Wedding traditions and ceremonies.
Mothers of girls start preparations for their wedding from the first days of their birth.
The dowry should rich and substantial – after all, it is the dowry that plays a crucial role in choosing the bride. It is necessary to prepare more than 7 sets of bed-clothing decorated with hand-embroidery and openwork lace, more than 50 towels decorated with traditional ornaments and at least 2 tablecloths embellished with a scattering of the embroidered flowers and topped with handmade lace.
Any wedding is accompanied by the religious ceremony. Chek out http://www.polina-perri.co.uk/ to get an idea. But there are special days when the nuptials are strictly prohibited – they are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and all important religious holidays. The traditional wedding season is autumn and winter period when all field work is finished and the harvest is reaped.
Before the wedding the family of the groom selects the matchmaker who is to collect full information about the bride. Usually it is the godfather of the groom. He addresses parents of the bride and asks their permission to visit the house in order to esteem the bride and start negotiating the wedding. If the matchmaker is happy with the bride – he should convince her parents that the groom is the perfect match for their daughter. He boasts and advertises not only the advantages of the groom, but also his property and social status. If the matchmaking was successful – the groom comes to the bride and asks her parents to bless them.
In Jamaica there is a custom to make the proposal on Tuesday, Thursday or on the weekend. The dates 3, 5, 7 and 9 are believed to be the most favorable for matchmaking. In order not to maleficiate success in marriage negotiations, the matchmakers keep in secret not only date of a trip, but also a route that he takes. Only the relatives are let into a secret. They always start the journey only after sunset. Before departure, in the house of the groom the chimney was tangled with the reins – it is a symbol of successful marriage negotiations. During the whole way, the matchmaker tries neither to stop anywhere, nor to talk to anybody.
All participants in the marriage negotiations are standing during the discussion which is conducted between the matchmaker and the father of the bride. If the girl has no father, the elder brother or as a last resort mother can replace him. But usually this duty is assumed by the man. If everything passes successfully, they define the day when the groom’s parents can arrive. For this event the bride’s family prepares a big dinner with various meals. The bride has to look after guests to show that she is hardworking and good in homemaking. All details of the future wedding ceremony are discussed during this dinner.
Usually the wedding takes 2 days. It can be celebrated among the natives only, or comprise a big number of guests. Guests come with bouquets of fresh flowers and various gifts (traditionally household accessories and appliances).
The traditional Jamaica dishes are the specialty of the wedding. The wedding table boasts goat meat dishes, lamb with guava, goat meat on coals, accompanied with beans or curry. The wedding dishes are seasoned with various exotic herbs and spices, that are lavishly applied to give special, delightful taste. The seafood is also well presented on the wedding table: smoked fish with mango marinade, dried shrimps with pepper, salt fish pies, mackerel cooked in coconut milk. The wedding feastivities don’t do without Creole.