Learn more about the Igbo cilture! Read this article and find out more about typical Igbo weddings.
The Igbo people in Nigeria usually keep up to their traditions. That’s why Igbo weddings are very special for the indigenous people.
The other important events in the culture of Igbo are also the birth of a child and the funeral of the dead relative. They have special rituals for everything.
As for the marriage, you should visit the typical Igbo wedding because it’s quite spectacular. It is very different from the western traditions. Igbo people find the agreement of their parents very important.
That’s why the wedding is not only about them but also about their family and good friends. There are usually a lot of people invited.
The first step - Proposal
According to the Igbo traditions, the man has to propose to a woman in her house. He has to visit her together with his dad and talk to her parents in order to ask the permission to marry their daughter.
It’s very important to have a good communication.
The father of the girl has to be very polite and welcoming. Firstly, he asks his daughter’s opinion. If she shows interest in getting married and the parents don’t mind, they say yes.
After that they have to decide something about all the details of the future wedding. However, they make an appointment on another day so that they have enough time to think.
The typical Igbo wedding
There is supposed to be some kind of “price” that the man has to pay in order to get married. Of course it’s not the actual money.
The guy and his father come to the girl’s house again. They have to bring something to eat with them. During the meal the parents have to discuss what the man has to pay.
Usually the groom pays with food. It can be almost anything; he can choose himself or ask the father if he want something specific. However, sometimes the fathers can’t decide everything in one evening so they have to meet once again.
Igbo wedding – step 3
The third traditional day that has to come in order to get married is the day when the man is actually paying the price. It is a very official part where both of the parents have to be very polite and nice to each other.
After the official ceremony, they just eat and talk.
The other purpose of this day is also to discuss the way the wedding is going to be held. The couple can choose the guests themselves but the parents should first get acquainted with them.
That’s why the girl and the boy invite them to their house and introduce them to the family. There also has to be dinner served and both the guests and the parents have to be kind and open-minded.
What do Igbo brides wear?
They usually wear the traditional Igbo clothes – very colourful and beautiful costumes. Sometimes they also wear the hats.
The other important tradition is the bride looking for the groom. Her man has to hide somewhere in the room and the girl has to find him. She has to carry palm wine so that when he finally sees her love she can give it to him.
This is the last specific ceremony in Igbo culture. The guy drinks the wine, which means that both of them can now finally officially get married. Everyone claps and the guests and the couple start to celebrate.
They all dance and give the presents.
The church igbo wedding
Even though Igbo people are trying to stay conservative, the wedding in the church is not that different from any other church wedding in Nigeria. It goes in a very simple way.
The girl’s mom is walking down the aisle with her while the father is accompanying his son. Sometimes the girls throw the money to wish the couple a lot of success.
After that the priest says the speech and asks both of them if they really want to get married. After he get the answers he names them wife and husband and they kiss. Since that moment they are considered to be officially married.
Birth and death celebrations in Igbo culture
The happiest moment in the mother’s life is the birth of her child. That’s why Igbo people find it very important to celebrate this event and to greet a new family member. There are special ceremonies for everything.
They even have to make a special party in order to give the baby a good name. All the friends and relatives are also supposed to come to the party because they have to take part in the life of the kid.
The death in the Igbo culture is an event that also requires a special ceremony. They believe that the soul of a dead person flies away to the world of spirits. It becomes free and happy this way.
But in order to help the dead person they need to make special rituals. If they do something wrong, the spirit will stay there forever, which is very dangerous.
However, not all the people get the same funeral ceremonies. It all depends on your personality during your life. If you were a kind and intelligent person, you get more chances to get more respect.
They usually bury the dead relative not far from the place he lived.
The relatives are not supposed to be sad and depressed because the person who died is going to a better place. That’s why they wear the colourful clothes and try to have fun. It’s more of a celebration than a sad event.
- READ ALSO: What Is Igbo Traditional Religion?