the girl is officially asked in marriage from her family.
Although the parents of the groom ask the bride’s hand in marriage officially, they do not get their wish the first time since it is expected of the bride to refuse the first offer out of coyness. After a few visits to the home of the bride and after the parents of the bride have enough time to think it through, a positive answer (if there is one) is given. Sometimes the engagement rings are worn the same day but if they wish, they can have a separate engagement ceremony later. Sherbet (a sweet drink) is offered to symbolically represent a sweet life that will be lived by the couple together. Offering of the drink represents that the decision is final and parents can now decide the dates of the engagement and wedding parties and what to buy as presents to the new couple for their new home. Asking for permission from the parents of the bride/act of go-between
In some regions, the coffee for the groom is cooked with salt instead of sugar as a tradition and a joke
Following the event of asking the bride’s hand in marriage, the mother of the groom and her close relatives and friends visit the bride’s house with presents such as a gold bracelet, a suit or a dress for the bride, a pair of shoes and slippers etc. The parents of the bride entertains the guests by offering them food and drinks. Agreement to marry
A relative from the groom’s side invites all the villagers to the drinking of Sherbet. In the evening of the event, the men and women get together and are offered drinks and food. After everyone has eaten, the religious person of the village (imam) explains the occasion and prays for the new couple to have a long and prosperous life together. Later, the groom presents the bride with jewelry and other gifts wrapped in embroidered linen. Drinking Sherbet
Engagement Relatives and friends of the bride and groom are invited to the ceremony. The bride wears a special dress and everyone has fun dancing and eating. The jewelry brought by the groom is presented and worn by the bride. It can be a short event but it can also last for the whole night.
The tradition of henna ceremony is an indispensable wedding tradition. A few days before the ceremony, the bridal property (çeyiz) is collected from the home of the bride and brought to the home of the groom to prepare a display room. Bridal property is carried in an embroidered trunk and it is custom to sit on it before the collection and ask for tips. The henna and the food and drinks are prepared. The henna ceremony involves singing and dancing and mostly sad songs are sung to make the bride cry. The henna is brought on a tray decorated with candles. A gold coin is placed in the palm of the bride before the henna is applied. Henna ceremony
The bride leaves the house on the arm of her brother. Before she leaves the house, a red belt is put on the bride. The groom tips the brother before the belt ceremony. Tips are also given at the door of the house (door money). The bride is accompanied by two women and brothers. Some practices common to this event are: Prayers are said for happiness Leaving the door on a right foot is common. Sprinkling candy, coins etc on the bride is traditional. Feeding the bride candy and sweet things is symbolical Taking the bride from her home for the wedding party
Religious ceremony involves wowing in front of the imam and the guests to marry each other. There are specific rules for the ceremony. It is customary to perform the religious ceremony before the official wedding. Religious wedding ceremony
Now everything is ready for the wedding ceremony. The ceremony is held at the weekend. Some weddings may involve different entertainment and activities lasting for more than 2 days. The wedding ceremony is colorful with ladies dressed in beautiful clothes and some of them wear traditional clothes that are embroidered in silk and gold threads. Men usually wear suits. Wedding
It is common to marry with the help of a go-between (matchmaker). For this custom, a group of women go visit the bride-to-be in her house and act as a go-between for the marriage to take place. They take special made breads with them and if the family agrees to the marriage, they accept the bread as a sign of acceptance. A group of relatives along with the groom-to-be visit the home of the bride and engagement rings are worn. The bride sends a special present to the groom. After the engagement, the bridal property is taken to the home of the groom and a feast is prepared. The next day is the day of bridal bath (hamam) and the same evening the hair of the bride is braided in a special way. Wednesdays and Saturdays are usually henna days. Wedding traditions in Bolu
Thursdays and Sundays are the days for taking the bride from her home for the wedding ceremony. The groom prepares a religious ceremony (mevlüt) the same day. The guests that attend the ceremony is usually served plateau soup, meat dishes, rice with meat, stuffed vine leaves, compote, pastries and desserts. After the feast, a big group of people go to the home of the bride to take her for the wedding ceremony. When the group arrives at the house of the bride, the bride hides in a room. The door can not be opened without a good tip. Relatives of the bride sit on the trunk that the bride will take with her and a tip from the in-laws is also necessary for that occasion. The groom goes to the mosque art the night of the wedding for the evening prayers. After the wedding, the groom is taken to the bridal room by his friends and he needs to present a jewelry to the bride to open the veil that the bride wears Wedding traditions in Bolu