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Wedding Traditions

Arabic customs

Arabic weddings vary depending on the country and religion of the bride and groom. Although Christian weddings in the Arab World bear clear similarities to Western weddings, the Muslim weddings in the Arab countries are influenced by Muslim traditions. Muslim weddings (pre-arranged or not) start with a Shaikh and Al-Kitab (book) for the bride and groom. The groom may or may not see his bride until the wedding day. Men and women in wedding ceremonies and receptions are segregated affairs, with areas for both men and women. An old tradition that is rarely done now is when the women at the ceremony symbolically mourn the loss of the bride by doing the "wedding wail". The bride's dress is an ornate Caftan, and the bride's hands and feet are decorated in intricate lace-like patterns painted using a henna dye. Customarily women guests do not show their hair, shoulders or legs; and all guests at a Mosque remove their shoes on entering. Guests may give gifts to the bride and groom. However, these are all the old traditions; Arabs, nowadays, have Western-like weddings, but still preserve most Arab customs and traditions.

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