Marriage in Morocco, more than anywhere else, is apprehended as an act of utmost importance at both religious and social levels, prepared for with extra care as a large-scale family event, a unique opportunity merrily celebrated by the kin of the uniting couple who seal their fate, by their friends and their neighbors.
If this be true in cities and larger towns, things take another turn in the countryside where weddings are big crowd pullers bringing together inhabitants of whole villages in spontaneous celebration, in a display of deeply set solidarity and community pride which country life still nurtures and offers.
Weddings might, as a rule and nationwide, be approached in quite a similar way in terms of main features but decorum and rituals, laden with local traditions, will make one aspect or the other more salient, more feisty for that extra sparkle that makes it stand out and give original shine to the celebration.
The pattern remains basically the same from the northern reaches of the kingdom to the south and from east to west. It is the embroidery mapping the land which gives out clues as to the soul of every and each region and its unmatched touch. Regions come alive as if to compete showcasing their original contribution making the best use of skills and creativeness of local women and men alike showing, if need be, the special care the event requires and abiding to the letter by rules regulating the magic of its different stages.
Every part of the kingdom craves the honor of stamping for generations to come its own seal on the national embroidery which turns into that common ever-enriched work that brings together and wraps around it the whole nation. Local genius thrives coming up with innovations to cast light on distinctive features in a happy
blend of cultural diversity pouring into a mainstream making use of harmonious contrasts where what is unique and particular rhymes and flows smoothly with plural and global.
It is in this wide set of proven references, ancestral usage, values and beliefs that Morocco draws elements accounting for the wealth of its identity, cultural and civilizational heritage.
Wedding ceremonies in Morocco, beyond the joyful and happy celebrations they entail, do reinforce the multi-dimensional aspects of this heritage.
The main ceremony stages which are a successful blend of authentic, traditional and modern aspects of Moroccan life are in fact the same throughout the kingdom. Only when it comes to organization and proceeding do things differ according to regions.
In our country, marriage starts with the "Khutba", when the parents of the groom to-be call on the future bride's family and ask for her hand after prior agreement from both sides. Ceremonies to celebrate the union will start for good once the wedding document is duly agreed and signed. Then comes the "bathing" ritual where unmarried young girls, kin and friends of the bride, would help her wash for
"purification" of the body making her the object of unprecedented special attention and care. The following day, she has to go through the hands of the "Nekachat" for
breath-taking drawings on hands and feet with "henne" to enhance her beauty.
The one day "henne" ritual meant to bring final touches to the looks of the bride starts to the sound of music that will not subside before late in the evening. The "Nekachat" will then hand her over to another group of women. The "Negafat", usually two to three women, take over on the D-day to dress and escort the bride. They will provide make-up and do the hair seeing to the tiniest detail in her look, attire and gait taking charge of that part of the event.
The groom family, while busy with its own preparations, yet keeping an eye on what is taking place in the other household, comes again into play taking in a procession stepping to the sound of a colorful band a whole range of presents offered by the groom to his bride in one of the climaxing points of the event called "Lahdya".
While fully open to the modern world, the Moroccan people has in no way renounced traditions. These have merely been adapted to its way of life and new constraints.