In the various cultures the traditional bridal outfits differ dramatically. The Europeans who are accustomed to the white dresses may be surprised by the costumes of the African or Japanese brides who may wear red or black gowns. Even in the separate areas of the USA the traditional wedding dresses were not always white.

In the African culture much attention is paid to the cloth. The traditional bridal outfit may include the bright colored skirt called “bubah” and a jacket. The head of the bride is usually decorated by the turban and her hair is braided. These braids symbolize the modesty and serenity of the girl.

In Morocco the brides’ shoulders are covered with the painted woolen shawls. The maidens wear the light hoods embroidered and decorated with the silver coins and the necklaces with the silver bells. The cheeks of the young brides are painted with the mixture of honey and sienna, their eyebrows are painted jet black and eyelids are painted deep green. Each wedding outfit weighs more than several kilos and the friends help the bride to get dressed up for the ceremony.

In the Northern America the colors acquire the sacred meaning. In the separate native tribes the wedding dress is made from the four separate pieces of cloth of different colors- black, blue, orange and white. Each of the colors denotes one of the four elements.

In Asia the main symbols of wedding are silk and the red color which denote health, prosperity and wellness. The bridal outfit in the Northern China is a tight long red gown with a high collar. In the Southern part of this country the young bride wears a jacket and several skirts embroidered with the golden birds symbolizing the happiness and luck.

In Japan the traditional wedding dress is called “shiromuku”. It is a gorgeous kimono made of the weightless white silk which is supplied with a white gold-cloth cape. The sophisticated hairdo of the bride is fixed with the traditional fretted ebony comb. This detail is a symbol of gentleness and respect for the groom.

After the religious ceremony the Japanese bride may change her dress and put on the red-and-gold outfit. There is an ancient belief that these colors frighten the evil ghosts and symbolize the triumph of life. In the West the white color denotes the innocence but in Japan it has another meaning. Being a symbol of the renewal the white kimono says that the bride doesn’t bring anything unknown to the family of her groom.

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