It is highly likely that if you are reading this blog that you or your loved one have Lebanese roots or family from a levant country. I thank you for simply coming over to learn more about the “why” behind the Lebanese Style show I offer as an Orlando based belly dancer and the hard work that is put into designing this show to ensure that your expectations and traditions are honored. I simply love your country (yes, I have visited and danced there) and see this show as my own small contribution to showcasing my favorite parts of what makes your music, dance and style stand out. You can learn more bout me on my about page and visit my hire page at any point to see my show offerings and style.
Lebanese Wedding Traditions
While the majority of my readers for this article have Lebanese blood, many may come to this article because they are getting married, and this wedding planning time is essentially the time that they are beginning to learn about their partner’s Lebansee wedding traditions and cultural context. I’ll be sharing about common wedding traditions below in this section:
1. Pre-Wedding Parties
Similar to my Indian clients, the festivities begin a good time before the wedding day! Oh yes, and these pre-wedding celebrations are grand in my experience. In the Lebanese culture, each family will host separate events filled with food, dance, music and flowers (a lot of flowers) for the bride and the groom at their homes typically.
The spread of food is, as always with my Lebanese clients, impressive. Close friends and family travel to attend these special gatherings and the fun and energy fill the room. Expect to hear Zalaouta as great dance moves and other causes for expressions of joy move family members and guests.
2. The Lebanese Zeffe
This is where I as a belly dancer come into the picture jiji. The zeffe is a tradition that can be found throughout the Middle East. It is basically a grand way to make an entrance to either the church from where couple is picked up or (and pretty much the case here in the states) to enter the wedding reception venue and lead the party to the reception room. When I have been a part of this, it is probably the most fun experience for me as an entertainer. Here is what goes down….
You have the bride and the groom and they are preceded by a lot of zeffe drummers and dancers and a belly dancer like me who is often balancing a Shamadan and playing zills at the front. If there is a zeffe group, they enter the reception venue room and begin hyping up the crowd in the modern renditions I see today. Fireworks are a big thing at Lebanese weddings. It is so glam! When the bride and groom are called to enter the room, the doors open, the fireworks go off and the zeffe dancers and crowd go nuts. You simply have to be there to behold the splendor.
3. Lebanese Traditions
Here are a few tidbits to know about the Lebanese traditions and what you will see at a Lebanese wedding. There are so many traditions. I’ll just place a couple tiny detail ones here as you truly must be at the wedding to see it all.
- A Mashba (string of beads) or a handkerchief is often spun by the leader in a debkeh line. These beads are used to remind the wearer of Allah.
Need one? Here is a link to see what these are on Amazon:
- Sword Cake Cutting
In the Lebanese culture it is a tradition to cut the cake with a sword. Unfortunately, I as a belly dancer and gone before the cake cutting, so I personally have not seen this in the last 12 years, but it is a common thing.
- Food and Dance
What I learned quite quickly as a belly dancer for Lebanese weddings and in my time there as well is that food and dance are abundant. The amount of food in a typical Lebanese spread is just wonderful and at first a bit overwhelming. Any time a Lebanese person feeds me, you would think they were about to feed a family of 5 at least. It is a beautiful tradition of hospitality. The wedding is no different. Thankfully, Lebanese people LOVE to dance, so you’ll burn those calories off in no time jajaj!
So Why The Lebanese Show Jennifer?
In a nutshell, after over a decade of performing at Lebanese weddings and events as a belly dancer I felt it was my duty to create an oriental show that really highlights the sass and energy and brings back what the dancers do in the Levant so the audience can feel like they are watching a show back home.
If you are needing a belly dancer for a Lebanese wedding, you have your gal! The show includes the following 7 numbers:
- A sassy Lebanese Oriental entrance with assaya
- Balance act with a candle tray or sword
- Bride & groom dance
- Double veil dance
- Drum solo
- We top the show off with one of today’s most popular Lebanese pop hits
- And of course… a high-energy Dabke. Get ready!
When it comes to adding more fun with a Lebanese wedding dance, a belly dancer is a fabulous and traditional addition that will make for a spectacular dinner performance. I recommend that the show begin right after guests have finished eating their dinner.
Would You Like To Hire a Belly dancer for a Lebanese Wedding?