A Wedding in Albania - Traditional wedding customs

A Wedding in Albania - Traditional wedding customs

When two people celebrate wedding, this is always a special event, not only for the two main participants. Family and friends usually enjoy it at least too, it is celebrated, danced and laughed.

We were fortunate to be involved in a traditional wedding celebration in Albania and to get it explained so that the differences to European weddings became clear. The most important difference: in Albania, the wedding is not just a one-day festival.

The celebration begins within the framework of the family, usually in the house of the bridegroom, often a week before the actual wedding, where an "engagement" takes place between the two families, where the future bride receives a gold coin as a sign of the engagement. After this first meeting with the family, a ceremony is held at the bride's home, where she receives gifts and sweets from the participating guests. During this event different drinks and refreshments are served.



Then a second celebration takes place in the house of the parents of the groom, in which the bride family itself takes part. Here traditionally sugar-coated almonds (kufeta) are exchanged between the guests. It is quite common during this week to show the wedding dress, the obligatory dowry of the bride and the groom gifts.

During the one-week wedding celebration, there will also be a festival for relatives and friends. Relatives of the bride arrive with wine, flowers, a plate of rice, almond sweets and coins to her home and invite the family to another festival. During this specific evening, the bride spreads small gifts to the audience. The task of the bridegroom is to invite the "vellam" to the maidens, and the "cumbersome" to the godfather. This joint feast of family and friends is celebrated extensively and happily. Towards midnight, the bride and groom together with their family and friends go into opposite directions to three waters and fill two containers with water. Afterwards, coins are thrown in the air and the guests try to prevent each other from catching the coins.

The decor of the wedding tart looks very different from region to region, there is hardly a standard. It is also usual to bake a chickpea bread (buke me qiqra) a week before. Customs are also an integral part of the process of the actual wedding day, for example the hairstyle, the braids wrapped in a silk halter-cloth, filled with rice and almond candies. He is often accompanied by singing women, handing money to the person who helped to arrange the bride.

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