American weddings, more specifically New Orleans weddings, can be filled with tradition and also might include a few shenanigans. But while researching the history of the wedding reception, we stumbled upon a cultural tradition that could put even a New Orleans party to shame.
In Lebanon, it is tradition to hold a zaffe before the wedding ceremony and bigger reception. The zaffe is a group celebration that begins at both the bride and groom’s homes. There is dancing, shouting and celebration. The zaffe can include professional dancers and even the occasional belly dancer. The groom is then escorted by the zaffe celebration to his bride where the family showers them with blessings and flower petals, then they are escorted to the ceremony to officially wed.
Though we do not necessarily celebrate as jovially on the way to a ceremony, we can relate to a Lebanese zaffe, as we too dance and sing in the street along with a second line brass band on the way to the reception.
So, whether you’re Lebanese or a New Orleanian, you can’t go wrong with letting the good times roll.
Read more traditions from Lebanon on the city of Beirut website here.