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Egyptian Wedding Customs & Traditions

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Marriage has special importance to Egyptians. They consider marriage as the most important event in their lives because it means a moral way of psychological and biological satisfaction. Egyptians assume marriage is the main method to protect youth from any sacred relationships;  marriage reinforces society's relationships. Marriage is a religious imposition,and we can find many parts in the Quran, which encourages getting married. Here`s some Egyptian marriage customs from the past and present and their main effects.

       The ancient Egyptians were the first people who stated marriage laws in the world. They regarded marriage as a civil and legal relationship. The ancient Egyptian laws organized the marriage relationship and indicated all rights and duties for the couples. The ancient Egyptian laws gave the right of divorce to women as well as men. The wife was respected greatly, and she had high prestige. It started by the suitor's parents visiting to his fiancee's house to get her family approval to complete this marriage and reaching an agreement, which contains two main items: an amount of money, called Mahr, paid by suitor to his fiancee's family to help them with the furniture of their daughter and a valuable jewelry gift, called Shabka, given by the suitor to his fiancee. The value of this gift depended on the financial and social levels of the suitor"s family. When the two parties completed the agreement, they fixed an appointment for the engagement party.While the groom put on the finger of his fiancee, the ring was a symbol of immortality. In addition, the groom gave his fiancee the valuable jewelry gift had agreed on before.The night before wedding day, the relatives, the friends and the neighbors got together to celebrate "the Henna Night". The women went to the bride's house, while the men went to the groom's house. . The next day, the marriage contract was signed and registered by priest in the temple in the attendance of the couple and most of their families and friends.After sun set, the wedding party started, and the couple wore their best dresses and jewelry. The bride was transferred to her new house on a horse or a camel with a musical band, and the attendants sprayed the cortege with green wheat as a symbol of fertility. The wife's friends and relatives visited her after seven days from the date of her wedding party, and they offered gifts and some food, while she gave them some sweets and fruits. Ancient Egyptian marriage customs are the most effective marriage customs in Egypt's history although Egypt has been exposed to many civilization, such as, Greek, Roman and Islam.

The Islamic marriage doctrines are very simple, they are basically two factors. First, the acceptance of the couple, or their representatives, each other to be husband and wife is the most important term for marriage. Second, the public of the marriage is essential term rightful marriage;however, Islam emphasizes that marriage is the only available way to satisfaction the biological need between the man and the woman and to make the family; therefore, the available chances for the couple to get to know each other before the engagement have become limited, mainly through family visits or at public places. The engagement and wedding customs in the Middle Ages remains as they were in Ancient Egypt although these customs are in disagreement with the simplicity of the Islamic spirit.

Nowadays, the marriage customs in the Egyptian countryside are similar to the ancient customs, but in the city the picture is quite different, where the couple has many chances to get to know each other at university, work, clubs and other public places. However, the engagement agreement between the families still includes the two main items: the "mahr" and "shabka";furthermore, the engagement party is quite similar to the engagement party in Ancient Egypt. Frequently it is held in one of the hotels. However, the engagement period has be come longer because of the preparation of the new house is costly and does not suit the income of the couple or the income of their parents. The marriage contract is signed and registered by "maazon", a man who has an official license to sign and register the marriage contract, in attendance of the couple and their families and friends, and this procedure happens in the birde's house or at a mosque. Egyptian marriage customs in the past or in the present generally reflect the cooperative and brotherly spirit of the community; however, we should get rid of our bad marriage customs and habits because they cause a lot of serious problems for society. The marriage between relatives is one of our bad customs in Egypt. Although marriage between relatives is a very old customs, it is still common in Egypt, and there are many reasons behind this kind of marriage. First, increasing the family size and consequently the power and the prestige of the family is the most important reason. Second, keeping the family's heritage and wealth among its members is another important reason. The average of marriage cost in Egyptian cities is LE 100,000 ($ 30,000) while the average income is LE 150 ($ 44) per month.