During the last few years, Italy has been given a particular focus on Albanian culture.
Pugli @ lbania Communities and Cultures on the Net
In this regard, a great initiative has been undertaken in the 2007 (Pugli @ lbania Community and Culture on the net) to present to the Italian public, through a small ethnographic exhibition, some aspects of the cultural heritage of the Albanian people.
Visiting Albania you can frequently come across small groups of Albanians drinking grappa, a traditional liqueur, and singing songs typical of the area.
This daily ritual is repeated, in a more noisy and festive way, during wedding ceremonies and family celebrations so as to be considered one of the most typical manifestations of Albanian folk art.
Wedding Rituals and Traditional Albanian Dresses
It is an opportunity for many to show off their traditional dress or to sing popular songs; others instead take the opportunity to demonstrate their dancers' skills, dancing without stopping, accompanied by the sound emitted by precious musical instruments such as the saze and llauta.
Preparations for the ceremony can last up to a week. The highlight of the Albanian wedding is the arrival of the bride in the courtyard of the groom's house. At this moment the dances and songs begin in the background of which the bride appears dressed in a dress of various colors and decorated with different motifs, decorated with precious jewels and silver: for the ceremonial dress and for the ornaments the families of the spouses can even get into debt.
The day the bride is taken to the home of her future husband is considered a sacred day, which no other critical or mournful family circumstance can postpone. To better understand this custom there is an old saying that reads: "the deceased comes from one door and the bride enters the other". No other Albanian ceremony communicates the joy that is evident and contagious in wedding parties.
Nothing can obscure the splendor of beauty that accompanies the moment when the wedding ceremony begins. The traditions of wedding rites have an ancient origin that dates back to the times when men lived together with the gods. Unlike the consideration that a woman has in everyday life, in this context she acquires an almost divine nature, almost like a special creature.
The bride resembles, in fact, a goddess, both for the dress and for the way in which it is treated during the wedding ceremony. The future wife occupies the most beautiful corner of the house; the large number of guests who accompany her from her home to that of the groom make her look like a sacred creature. The highlight of the ceremony is the entrance of the bride into the house of her future husband, where everything touched by the bride is spread with honey contained in a silver cup. It is the most exciting time for guests and is accompanied by songs with an intriguing and seductive text.
It is also an integral part of the "show" on the day when the bride's outfit is displayed, rich not only in personal objects, but also in many gifts for the groom's relatives. Highlights include hand-made works for the groom, wedding gowns that are worn during the first year of marriage, and especially bed linen. Being the nuptial thalamus considered the sacred place of the most beautiful dreams and the greatest pleasures, as well as a source of life, it is embellished with refined fabrics and embroideries, used for the mattress covers, the cotton or silk sheets, the embroidered bedspreads with silver threads and embroidered cushions adorned with crochet work.
Adorn the house
Among the most beautiful decorations that were used to adorn the rooms of the house during the wedding ceremony, we recall those made with carpets, curtains or other hand-made works.
All these elements sanctified and ennobled the ceremonial in its entirety, signaling the moment of life's continuity. This is precisely the majesty of this festival, where the actors are the family, relatives, guests and almost all the inhabitants of the village, the neighborhood or the city.
The traditional cuisine on the wedding day is also quite rich. Certainly there is meat in abundance, various types of byrek, fat pilaf, honey or sugar sweets and to close a type of thick yogurt or syltjash (rice, milk, sugar and a little salt).
Tirana Institute of Popular Culture