I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…but here in Keyna, I’m really just dreaming of the end of an unseasonably long rainy season…thankful for warmer weather that is finally arriving. With the arrival of this warmer weather comes a surge of weddings, many happening each weekend. On a recent Saturday morning, Dan and I heard some faint singing outside our window. Peering out our curtains, we saw numerous cars lining the main road of our neighborhood and saw a large white tent set up in the yard of a nearby neighbor…it definitely looked like a pre-wedding gathering.
Here, wedding celebrations start very early in the morning when friends and family gather at the bride’s house to ‘coax’ her out of the house. They do this by singing songs to her in Kiswahili or their tribal tongue.
Meanwhile, inside the bride is donning her wedding gown, doing her hair and preparing for her big day, with her immediate family and bridesmaids at her side. After about 30-45 minutes of singing about God’s blessings and the joy of children, the door swings open with the mother and father-of-the-bride standing next to her, holding the her arms and preparing her for the departure to the church.
Just before she takes her first step across the threshold of the doorway, the friends standing nearby lay down sections of kanga fabric for her to walk on, kind of like rolling out a red carpet for the princess of the day.
She proceeds to the car that is beautifully decorated with ribbons and flowers, her bridesmaids and attendants dressed in matching yellow gowns and flower girls with angel’s wings trailing behind.
In a few moments, her car will start the drive to the church with many cars of family and friends following closely behind to join her in her big day of celebration.