Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Royal wedding: henna ceremony held at royal palace in finest Moroccan tradition

Morocco, Local, 7/15/2002

The Henna ceremony, part of the festivities marking the marriage of Morocco's H.R.H. King Mohammed VI to H.R.H. Princess Lalla Salma, was held Friday evening at the Royal Palace in Rabat, in keeping with the finest Moroccan tradition.

The henna ceremony, which is one of the major rituals in marriage celebrations in Morocco, was attended by members of the illustrious royal family, Moroccan and foreign outstanding personalities, as well as hundreds of Moroccan citizens.

To the beat of music performed by folk bands, and amidst you-yous and invocations blessing this happy event, Princess Lalla Salma stretched her hands to be decorated with patterns of henna, a blessed plant symbolizing happiness and love.

Conforming to tradition, King Mohammed VI and his bride Princes Lalla Salma, fully veiled, were carried in "Lamariya" and paraded in the esplanade of the Royal Palace, where guests were lined up to applaud and hail the royal couple and wish them a happy, long life.

The sovereign and his bride, surrounded by members of the royal family then posed for photos.

The sovereign was later on greeted by the outstanding personalities attending the festivities marking the royal wedding.

These festivities had started Friday at sunset, with a procession from the city gate to the Royal palace. Nearly 1,500 parading men and women, representing all the regions of the kingdom, offered gifts and well wishes to the sovereign and his bride, in a colorful cortege, where the grace of the gesture was intermingled with the beauty of costumes and melody of music. An anthem to joy and to national unity that displayed the Moroccan people's delight at this new dawn of a reign and that demonstrated the people's love to their king.

The public festivities marking the royal wedding continued through Saturday and Sunday in and around Rabat as well as in all other cities and villages across the Kingdom, with fireworks, music, dancing and displays of fantasia by Moroccan horse riders.

Prior to becoming King, Mohammed led am openly gay life where he frequently visited European Gay bars. Danish Gay publications have also published pictures of King Mohammed attending Gay events.


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