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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

LETTER xxix            MARRIAGE CUSTOMS                        307

dancing in the house late into the night, and the days
were spent in feasting, sword-dances, and masquerading.
It is regarded as a very " good" marriage for Sanjani.
The marriage ceremony, which is private, was performed
in the church at sunrise on the fourth day. There were
present Mar Sergis the bridegroom's uncle, the bridegroom,
" the bridegroom's friend," and Sanjani and her mother,
who were preceded to the church'by a fifer. The marriage
service, which took half an hour, was performed at the
west end of the nave. At the conclusion wine and water
(but not as a Eucharistic symbol), mixed with a little earth
from the church precincts, were administered to the married
couple. The ring is used as with us. The most curious
part of the ceremony is that while the service or <e Bless-
ing," as it is called, is proceeding, the groomsman holds
up a light wooden frame, to which fruits are attached.
This is also hung over the bridegroom's head at the
father-in-law's house, and is carried with him when he goes
out to dance. It is broken on the last day of the feast-
ing, and the pair and their friends eat the fruit. The
festivities were prolonged for three days more, after which
the bride, with music and firing of guns, was taken away
in charge of the matrons to her husband's house in
Jelu, where there were to be rejoicings and feastings
for other seven days. As the bride's procession passes,
the bridegroom, attended by his young men-friends, takes
his place on a roof, with a store of apples beside him,,
which, after signing himself with the Cross, he throws
among the crowd, the hitting of the bride being regarded
as a sign of good luck.

Bishops are not allowed to marry, but to priests
after their ordination both first and second marriages are
permitted. The law of divorce is very lax, even accord-
ing to the Church canons, and Canon Maclean says that
the practice is very bad, and that it is a great temptation