Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/97

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Collectanea. 8 1

fixed to take place in the presence of the parents and their kins- folk, best friends, and neighbours, who were regaled with sweet- meats and other refreshments. Before this meeting took place, the mothers of the two young people retired, either into an arbour in the garden or some separate apartment, where they prepared a mixture of aniseed, aromatic plants, salt, and honey, with which they rubbed the bride's lips, with the idea of rendering her affable and prudent. She was then conducted into the room where her future husband awaited her arrival, who presented her with a ring on which was engraved two hands united — the emblem of mutual faith — together with bracelets, necklaces, and a gold chain ; she presenting him in return with a handkerchief trimmed with lace and bows of ribbon. This ceremony is called " il chelma," the engagement. On the morning of the wedding-day the most honoured personage amongst the husband's relations threw a fine white veil over the bride's head, who wore a brocade or velvet dress, in which the other relations made certain rents for the pur- pose of affixing small golden shells. The bridal procession then proceeded to the church for the ceremony, attended by musicians playing different instruments and by singers who sang stanzas in praise of the young couple. These musicians were preceded by three men : the first bearing on his head a basin of white earth on which was placed a big cake with two figures, representing the bride and bridegroom — the man who carried this basin also wore a scarf with a round cake hanging from it. The second carried a basket filled with sugar plums and candied nuts, which one of the relations distributed among such acquaintances as he happened to meet. In the middle of the basket was a handkerchief, folded in the form of a pyramid and ornamented with images of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, and the Infant Jesus. The third man was constantly employed in burning perfumes. The bride and bride- groom followed, walking under a canopy of crimson velvet carried by four of the principal persons who attended the wedding. The rest of the relations and invited friends, called the Haddara, closed the procession. The arrival of the bridal procession at the church was announced by the ringing of bells. The officiating priest was then presented with a basin containing a cake, a handkerchief, and two bottles of wine, the usual fee on such occasions .... every one returned from church in the same order as before. As the newly married couple wended their way to their house, the women

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