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Kazakh wedding: customs and traditions
Kazakh wedding: customs and traditions

Kazakhstan is a state where from time immemorial it has been customary to honor the traditions of ancestors. The Kazakh wedding, which is held according to a long-established scenario, also obeys them. Of course, some Kazakh wedding customs have ceased to fit into modern life, but many beautiful traditions have remained unchanged. What are they?

Kazakh wedding: Brides

Today, the ancient tradition of the Kazakhs to find a bride during the bride show, which is called "kyz koru", is almost forgotten, as well as the custom of marrying at the will of the parents. Young people now choose their own mate, marry for love. However, there were times when families with small children agreed to marry them without asking the opinion of the future bride and groom. In some cases, such agreements were concluded even before the birth of the heirs, for example, if the families wanted to intermarry.

Kazakh wedding
Kazakh wedding

Remembering how the Kazakh wedding was held in the past, one cannot fail to mention the bride. The right to choose a bride on timeSmotrin (“kyz koru”) was not available to every inhabitant of Kazakhstan; it was mainly received by skilled horsemen who managed to prove their skills, as well as the offspring of we althy or famous parents. A young man who wanted to marry, together with his friends, went to the village, where attractive girls who had reached the age of brides lived. As a rule, they received a potential groom and his entourage with honor.

During the show girls of marriageable age competed with each other in various art forms. They also evaluated possible suitors, not embarrassed to express their opinion. Song competitions between young ladies and gentlemen - "aitys" - were often arranged. If a spark ran between the boy and the girl, then it was the turn of the matchmakers who were heading to the bride's family.


Matchmaking is an obligatory part of such an event as a Kazakh wedding, in the Kazakh language this ceremony is called “kuda tusu”. The role of matchmakers is traditionally assigned to the father and other close relatives of the groom. The bride's family is warned of their visit in advance, and is obliged to provide a generous meal (of course, if they like the applicant). However, the matchmakers are forced to pay for the entrance to the house of the girl, as the female half of the family traditionally holds out a lasso in front of the door, which is removed only after the guests present gifts to the hosts: cuts of expensive fabric, money.

The atmosphere at festive dinners is warm and friendly, during the meal various topics are discussed that are not directly related to the future marriage. Only when dinner is nearcompletion, matchmakers are allowed to move on to the purpose of their visit. The conditions for holding the marriage ceremony are discussed, and the size of the kalym is established. The right to speak is given to all senior members of both families. Matchmaking, which is traditionally preceded by a Kazakh wedding, is also not complete without the ceremony of sprinkling “shashu”. The groom's delegates are sprinkled with sweets, cookies, small coins by the bride's relatives, and the matchmakers can also be forced to pass various tests, take part in a fun performance.

Kazakh wedding traditions
Kazakh wedding traditions

The representatives of the groom who came to woo the girl are required to have a “korzhun” with them. This is a bag decorated with bright ribbons, beads, coins. Inside it are gifts: dried fruits, sweets, fabric cuts and so on. Before the matchmakers leave, gifts are also given to them, the most valuable present goes to the groom's father.

Brideshow show

The future newlywed goes to the matchmakers only after they get acquainted with all her relatives, agree with them about the wedding and bride price. Before the bride leaves, the groom's representatives must give her family a fee for the bride, which is called "korimdik" in Kazakh. Only after that the girl is shown to future relatives.

Followed by a ceremony that officially secures the status of a bride for a girl. Matchmakers put earrings on her, as a rule, this honorable duty is assigned to the mother of the groom. Also, matchmakers should give gifts to other family members, mostly gold jewelry: necklaces, brooches, rings.


Ransomfor the bride - something without which in the old days a Kazakh wedding could not take place. Traditions tell the candidate for the girl's hand and heart to present 47 heads of cattle to her parents. Now this rule is rarely observed, it is enough to put 47 small items in a gift bag, which is handed by the matchmakers to the bride's family. The number of heads of cattle that were demanded for a bride in the past also depended on the well-being of the families intending to intermarry. For the daughter of a large bai, they often paid up to 1000, while the poor were content with 5-6 heads as a bride price.

Kazakh wedding customs
Kazakh wedding customs

Today, such a tradition as material assistance provided to newlyweds by parents has been preserved. The custom tells the bride's relatives to provide her with a dowry, including carpets, bedding, dishes, and so on. The groom's relatives must allocate money to the young family to purchase furniture.

Obviously, not every engagement ends in marriage. If the groom, after the visit of the matchmakers and the payment of the bride price, suddenly decides to marry, without having the grounds foreseen by custom, he cannot count on the return of the bride price. Moreover, the family of the deceived girl has the right to force the windy young man to pay a fine, the amount of which is negotiated separately. A different situation develops if the contract is not respected by the bride or her relatives. In this case, the girl's family must not only fully return the ransom paid to them, but also compensate for the violation of the contract by paying a fine.

