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Thursday, 26 March 2015

#Brides From #Africa #EthiopianBride #EastAfrica

Welcome to Brides From Africa!

This edition of Brides of Africa features traditionally attired brides from Ethiopia in East Africa.

Ethiopia, is a land-locked country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south.
The traditional wedding begins with the ceremony called, Tilosh.

Tilosh is an event that usually takes place the night before the wedding. Selected members of the groom’s family, his groomsmen and best man - as messengers for the groom - go to the bride’s parents home with a suitcase full of gifts for the bride.

Upon arrival, they are received by the parents, relatives, and bridesmaids. The bride is not present during this event.

On arrival, they greet the parents and other elders in the home with a kiss on the knees as a sign of respect. Then, they stand in front of the hosts who demand to see the items inside the suitcases.

The best man does most of the talking. Before he takes out each item, he exaggerates with flowery words and phrases to make the item appear more expensive and rare.

In response, the bride’s family and bridesmaids deliberately belittle the value of each gift. In addition, while the best man presents a certain gift, a bridesmaid will sneak over and take an item from the suitcase such as a shoe, or an earring.

When the best man then presents the item and only has one shoe instead of a pair, the hosts ridicules the groom for only bringing one shoe or item. The groomsmen will respond by saying it was not their groom, but a jealous bridesmaid that did such mischief.

This entertaining and theatrical banter continues until the bridesmaids receive all the gifts. Afterwards, the family will bless the groom and grant permission to marry the bride and they all enjoy a traditional feast that might continue through the night.
On the wedding day, the groom, attired in the traditional garb, along with his groomsmen make their way to the bride's house.

By the time the groom gets there, everybody in the bride's house meets them outside and welcomes them with traditional songs. The singers insist they won't allow them inside. The groom begs to make his way in. This is all part of an old custom to prevent the groom from entering until he pays his dowry.

The groom then walks to the bride and presents her with flowers. The bride excitedly accepts the flowers with a kiss, and they are escorted out of the house to their car by their friends and family.

Other guests follow the bride and groom in their own cars to the next ceremony of the day, which is the photo program, called Shirishir. It starts with a "road party". All the family members and friends trail their car from behind with flowers flowing out of their window while singing traditional wedding songs. 

The Melse is a traditional reception that occurs on the day after the wedding for close friends and family members and is hosted by the bride's family. The bride and groom wear traditional habesha clothes as well as a “Kaba” which is a traditional cape embellished with gold or silver trimmings.

The bridal party and guests also wear traditional habesha clothes. The bride and groom walk in with their bridal party and immediately begin dancing. Once the dancing stops, the food is blessed and the bridal party begins serving food and drinks and they are considered “hosts” of the Melse. After food, the dancing begins for hours.

The dancing is stopped for a naming ceremony called “Dabo Sim” where the groom's family gives the bride a name that she will be called by the groom's family going forward. The naming ceremony is lighthearted and often begins with the groom’s family and his groomsmen presenting a name that they know the bride’s family will not accept.

The bride’s family and bridesmaids will adamantly resist the names until the groom’s side presents an acceptable name. Once the name has been accepted, the bread or “Dabo” will be cut and passed out to the guests by the bridal party. Each guest has to recite the name before they are given a piece of bread. If they say the wrong name, they will not get a piece of bread.

After the Dabo Sim ceremony, the dancing continues into the night.

The final cultural wedding ends with kilkil - which means, getting together. Kilkil is an intimate event held a day after the Melse and is traditionally hosted by the Groom’s family. Close family members of the bride and groom gather to meet and mingle and get to know one another intimately. The entire bridal party hosts the guests. Kilkil gives the bride and the groom the opportunity to pay respects to their families and guests
Parents of the bride and groom congratulate the newlyweds, bless them and bid them goodbye.

Read more on Ethiopian culture from Milcah-Degefu & Habeshabrides.

Photos are courtesy of, Yoknyamdable &

Thank you for visiting. Please leave me a comment.

If you have bridal photos to share from your place, send it to me via email and I'll share it here and give you credit. I love romance and swooning over bride photos is my hobby.


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