Somali Wedding

A traditional Somali wedding consist of various ceremonies and can last up to 7 days. On a Somali wedding day, a traditional cuisine of rice and meat is served only to the men of the two families and their friends.

During this dinner ceremony, the couple make a formal Islamic wedding agreement. Later in the evening, the bride, usually wearing a white dress, joins the other women for a wedding party. The other women at the party wear dresses called dirac with a scarf or wear their hair loose.  For special occasions such as weddings, parties or Eid, Somali women will wear a DIRAC. This is a silky, shiny and highly decorated topdress. It is often transparent and you wear an under-dress beneath it.

The husband to be and his family are required to pay for these wedding celebrations. In Somalian culture, it is tradition for a new bride to remain at her home for seven days after marriage. On the seventh day there is a women’s party on her behalf. The bride wears a traditional costume, guntiino with beads.

The guests circle the bride singing and each lays a scarf (shaash) on her head. This event is known as Shaash Saar, which basically means putting the scarf on the bride’s head.

This is form of respect due to her for being married and is a symbol of her becoming a married woman. The shaash is of silky material and can have many patterns and colors, but is different to the scarves worn by unmarried women.

Another event that takes place after seven days is that the bride’s family provide food and gifts for the groom’s family. Traditionally the food and sweets are placed inside special decorated containers called xeedho. These are wrapped in cloth and tied tightly. They have to be unwrapped by the groom or a man in his family