An International Guide to Popular Wedding Dances

Almost every society around the world has a passion for weddings. And whether they be elaborate, multiple-day affairs or small little shindigs, a good time is almost always had. And what good time isn’t complete without dancing? Let’s take a look at some of these wedding dance traditions all across the globe.

In Italy, the bride and groom  lead their guests in a circular jig called the tarantella. Legend has it that this energetic dance is supposed to scare away evil spirits that could wreak havoc on the bride and groom.

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In Mexico, a Mariachi band would serenade the happy couple and their guests. The tradition Mexican wedding dance, the La Marcha, which is similar to the game “follow the leader” was traditionally how the couple would make their grand entrance. Two lines, each led by an elder from each family, would dance around the room, eventually meeting to form a bridge with their arms before forming a circle around the bride and groom for their first dance.

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Moroccan newlyweds make their grand entrance in a lively wedding march called the Zaffa. Guests dance the night away to the beat of drums, and sometimes, even flaming swords are brought in to liven up the party.

Chinese brides and grooms are treated to an elaborate Lion Dance, featuring costumed performers who believed the dance would ward off evil spirits.

And finally, one of the more well-known wedding dances is the Hora, a staple at almost all Jewish weddings. To begin the dance, everybody forms a circle, holding hands, and steps forward toward the right with the left foot, then follows with the right foot. The left foot is then brought back, followed by the right foot. This is done while holding hands and circling together to the right. The dance is usually done to Israeli folk tunes, but the most well-known song it’s attributed to is the Hava Nagila.

Special thanks to The Knot for these awesome facts.

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