One of the most interesting, and sometimes most dreaded, of social spectacles in Egypt is the wedding, most of which in the countryside are held in summer for the balmy night temperatures. City folk hold their weddings at homes, in restaurants, or at hotels, depending on how much the budget can afford. So they are not so bound by the season. A truly posh wedding here in one of the ballrooms at a five star hotel with a catered dinner can cost as much as a small house. I've told my kids since they were young that they will never get one of those weddings. These fancy society weddings tend, on the whole, to be rather boring as well. There is usually a singer and a belly dancer for entertainment and the entire program is videotaped to the nth degree.
Country weddings tend to be rather louder, more interesting, and are held outdoors. They tend not to stretch on into the early morning hours since farmers still have cows to milk early on the next day. Our neighbours, the family of the area power structure, are marrying off their last son this Thursday and the festivities should be something to see. The bride is from a neighbouring village and will be picked up in a rented Mercedes and led in a parade that will be heralded by a rented Hummer. I asked why horses weren't being used, but the distances are too long.
My daughter has one of her friends from New York arriving on Wednesday night, so Emily will move directly from jet lag to village wedding. What a culture shock. Should be quite an evening. I'll take some photos and post them. We were even honoured with written invitations to the do and are reallly looking forward to it.
I've inadvertantly been part of wedding processions in this area when out riding in the afternoons and evenings. Horses just love it when a line of honking cars comes up behind them on a one lane dirt road. The clapping of the men, the beating of the drums, and the laughing and singing women and children piled into pickups, dump trucks and on donkey carts make for an unusual parade. I usually try to get out of the way as quickly as possible, but a couple of times that meant just trotting in front of the procession for about half a kilometre. The participants were generally so cheerful that they didn't mind our slowness and in fact were pleased to have the horses as outriders. The horses weren't all that thrilled.