Sudanese Wedding Traditions

Sudan has many unique wedding traditions and customs, like every country around the world, to celebrate the joy of a wedding, a major life event in every culture round the world, as it represents the union of two people, and their families, a fresh beginning and the start of a new family, but like in every country, wedding traditions are changing and evolving.

After the seventies, the celebration period in many places went down to a week or ten days. As life changed over the decades and with the economic challenges, the new generation do not celebrate for as long when they get married. Nowadays, the average time for celebrating a wedding has come down to two or three nights.

In the past, most marriages were arranged by families, and usually the couple would not even meet until their wedding day. In time that changed and lots of people today choose their own spouses. Either way, when the couple do choose to go by the traditional Sudanese way, the process takes a long time, and goes through many steps from the first visit by the groom’s male members to the bride’s family to ask the father and brothers for her hand.

The family of the bride takes some time to consider the groom, and consult amongst themselves, before getting back to the groom’s family with their answer. “If the proposal is accepted, the groom’s female relatives come to the bride’s home with what they call “Golat Alkhair,” which is a gift for the bride that usually consists of beauty products, perfumes, clothes and sometimes a simple piece of jeweler and some money or other gifts.

The two families meet to decide the date of the wedding and agree on the details, sometimes they throw an engagement party in case the wedding day has not yet determined, or the couple needed time to get to know each other better before they wed.

Any way weddings in Khartoum, and many places in the central parts of Sudan do have lots in common, however as Sudan is such a vast and diverse country, traditions for weddings differ from one place to another, according to the religion, ethnicity, and the regional origin of the couple. There is a whole different set of traditions in the West, the East of the country, and most of the people who live in these regions are still keeping their unique cultures alive.