In the Life

Traditional Wedding in Afghanistan

When a boy and a girl want to get married, the boy sends a marriage proposal to girl’s home. Once the girl’s parents accept the proposal, they give chocolates to the boy’s elders. The elders now enjoy eating the chocolates. The elders eat the chocolates immediately.

After the acceptance, the future bride’s parents throw an engagement party for their relatives and friends. The engagement party is followed by the Khina (Henna) night. The bride wears traditional Afghan clothes, and the groom wears jami (traditional Afghan pants and shirt) with a lungy (traditional Afghan head gear). The bride’s sister also wears traditional Afghan clothes and silver jewelry. The bride’s dress is different from everyone else’s, however. The evening is celebrated with Attan dancing (traditional Afghan dance).

As part of the tradition, the bride closes her hand, and the groom’s mother will try to open her hand. If she does not manage to open the bride’s hand, the bride will receive an expensive gift from the groom’s mother.

Then, seven unmarried girls apply khina on the bride’s hand. It is believed that that these seven girls will be the next to marry. The khina night celebrations are a lot of fun.

Finally the wedding day arrives. While some people have the wedding party during the day, others have their wedding party at night. During the day, the bride starts out wearing green clothes, and the Nikah (religious ceremony) takes place during the day while the bride wears green.

After the Nikah, the bride wears white clothes and the groom wears a suit. Pictures are taken and drinks are provided. Later, shortly before the bride cuts the cake, the groom’s sister takes the knife and performs the sword dance with it. During this dance, the sister dances with the knife and asks her brother for money for the bride. Once her brother gives the money, she gives the knife to her brother. Then the groom and the bride cut the cake and eat with each other.

Its now time for bride to leave her mother and father’s house. For this event, the brother of the bride ties a green cloth around the departing bride’s waist. The bride leaves her parents' home and is driven away. Once she arrives at the groom’s house, she won’t come out of the car until she receives a beautiful gift. Once she receives the gift, she leaves the car.

During the wedding night, the bride and groom are covered in a chadar and are given a mirror where they see each others reflections simultaneously and they read the QUR,AN SHAREF.

Afterward they have tahkjami. At tahkjami, the bride’s family comes to the bride house and they bring her lots of gifts called jahez (jewelry). Lastly, after tahkjami, the couple goes on their honeymoon. These are our wedding traditions.

by a young woman in Peshawar, Pakistan