African Wedding Traditions

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Summary: African wedding traditions focus on family ties and honoring ancestors as a way of asking for wisdom and guidance for the new life that they will live together.
African wedding traditions are considered to be one of the most colorful and family oriented in the world. The fact that marriage in African culture is known to be uniting two families together as one; there is a huge focus when it comes to getting the permission or blessings from both families before the wedding is even considered. Here are some of the most popular African wedding traditions today.
Knocking on the Door
In Ghana, the husband to be needs to knock on the door of his future in-laws accompanied by his own family. He comes with gifts and if his knock on the door is acknowledged, only then will formal wedding plans be talked about. Consequently, they might also plan a simple excursion just so both families may be able to come together and bond with one another.
Jumping the broom is an old African wedding tradition. This rite most probably began with the African ritual where a broom symbolizes the sweeping off of old problems. In the era of the slave trade, African –Americans that were brought to America were forbidden to get married or live together as husband and wife. So what they essentially did was to jump over a broom in order to signify their intention to wed with one another. For modern day Africans, it is still being practiced at the end of the ceremony. The broom is handmade and is intricately decorated and is usually prominently displayed in the home of the happy couple.
Crossing sticks is another African wedding tradition where the happy couple presents their commitment to one another by crossing wooden sticks. The act actually represents the life force that is present in trees and symbolizes the desire for a good foundation and a new beginning with one another.
Another popular African wedding tradition calls for what is called a tribute ceremony or Tambiko. This is practiced in honor of the couple’s ancestors. What they essentially do is they use alcohol or holy water that is poured on the ground in specific directions while prayers are being recited. They then call out the names of their dead ancestors as a way to honor them as well as ask for the guidance and wisdom for their new life together as husband and wife. These are just some of the most popular African wedding traditions that are still being practiced to this day.

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