Most recently, the Libyan culture has seen a blend of many influences, due to its exposure to numerous historical eras. Its culture involves roots in Berber, African, Turkish, and Arab cultures. Libya was also an Italian colony for about three decades, which had a great impact on the culture. However, Libya has managed to preserve its traditional folk culture till today.
Nowadays, in modern Libya, people are no longer seen wearing the traditional dress very often, especially women, except the elderly Libyans, who still live by traditions. The normal dress includes international modernized fashion that has spread out from the Western world. Women in Libya dress modestly and most of them wear the Hijab.
Generally, Libyan women are known for their sense of fashion and style, and even the modernly designed costumes are becoming to be the blend of the traditional and Western styles.
The Libyan wedding ceremony is usually Islamic, as it is the country’s state religion and commonly officiated by an imam.
Just like other sub-Sahel countries, like Morocoo, Egypt, and Algeria, Libyan weddings can last between three to five days.
Historically the bride’s body is covered and her face veiled, but in more recent times she might wear a traditional wedding gown.
Each Libyan city also has its own specific traditions, for example the henna patterns for brides in Benghazi differ from those in Tripoli.
Traditional Wedding Dress For Women
This traditional wedding dress actually differs from region to region with a slight comparison, but the general style consists of a blouse with baggy sleeves that are embroidered with beads and silver/gold thread and baggy silk trousers that have an elastic band at the bottom. On that, women’s dresses are brightly colored, in which cloths are made into dresses like togas and held together by silver brooches.
The head is covered using a colorful cloth embellished with colorful pom-poms. Libyan women are fond of wearing large pieces of gold or silver jewelry, hence, this is always available to complement their fashion during traditional wedding. The neckwear usually goes down to the knees and the bracelets are about 4-6 inches wide. However, it is traditional for the groom to give the outfit with the gold to his bride at their wedding and for the bride to wear it the day after. Basically, the women’s traditional dress is cloyingly expensive, but the prices vary depending on the quality and weight of gold or silver.
The bride dresses up a traditional pink-striped voluminous dress, folded up into cushion-like forms at the back and hips, and had a matching kerchief tied up on top of her head plus wearing huge gold in her hands.
This is called ‘Alboudri day’, because it is the day that the bride is cladded in pink, as well as, the bride in that day prepares herself to get the baskets of clothes, jewelry including gold and silver, makeup, and some food like cheese, bread, egg, gum, and fuzzy drinks from the groom’s family as a traditional thing.
Traditional Wedding Dress For The Men
When it comes to traditional wedding, Libyan men’s clothes tend to be similar across entire the country. The dress is composed of a long white shirt ‘Jalabiya’or ‘Qamis’, long trousers ‘Sirwal’ and a vest called ‘Sadriya’ that is usually heavily knitted with black silk and has buttons on its front. Also, the men wear a headdress called a ‘Shashiyah’ that is usually red or black. Men in Tripolitania prefer wearing the black Shashiyah while the men in Cyrenaica wear both.
Often times, a large outer cloak known as ‘Jarid’ is worn on top and wrapped around the body in a Roman-toga way, except in Libya, the Jarid is usually tied at the right shoulder and the remainder is brought around up over the head. To complement this lovely style, Libyan men wear leather sandals or slippers.