Bashkir wedding: traditions


In Bashkiria, the decision to marry the children was traditionally taken by parents, and there were cases when the young did not even see each other before the wedding day. The ceremony of marriage usually took place at home. For this purpose, a mullah was invited for the official marriage and the corresponding record in the metric book. The traditions of the Bashkir wedding have a long history, but, as now, before the ceremony could take place at home or in a mosque.

Wedding traditions and rites of Bashkiria

Plans for a future wedding arose with parents when their children were still 5 years old. Traditionally, a rite was held at the Bashkirs «cheat» - engagement of the future narrowed. When the time of engagement was approaching, the families began a thorough preparation for the celebration: they collected the dowry, sewed outfits, and prepared the house for the arrival of the guests. The Bashkir wedding ceremony includes several stages:

  • Negotiations and designation of wedding conditions (matchmaking, conspiracy).
  • Wedding ceremony (nikah).
  • Post-wedding traditions, rituals and customs.

Parental conspiracy about the wedding of children

According to Bashkir traditions, the young father, in consultation with his wife, asked the future groom whether he agrees to marriage. The head of the family determined who would become the bride. Moreover, the mother, although participating in the selection process, but only indirectly. After determining the future daughter-in-law, the father went to a potential father-in-law to arrange a wedding. As soon as the consent of the girl’s father was received, negotiations on kalyma started.

To confirm the conclusion of a marriage agreement, both families (bride and groom) traditionally drank koumiss or honey from one bowl. After that, the girl became a bride, and her parents no longer had the right to marry her to another, even if in the future the chosen bridegroom became an unsuitable couple (for example, when financial condition worsened). If the father made the decision to refuse the wedding contract, then by tradition he had to pay off by giving the man money or cattle.

Bashkir wedding contract

Kalym negotiations

The size of the wedding Bashkir kalym was determined by the financial capabilities of both families. It traditionally consisted of cattle, shoes, clothes and other goods. All gifts went to the bride, excluding horses. One of them was given to the girl’s father, and the second was stabbed for a wedding dinner. The bride’s mother received a fox coat as a ransom for her daughter. Despite the fact that the size of kalym for a Bashkir wedding, according to tradition, could fluctuate, compulsory gifts were provided, which the groom should have presented to the family of the future wife. These included:

  • Mothers - fox fur coat.
  • Father is a horse.
  • For a traditional wedding treat, a second horse (sometimes a ram or a cow replaced it) and 10-15 rubles for expenses.
  • Fabric for the dress of the bride and money for jewelry.

The rest of the ransom (if any) was transferred to the bride's father, who in return gave the young family money, cattle. Named from the groom in appendage to everything received «small kalym» in the form of a scarf, tablecloth, bathrobe, boots and other traditional things. The conclusion of conditions related to the size of the ransom was traditionally noted by some modest treat.

Traditional kalym in Bashkiria

Visiting the bride's house

A couple of days before the bride’s first visit to the bride, when the mullah will be formally married, the girl’s father, according to the Bashkir tradition, invites relatives to his house and talks about the arrival of the matchmakers. When the guests agree to help organize the wedding, the young family calls for guests from the groom. The father of the groom at the first visit to the house of the daughter-in-law brings a horse (which is later stabbed). All guests who came to the wedding stayed at the bride's family house. They were treated to a traditional bishbarmak, after which the delivery of gifts brought to the young began..

At night, guests were distributed to the homes of relatives of the bride's family living in the same village. The next day, weddings traditionally cut a horse. This process involved not only men, but also women who checked whether meat was fat. The guests, knowing what awaited them, put on simple clothes. When the guests arrived at the appointed place, matchmakers screamed at them, and a mass brawl began, which was the traditional wedding fun of the Bashkirs.

Arrival of the father-in-law with the mother-in-law to the father of the groom

Having stayed with the matchmakers for a couple of days, the guests went home. Later, father-in-law and mother-in-law go to the young father. Moreover, special rooms — male and female — were prepared for their reception. The girl’s mother, according to the Bashkir tradition, brought a chest in which lay a scarf, chintz rags, threads and a shirt. After lunch, the men went to the women's room, where the mother of the bride invited one of the women present to open the chest.

For this, the consenting woman received a scarf as a gift, and sold pieces of matchmaker cloth to men for a nominal fee. The threads were presented to the old women, who did not give anything in return, but received them with prayers. And the shirt was traditionally presented to the father of the groom, in return he gave the girl's family some kind of cattle. After the distribution of gifts, the matchmakers said goodbye and left for home..

