Wreaths, tears and plastic cake – how Turkish weddings work

Wreaths, tears and plastic cake — how do Turkish weddings go

Each ethnographer will confirm that in order to closely get acquainted with the culture of the country and the customs of its inhabitants, it is enough to visit a local holiday. Only the present, of course, non-tourist, “for their own.” For example, Turkish weddings are a real storehouse of centuries-old traditions. They are not arranged for the sake of a feast: on the tables there are only soft drinks, sweets, pastries and snacks. The main goal of those gathered (of which, by the way, there are up to 2000 people) is to congratulate the newlyweds and generously bestow them.


The dowry for the future bride is collected almost from birth, but if suddenly someone did not take care of it in time, you can buy a ready-made chest with everything you need, from blankets to kitchen utensils. Girls are married at the age of 17-20, while men marry more mature. The first step is the bride in the presence of both families. If there are no obstacles, matchmaking is coming: the groom and his family arm themselves with flowers and sweets and go to the house of the bride, who has prepared a test for him – a cup of strong salty coffee. You need to drink it and not wince, demonstrating readiness for any adversity.

The next stage is Nishan's engagement, practically a wedding rehearsal. It can be modest or magnificent, but the meaning is the same: the bride and groom officially announce their intention to be together and exchange gold rings.

– not to eat, but to congratulate the newlyweds and generously present them.

Pre-wedding chores

The groom's family invites the bride for shopping, and the lucky woman chooses whatever she wants. The groom buys the wedding dress: not too open, with elaborate embroidery and a wide red belt, symbolizing chastity. Previously, it was generally supposed to marry in red, but the fashion for white came from the West. The bride's family, in turn, buys gifts for the groom: the obligatory list includes an expensive watch to keep ticking throughout their life together.

On pre-wedding Monday, the bride's dowry is transferred to the future family nest. On Tuesday, the bride with relatives and girlfriends relax in the hammam, enjoying beauty treatments. On Wednesday – henna night: the most beautiful rite, symbolizing farewell to the parental home. The bride, dressed in a luxurious dress and a red veil embroidered with gold, is showered with coins and her hands are painted with sacred patterns. Men are not allowed to enter, and women talk until morning, treat themselves to sweets and sing songs – so sad that the bride is crying, but these tears promise her happiness in family life.

And finally, the ceremony

The holiday begins in the evening, so that numerous guests have time to gather. The groom, who has come for his betrothed, is met by a child and demands a generous ransom. Young people can be painted right in the banquet hall, decorated with gold, banknotes and coins. After the cherished “yes”, the groom solemnly kisses the bride on the forehead, and she strives to step on his foot to show who is the mistress of the house. And then – the time of an incendiary dance to folk music and universal applause. The most important part of the ceremony is the presentation of gifts, and not some unnecessary trinkets, but gold, jewelry and other valuables. Money is pinned directly to the outfits of the newlyweds, decorations are hung like garlands on Christmas trees, and “republican gold” (special coins that can be returned at a price per gram) are carefully put into the bride's handbag.

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It is not customary to give flowers, but wreaths are quite: they are presented here for any reason, decorating for joyful events bright ribbons, and for the sad – dark mourning. And the wedding cake is not made of cream, but of plastic! Fortunately, a round biscuit is still hidden inside, which is cut into even pieces so as not to deprive anyone of those present.

Everyone around dances, sings and has fun, and leaving, they receive souvenirs as a keepsake. The newlyweds go to a new house, where they also do not do without rituals: the door frame must be oiled so that life goes smoothly and smoothly, and a glass is broken before entering so that quarrels remain forever beyond the threshold.

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