Our ancestors have crafted unique wedding rituals to attract good fortune and a healthy, 'hasad-free married life.
Here are some of the weirdest wedding rituals some Arabs have adopted:
Disclaimer: Each ritual is distinctive to a specific family or tribe and in no means applies to the general population.
1. Step on fish, Tunisia
This ritual is very common among the people of the city of Sfax. A big fish, decorated with colorful strings, is brought to the couple on a dish. The groom holds his bride's hand as she takes seven steps on the fish, then they switch roles, while people chant a well-known folkloric song.
Meanwhile, the people of Bizerta make the bride eat the fish. This after she ties it to her ankle, drags it across the floor and jumps on it seven times.
The practice is meant to expel the evil eye and protect the couple from envy.
2. Stick dough on the door, Lebanon
Some brides in Baalbek stick a piece of dough on the doors of their new houses. This is said to predict the success of the marriage. If the dough remains in place, they will have a long, happy life. If not, the marriage will is going up a slippery slope, so to speak.
3. Crack an egg on the wedding night, Morocco
In a bid to expel evil and mark the beginning of a new chapter, a Moroccan bride might break an egg painted with henna on the wall of her new home. She does this on her wedding night.
4. Boy pees on the marital bed, Iraq
Some people in the Iraqi Diyala province get a boy to pee on the couple's bed on the night of the wedding. This is said to give natural selection a little push in the Y chromosome's direction.
5. Groom takes off a piece of clothing and makes a run for it, UAE
In the Emirati Shihuh tribe, the groom-to-be takes off a piece of clothing (nothing too reckless though, it's usually just the 'amama turban) as he sprints to his bride's family home. The symbolism behind this ritual is unclear.
6. Bride intentionally falls while dancing, Sudan
Husbands should always have their wives' backs, and this maxim takes literal effect in some Sudanese weddings. Brides put their grooms to test. One minute they're dancing, and then without warming, they intentionally fall to the ground. This will happen several times in the party. Their grooms are expected to prevent the fall each time, or face serious embarrassment.
7. Single ladies write names on the bride's shoes, Iraq
This one's for all the single ladies looking for a match: the next time you get invited to a wedding, write your name on the back of the bride's shoes. The universe might just respond and swing the perfect suitor in your direction. Might be worth a try, even if Iraq isn't your native/adopted country.
8. Pinch the bride, Egypt
If the Iraqi husband-hunt technique falls through, the Egyptians have your back.
After the bride is dressed up, single women surround her and each pinch her knee. This is said to improve her chances of finding a partner at the wedding party.