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South Asian Wedding's and Baraat Horses

Indian Hindu Baraat's, Palestine Arabic Zaffa and other Specialty Wedding Horses

Servicing Baraat's and Zaffa's in the Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Cleveland, Erie, Harrisburg and surrounding areas.  We offer 4 costume options and more than willing to hear about your vision for your baraat and wedding and will do our best to accommodate your request if possible.  Our white mare's are specifically trained to behave during all the exciting festivities of your wedding and will get you that special wedding photo to share for generations to come.  You can be joined by your family during your special entrance in our carriage during your Baraat's entrance.


History Lesson on the Baraat

The baraat is a wedding procession that is taken out from the groom’s side on his wedding day. Although it does not have any religious significance, it is tradition and a custom that is observed in North India and in Pakistan. This custom basically revolves on the traveling of the groom from his home to the venue of the wedding on a white horse with his family and friends celebrating along the way, often with song and dance. The music is lent by either a brass band or a few dhol wale or percussionists while the family and friends of the groom rejoice in the happiness of the groom.

In India, the baraat is one of the most important customs for two communities i.e. Punjabi and Rajputana. Although there are many other North Indian communities that participate in the baraat culture with equal fervor, the importance given to the baraat is a lot higher here.

In some cultures, the baraat begins with the custom of tying the groom’s sehra i.e. special veil for the face made of flowers, beads or any other material other than cloth, which is tied to the groom’s turban. The next custom is the sawaari or the climbing of the groom on to the horse’s back in preparation for the journey to the venue. In certain cultures, the groom may make the journey on an elephant’s back as well. The baraat is a grand affair and can be a lengthy procession. If the venue of the wedding is too far away from the groom’s home, the baraat begins in front of the groom’s house and carries on for about an hour and then is paused temporarily. The procession is resumed again at the entryway of the venue and can carry on for another hour. The baraat is the first among the many rituals and ceremonies on the day of the wedding.


History Lesson on the Zaffa

 The procession then begins with the groom, very clean and well-dressed, mounted on a horse or donkey, (white horse is usual), surrounded by his family who sing for him.  As the group proceeds along the streets to where the bride is waiting, villagers come out from their homes, bringing food for the coming celebration and adding their voices to the songs.  After the exchange of vows, there may be a “tajalay” ceremony in which the bride declares herself to be a “good girl” who has not humiliated her family.  Before the married couple enters their new home, each slaps a piece of dough on the wall above the door, first the bride, then the groom, in an ancient ritual that signifies a hope that joy will grow in the house in the same way as the baking soda grows inside the dough.

The final celebration begins with more singing and exuberant dancing of the “dabka”, a dance passed down the centuries from Phoenician or Canaanite times and popular wherever Palestinians congregate.  It is the concluding act of the Palestinian passion for keeping intact their unique culture.  A poet, Moussa Hafidh, stated at a recent wedding:  if a people loses their cultural identity, they lose their political identity.  The Palestinian wedding, with its many time-honored customs and rituals, tells the world that Palestine is a nation with a culture and therefore a nation with a history and its own political identity.  Rozana opens the Birzeit Heritage Week each year with a shortened version of the wedding, reminding all Palestinians, from the West Bank, the Golan and Gaza, the land of ’48, and the far-flung diaspora, of their common culture and identity.

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