Kelin-salom (A Bride’s greeting)
Many important family events, such as weddings, are accompanied by lots of interesting rites. One of them is kelin-salom, or a bride’s greetings, which celebrates the beginning of married life and takes place the day after the wedding ceremony.
On this day the newlywed groom leaves the family home before sunrise; he can go to his friends’ or relatives’ and should return home only in the evening.
In the meantime, the family’s relatives, friends and neighbours get together at the groom’s house from early morning to meet the newlywed bride, who dresses in gorgeous gold-embroidered national costume.
Everyone takes their turn to convey their best wishes and blessings to the newlywed and present her with gifts. The bride greets every guest with a deep bow. She bows first to her husband’s parents and other members of his immediate family and then to everyone else. The greeting ritual is accompanied by singing, usually by a woman relative, who sings improvised rhymes addressed to every person whom the bride greets.
For every bow the bride receives a gift and a blessing, and gives those gathered small presents in return. It is believed that a gift from the newlywed bride brings luck to an unmarried young woman.