Bridal outfit

All over the world girlsthose entering into marriage are sensitive to the choice of attire, and brides who are to have a Kazakh wedding are no exception. The bride's dress, according to tradition, should be red, but these days, Kazakh women can also choose a white robe. Over the dress, which usually has wide and long sleeves, a velvet vest embroidered with ornaments is put on, its color can be any.

Kazakh wedding photo
Kazakh wedding photo

The headdress of the bride, called "saukele", is an element without which it is difficult to imagine such an event as a Kazakh wedding. A photo of a girl dressed in a traditional headdress can be seen above. “Saukele” looks like a work of art, the custom tells to decorate it with pearls and rubies, to make it from expensive fabrics (velor, velvet). Beads, fringe, silver coins are also used as decorative elements. The upper part of the headdress is decorated with a bunch of eagle owl feathers, the edges are trimmed with fur (fox, sable, mink). The we alth of "saukele" allows you to demonstrate the financial capabilities of the family.

Saukele looks so luxurious that for the right to admire the bride wearing this headdress, friends and relatives invited to the wedding are ready to give small gifts.

Groom's outfit

Not only the bride must carefully prepare for such an event as a Kazakh wedding. The suit of the groom, according to custom, should exceed, in terms of we alth, the attire of any guest. A man entering into marriage must stand out from the crowd, in which he is helped by a specialheaddress, the upper part of which is decorated with eagle owl feathers. Also, traditions tell the groom to come to the wedding ceremony in high-heeled boots, throwing a red caftan called “chapan” over his shoulders.

Kazakh wedding features
Kazakh wedding features

These days, Kazakhs almost never dress so pompously, no exception is made even for such an event as a Kazakh wedding. Modern customs favorably allow young people to put on a snow-white shirt and a trouser suit. It is desirable that the suit fits perfectly, so it is sewn to order, the color does not play a special role. However, many men still do not forget about the national headdress, which emphasizes the magnificence of the ceremony.

The groom, who is to have a Kazakh wedding, should worry not only about the dress. Customs tell him to bring with him "that mala," as the cattle for the wedding are called, which will be slaughtered for the feast. The number depends on the we alth of the family, it can be several sheep, horses or cows. They also take other gifts with them, for example, expensive fabrics, fruits, tea. It is curious that the attitude of the bride's family towards the son-in-law depends on the amount that he can allocate for offerings. If the girl's relatives remain dissatisfied with the we alth of gifts, customs allow them to express their dissatisfaction. As a rule, the wives of the bride's brothers take over this function.

Wedding day selection

Even when choosing the day of the wedding ceremony, the Kazakhs take into account the traditions that have developed many centuries ago. Most often, holidays are held in the last days of the summer season. In itthe religious fast ends, and fruits and vegetables are in abundance, so this is the best time for an event such as a Kazakh wedding. Traditions and history show that Kazakhs can marry in the fall. Weddings are played less often in spring and winter.

Modern brides and grooms continue to choose the full moon period for their wedding ceremony. The reason for this decision is the bright nights, ideal for night games and competitions, which have been a must-have element of the holiday for many years.

It is not always possible to guess the weather, but it also plays an important role when choosing a wedding date. It is believed that having married on a cloudless, sunny day, the husband and wife will not know sadness, quarrel with each other. Whereas bad weather is regarded as a bad omen, which, however, many Kazakhs do not pay attention to.

Seeing off the bride

Seeing off a girl (“kyz uzatu”) is a beautiful ceremony with which a Kazakh wedding begins from time immemorial. Traditions tell the bride's family to laugh and shed tears on this day. Joy should be caused by the fact that the daughter who is getting married has grown up beautiful and smart. The source of sadness is the need to part with a girl who will now belong to another family.

How is a Kazakh wedding going?
How is a Kazakh wedding going?

Matchmakers take the bride out of the house very early, often her departure coincides with the sunrise. The tradition arose not by chance, because the sunrise all over the world is associated with the beginning of a new life. Family is notwill let her daughter out of the house without the traditional farewell song, which is called “koshtasu heat”. The number of matchmakers is also important, it should be odd. Usually 5-7 matchmakers come for a girl, but more people are possible. The procession is led by the chief matchmaker, who calls himself “bas kuda”. The bride will have to treat this man with respect throughout her life.

