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Tatar wedding customs

Tatar wedding customs

1. Tatar weddings in old days were typically arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, with the couple having little say in the matter.

2. The Tatarstan wedding ceremony often involved a "kudak" or matchmaking ritual, where the groom's family would visit the bride's family to formally ask for her hand in marriage.

3. The wedding celebrations would last for several days, with various traditional rituals and customs being observed throughout.

4. One of the key customs was the "suyunuchak" or water ritual, where the bride and groom would each wash their hands in a bowl of water before entering the wedding chamber.

5. Another important tradition was the "sabantuy" or bridal procession, where the bride would be escorted to the groom's house amidst music, dancing, and feasting.

6. The bride's dowry, known as "kalym," or :makhr' played a significant role in Tatar weddings, with the groom's family often receiving gifts of money, livestock, and other valuable items.

7. Traditional Tatar weddings also featured elaborate feasts with an abundance of food and drink, including pilaf, kebabs, and various sweets.

8. Music and dance were integral parts of Tatar wedding celebrations, with professional musicians and dancers entertaining the guests throughout the festivities.

9. The wedding attire for the bride and groom was typically richly embroidered and adorned with traditional Tatar motifs and symbols.

10. Tatar weddings also included various superstitions and beliefs aimed at ensuring the happiness and prosperity of the newlyweds, such as avoiding certain words or actions that were thought to bring bad luck.

The solemn rituals of the Tatars have always been unique and distinctive. They have preserved their secret meaning to ensure the peace, prosperity, and large families of the couple.

In the early 20th century, dentified three forms of marriage among the Tatars:

- bride kidnapping,

- through a Tatar matchmaker, and

- voluntary departure of the girl to the groom. Until the beginning of the 20th century, It was typical for Tatar weddings to be arranged through a matchmaker and it is very common practice till now.

This form of marriage differed from the voluntary departure of the girl to the groom and bride kidnapping in that it strictly observed the rituals.

Moreover, the rituals were characteristic of a specific locality, and differences had a social nature (the wealth of gifts, the number of guests, and the duration of the wedding festivities).

The wedding procedure was as follows: the groom's relatives made a proposal to the bride's parents, and during the matchmaker's visit, the amount and quality of gifts - kalym (in Tatar) - and the time of the wedding were discussed.

The list of gifts that the Tatar groom's relatives had to pay as a ransom for the bride included headwear, shoes, household items, clothing, and bedding.

It was also customary to give money for preparing the bride's dowry and contribute food for the wedding feast.

The size of the dowry (mahr) was not specifically discussed. After that, an agreement reached.

The bride's side presented a towel or tablecloth as a gift, while the groom's side mostly gave money. The bride's relatives who participated in the agreement were always treated with refreshments.

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