If you’re lucky while visiting the Middle East, you will get invited to Jordanian weddings, especially to witness on of the cultural gathering, Al-jaha. It’s one of the most important marriage ceremonies in Jordanian society. Despite the great progress and development that Jordan is experiencing, the Jordanian people still adhere to some old and beautiful customs, with “Al-jaha” being one of them.
Al-jaha consists of a group of high-ranking people that form a clan, who gather together, under the leadership of the head of the clan (the eldest of them in age and status). They visit the bride’s home in a large procession that includes many cars. When “Al-jaha” includes a greater number of high-ranking men, this gives high value for the bride and her clan.
Before Al-jaha visits the bride’s house, the groom’s father communicates with the bride’s father to determine the date and place of the Al-jaha meeting. Upon agreement of the date, the groom’s clan then prepares sweets and drinks to celebrate on that day.
Preparations and Formalities of Al-Jaha in Jordanian Weddings
Once “Al-jaha” arrives at the bride’s father’s house, the bride’s father begins to welcome the attendees. Coffee is presented to the clan leader of “Al-jaha” at the beginning, he then puts the cup on the table without drinking it. This is an indication that he is associating the approval of his request with drinking the coffee.
The leader of the clan asks the bride’s father to approve the engagement between his daughter and the groom, and it is said in the Jordanian dialect “We ask your daughter’s hand”. After that he presents a short speech.
The bride’s father agrees to the request, which is often done through a symbolic phrase: “We gave you if God gave you, you can drink your coffee”.
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