Wedding ceremony

"Neke kiyar" - a rite without which a Kazakh wedding cannot take place. Traditions order to invite a mullah to perform the wedding ceremony. In front of this person is placed a bowl filled with water and covered with a cloth. Sometimes sugar and s alt are added to the water, according to popular beliefs, this brings happiness to the newlyweds, protects them from adultery. Relatives and friends invited to the ceremony gather around the mullah. He says prayers, after which the bride and groom, in the presence of witnesses, confirm their consent to marriage.

Sharia law states that a Kazakh wedding cannot take place during a girl's pregnancy. Customs recommend rescheduling the ceremony, waiting for the birth of a child. Nowadays, this rule is no longer strictly observed, especially when it comes to the first months of pregnancy, when it can still be hidden.

Farewell ceremony

After getting married, the girl must solemnly say goodbye to her stepfather's house, the ceremony is called "koshtasu". "Koshtasu" is an important part of such an event as a Kazakh wedding, the customs and traditions of which are still not forgotten by the people of Kazakhstan. The newlywed must say sincere words of farewell to everyone withoutexceptions for family members: mother, father, brothers, sisters, as well as other relatives living in the house.

kazakh wedding bride dress
kazakh wedding bride dress

Also, the girl will certainly sing a farewell song, with the help of which she expresses her regrets. The newlywed must express pity for the fact that she was born not as a boy, but as a girl, because of which she has to leave her home, while her brothers can stay with their parents. She also promises to visit her family soon, wishes her relatives good he alth and happiness.

We should not forget about another interesting custom that is associated with such a ceremony as a Kazakh wedding, the features of which often surprise representatives of other nationalities. A newlywed is not allowed to appear in her parents' house for a whole year after the wedding. This is done so that the process of getting used to the girl's new home is as simple as possible. Nevertheless, this does not mean at all that the bride will not be able to see her parents and other relatives for a whole year. The main thing is that the meeting does not take place in the father's house, therefore, the rule will not be considered violated.

In the groom's house

What happens after the end of the Kazakh wedding, how does the newlywed get acquainted with the new home? The arrival of the girl is also arranged with all solemnity, the ceremony is called “kelin tusiru”. According to tradition, the whole aul must take part in greeting the bride. Interestingly, it is not customary for a newlywed to be brought to the threshold of the house in which she will have to settle withhusband. She is planted quite far from the village, her future neighbors come out to meet the girl. They escort the bride into the house, preventing her from revealing her face.

This is not the end of the traditions that govern the Kazakh wedding, the peculiarities of which may surprise strangers. The newlywed must step over the threshold with her right foot, otherwise family life will not work out from the very beginning. In the house, she and the women who see her off are showered with sweets, congratulations are pronounced. This is followed by a sumptuous feast, to which all acquaintances are invited. The meal is accompanied by fun contests and competitions. The bride is not shown to the guests immediately, she spends some time in the house behind a special screen.

Rite of opening the face

The grand entrance of the bride is the next stage of such a holiday as the Kazakh wedding, the traditions and history of which go back centuries. The newlywed, who hid her face under the veil, is taken out to the guests in the midst of the feast, by which time all the people invited to the celebration have already gathered. The ceremony of revealing the girl's face is called "betashar", it is necessarily accompanied by traditional songs. Further, the newlywed officially gets acquainted with the spouse's relatives, respectfully listens to their wishes of he alth and happiness, friendly advice. After that, the newly-made husband and wife finally turn into a separate unit of society.

There were times when the bride did not have the right to be present at the feast, which invariably ends the Kazakh wedding. Modern customs and traditions no longer force the newlywed to waitwedding night in a separate room, remaining under the watchful eye of the husband's mother. Brides these days mostly have fun at the party with everyone.

Interesting facts

The above describes how a Kazakh wedding is held, photos taken during the festive ceremonies can also be seen in the article. However, far from all the interesting facts related to such events are listed. For example, few people know that once girls became brides at 13-14 years old, and boys were considered ripe for marriage at 14-15. Starting a family at such a young age was considered morally beneficial, leaving young people no time to commit indecent acts.

An old custom did not allow a guy and a girl who belonged to the same family to become husband and wife. It is not surprising that many Cossacks today are well aware of their genealogy, they are familiar with relatives up to the seventh generation. The age of people wishing to get married was also taken into account. It was unacceptable for the bride to be more than 8 years older than the groom. A man could be 25 years older than his future wife. Today, such restrictions are observed less strictly than in times past, however, they have not yet been completely forgotten.

Another interesting custom concerns toasts, which are indispensable for a Kazakh wedding. The right to toast is given only to older relatives, the performance of the younger at the wedding feast is considered an insult.

These are the most interesting facts about such a grandiose event as a Kazakh wedding. customs,traditions, photos - the article has all the information related to this festive event.

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