Gerenian wedding traditions

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Gerenian wedding is the traditional marriage ceremony in Gerenia. The traditional Gerenian wedding features a rich assortment of folk music, singing, and dancing.

Traditional wedding rituals

Betrothal

In Gerenia, unmarried couples wear a nevatda (thick thread bracelet) each on their left wrists. The nevatdi may have two or three colours, chosen by both the boyfriend and the girlfriend, and made usually by the latter. The threads that form the nevatda are intertwined so it cannot be untied.

The betrothal ceremony starts when the groom goes to the bride's house, and make his offer of marriage to her (and her family, in many cases). If the offer is accepted, the groom is asked to leave an object of value, and return later that day, or the following day, with his family and friends. In the meantime, the bride's family invite their own relatives to their home. When the groom returns, a party is celebrated. The promise of marriage is symbolized by putting the nevatda pareltțies (engagement bracelet) to one another. This bracelet is worn on the left wrist, as well, and it is identical to the first bracelet but with a golden thread intertwined. On the contrary, if the offer is rejected, the groom is required to leave. The bride's parents give him a present, so he doesn't leave empty-handed.

Betrothal parties can last a whole day, or two. Neighbours are also invited to take part in it. At the end of the celebration, the groom and the bride's family agree on the date and place of the wedding. The guests write their wishes for the couple on pieces of paper that are subsequently saved in a small box.

Wedding ceremony

Wedding ceremonies are held in the open, in rural areas. People play folk songs, while guests dance and sing. The last ones to join are the bride and the groom. When they arrive, the guests form a circle around a tabalge (platform), and the bride and the groom walk hand in hand to its centre, next to the tabalge. They then look at each other, and take their vows. Next to it, the groom is given a knife with which he cuts the bride's "first" nevatda. The lady does the same to the man. Once done this, they climb to the tabalge and seal their promise of love with a kiss. The guests throw the pieces of paper with their wishes, and the cut nevatdi are saved in the small box.

After this ritual, the now husband and wife offer a banquet for all the attendees. People dance and sing until nighttime. In some cases, wedding celebrations can last two or three days, or even more.

Civil ceremony

After the traditional ceremony, the married couple must ask the local authorities to register their wedding. This ceremony, known as Galevția't Mihegtör (Visit to the "Recorder"), takes place at the recorder's office of the couple's town of residence. The couple goes to the office with their relatives and close friends carrying gifts for the recorder and all the office's employees.

The recorder first asks the couple to show him or her their wedding nevatdi, then the wedding is recorded in the district archives. The recorder proceeds to give the newlyweds a marriage certificate by which the State recognises their marriage.