Filmmaker: Salem Khaweldeh
“A one-night wedding is a year’s preparation,” goes the age-old Algerian saying.
In Algeria, especially in the west, both men and women dance. We say ‘women dance and men play' because the male dance is a ritual training for battle. It’s inspired by war games dating back to Algerian resistance against invaders.
Summer in Algeria—the largest Arab country in the world and the biggest in the African continent—a popular time of year for traditional, elaborate weddings, particularly in the lead-up to Ramadan.
At the heart of these celebrations are the brides with their hand-made outfits, their jewellery and the henna parties; as well as the delicious food that accompanies every step of the marriage process. Plus the music and armed horsemen in tribal war dress.
This colourful film takes us through the rituals and significance of Algerian traditions by following three different wedding ceremonies. We speak to heritage researchers about Algeria’s marriage traditions and see how engagements and arrangements are formalised. This film is an intimate look at the preparations and rituals of these rich and sumptuous family celebrations.
Source: Al Jazeera