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  Modern Afghan Wedding
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Afghan wedding is interesting and unique.  As you enter the door, a row of women on your right and a row of men on your left, welcome you in.  The bride and groom’s family will great and escort the guests to the tables.  Guests in an Afghan wedding are dressed with highly expensive clothes and jewelries, as they show their best appearance at a wedding.  The guest gather around their loved ones and talk about their lives and maybe little gossip and secret exchanges, as the musician plays mellow music for these who care to listen and calm soothing music for those who are in a mist of a political debate.  At another corner of the stage two very decorative chairs are set for bride and groom.  In front of the chairs there is a table with highly decorative ensembles including beautiful candles and beautiful flowers. A traditional Afghan wedding usually begins around 6 in the evening and ends as long as the hall agreement allows them. Till 8 in the evening musician plays music as young people dance while more and more people come in. 

Ustad SarahangAround 9 at night the musician plays a special song, which commemorates the arrival of the bride and groom. The song is called “Ahesta bero, mah e man ahesta bero” meaning  (walk slowly my light of night go slowly).  This song was made decades ago and has been sung in wedding songs for generations.  Back in the early 20’s Ustad Mohammad Hussain Sarahang the greatest Classical singer in Afghan history changed a song and made the lyrics more joyful but still in a slow classical form. Later on Ustad Rahimbakhsh sang it more in a folkloric style, which till this day is being sang. As the Bride and Groom walk inside the hall all guest stand up to pay respect to the entrance of the Holy Quran being held over the heads of the Bride and groom. 

As the bride and groom walk very slowly to the beat of the song, guest take pictures while others clap their appearance. Bride and groom take their rightful place at the throne as though they are a king and Queen or that night. After the “Ahesta bero” is done the Bride and groom are covered under a very decorated shawl where in the past the groom will look at his Brides face in a mirror and will read a prayer from the Holy Quran, In the decades past this would have been the first time ever that the bride and groom would have seen each other face due to arranged marriages. The shawl is lifted and the bride and groom feed each other “Maaleda” and Beverage as the guests applaud.  The actual Religious ceremony where the Spiritual Mullah and the witness, the bride and grooms family agree upon the premarital contract occurs behind the scene either before dinner or after dinner.  The next song that follows is “Hena Beyarin bar Dastash gozarain” which means Bring Hena (Kheena) a red colored dye which leave a Orange Red stain on the skin) and place on their hand. 

Afghan HennaHistorically the bride and grooms palms were cut in little insertion so that they could be joined in blood, as time passed they replaced it with Hena so it would be more healthy and lest messy. At this moment a girl dressed in traditional Afghani clothes will come though the door with a silver tray with candles and assorts of beautiful fresh flowers with little containers of “hena” dancing and turning all the way to the throne of Bride and groom. The Mother of the groom will place a teaspoon full of Hena onto the Brides palm and cover it with a triangular cloth made of very fine and shinny fabric. The Brides mother places the Hena on the pinkie figure of the groom and likewise covers it with the fabric.

 After hours of dancing they will announce that dinner is ready, all the guests will form a line and walk alongside of a beautifully decorated buffet where assorted of authentic Afghan meals are presented.  From the Shohla e Goshtee to three different values of rice Called Palou and Chalou, there are many kinds of Kabobs; Kabob e Chopan, Chaplee Kabob, Teka Kabob, Shaami Kabob, also Mantu Aushak with authentic Afghan Bread will conclude the dinner table. For desert they will serve Firnee, Sheer Brenj, Jello, Baghalua with fruits of the season. After Desert is finished The Bride and groom will walk over to the 3 store cake and the musician will return from dinner and sing the traditional song of “Baada Baada Elahee Mubarak Baada - Man dil ba tu dada am Tawakol ba khoda” Meaning Congratulation I gave u my heart now I leave it to GOD as the bride and groom cut the cake and the member of the family will cut the cake into small pieces and serve the guests. 

Attan: Afghan DanceThen comes the hours of enjoyment as the musicians plays fast beat songs and the dance floor fills up with people as the dance till the end of the ceremony which could go till dawn. At the end of ceremony “attan” is being performed, Attan is a traditional Afghan dance; its origin is the provinces to the south of Afghanistan where every celebration ended with this dance. The Beat is a traditional Afghan Beat of “mogholi” where no other Nation in the world uses this beat its a creation of Afghans of the Moghol dynasty. A huge circle is created and the performers will follow each other going round and round in a circle to the beat as the rhythm and beats faster the slower participants drop out remains the ones who can dance and move. 

There are three different kinds of attan in Afghanistan, “wardaki” “logari” and “khosti” Wardaki consists of body movements no clapping and lots of turns and twists. “logari” uses the clapping and the full turns in place as well as the main turn. “khosti” is interesting because of the head movements the head is snapped side to sides as their long jet black hair fling through the air. The Music is finished and the hosts along with bride and groom stand by the door to show their respect and thank the guests for coming to their wedding ceremony. Source:Afghanland.com:

     
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