Bashkir wedding traditions

Small wedding

By tradition, the Bashkir wedding ceremony took place in the house of the bride's father. Old people who were present during the matchmaking gathered here. A mullah came and asked his young father if he agreed to marry. If the answer was yes, then the mullah read part of the Koran and entered the marriage contract into the metric book. For this, he was traditionally paid 1% of the amount of kalym. After that, the groom received the legal right as a husband to visit her father’s house.

Tui Festival

After paying the wedding kalym, the groom and his relatives came for his wife to the father-in-law's house. He prepared in advance for the arrival of the groom, arranging the traditional holiday of Tui. However, if the head of the girl’s family was not rich, then he limited himself to offering a modest treat. The Bashkir holiday Tui, according to tradition, took place for 2-3 days. Rich parents arranged wrestling, horse racing, games, a general magnificent meal.

Bride leaving for her husband's house

When the time came for the departure of the young, according to tradition, the young sister and other relatives arranged various intrigues and obstacles. To do this, they carried the girl’s bed to the forest and tied it with tight knots with a rope, the ends of which were hidden under the roots of the trees. The bride and groom themselves were put on the bed, after which girlfriends and relatives of the groom began to fight for her. This ancient tradition of Bashkir weddings, which often caused serious damage to both sides in the form of torn clothes.

Before leaving, the young, according to tradition, said goodbye to relatives. She went around the houses of all relatives in the village. The girl was surrounded by 4 friends who around the corners held a scarf over her head and raised a cry. Each relative gave a young tablecloth, towel, thread. In return, women traditionally gave the named woman money and other values. After that, friends put on a young best suit and took them to a cart, which was supposed to take her to her husband. Moreover, the girl was actively resisting until the brothers and father gave her something.

Bashkir bride

According to the Bashkir tradition, a young relative was accompanied by one «sold» her for the ransom of a young father. When the girl first crossed the threshold of her husband’s house, she had to kneel down three times in front of her father-in-law, who, after each next time, raised the bride. After which she gave gifts to her husband’s relatives, and in return they presented generous gifts to her.

The day after the wedding

In the morning, according to tradition, the bride was sent with a yoke and buckets to a well for water. She took with her a silver coin tied to a thread. This symbolic item was thrown by a young Bashkir wife into the water as a sacrifice to the water spirit. The children who surrounded her at this time actively tried to catch a coin from the water. From this moment, the girl could open her face in front of her husband without hesitation.

What is customary to dress young in Bashkiria for a wedding?

We prepared very carefully for the Bashkir wedding. Elegant clothes were sewn for the newlyweds, which after the ceremony they could wear for solemn occasions. The traditional holiday was full of bright colors that were brought to it by colorful women's dresses with a full skirt, decorated with multi-colored satin ribbons, patterns, stripes and frills. In some regions of Bashkiria, wedding dresses were traditionally decorated with embroidery with a chain stitch. Robes and camisoles were put on top of the main outfit.

Important in the Bashkir wedding custom was the traditional dressing of the bride in a woman's costume. This ritual took place before the young lamentations were performed, after which she was taken to her husband's house. Of particular importance was the headdress called. Often at a wedding, a girl took off her clothes and put on a female one. In the south-eastern part of Bashkiria, the bride's head was covered with a scarf, on top of which a helmet-shaped kashmau of silver and corals was worn. In another locality, the role of a headdress was traditionally played by a cap embroidered with beads..

Bashkir traditional wedding attire

Bashkir garments, which served as gifts, possessed symbolic symbolism. The bride before the wedding presented her future husband with a shirt, the collar and sleeves of which she had previously embroidered. In the appendage, the girl handed the bridegroom a skullcap and woven pants. The colors of the wedding wear meant a lot, so bright shades of red, blue or green were traditionally used. The bridegroom was belted with a sash of red color for the wedding, and a belt of bright shreds was sewn for the Bashkir delinquent.

Video: traditional Bashkir wedding

Traditionally, the Bashkir wedding and the birth of healthy offspring were considered the affairs of a worthy person who cares not only about his personal happiness, but also about the share of his people. If earlier the celebration took place on a grand scale and lasted for several days (and sometimes weeks), then the modern Bashkir wedding is held much more modestly, without observing all the traditional rites and with the absence of a generous dowry.