Sunday, 4 January 2009

What Would You Eat On A "Henna Night/Kına Gecesi"?

This foto was taken on a Sunday trip to Sultanahmet in Istabul/Turkey. The lonely standing of one of the traditional "Henna Night/Kına Gecesi" dresses is so similar to the feelings of some "bride-to-be"s... So you may wonder what on earth is a "Henna Night"? Well, it is a night that the women friends and family members of the bride hold a party in the brides' honor and no men are invited.

The bride’s face is covered and she is encouragred to cry bitter tears to express her sadness as she will be leaving her family. (In Turkey when a man gets married it is said that his family gains a daughter and the family of the bride loses theirs. This cultural understanding is the opposite in Spain.) It may seam ridiculous to many other people but you don't have to forget that this ceremony is hundres of years old (though no one knows exactly when it begun) and it is done for many cultural and religious reasons such as the leaving of the bride, tradition, virginity, beauty... etc and even for health. Well, lets move on to how it is done generally.

The henna is places on the palms of the bride’s hands and covered with a cloth. The henna stains her hands and it is a sign of joy for everyone to see. The grooms mother presents the bride a piece of gold(neckless,bracelet... etc.) for prosperity and wealth.

So what do they eat on this night? Actually this depends on the area. While in some there is just knick knacks (such as dried fruits and nuts) and softdrinks, in some others meals are served. As savoury Pilav/pilaf/pilau, meet dishes, pita bread, soups and as dessert different types of helva/halva/halwa, dairy dessert or types of baklava are served depending on the region of course.

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