customs and traditions INTRODUCTION:
customs and traditions INTRODUCTION:
Customs and traditions are vary from country
to another because each country has it's own customs and
A tradition is a belief which passed down
within a society in the past, and still maintained in the
present. Common examples include holidays, clothes ,food,
happy and sad occasions and also occasions which related to
the religion . this is also applied to social norms such as
greetings and the ways of welcoming guests.
Traditions and customs can last for thousands
of years and still reserved while new traditions continue to
appear over the years.
Many people are talking about the kindness
and hospitality that offered by Sudanese people. The
Sudanese people are very generous and hospitable. When
guests come to Sudanese homes they always welcome them
in a friendly and generous manner. They also make it their
duty to entertain their guests, and to make them
Sudanese people are well known for their
unique brand of hospitality both to Sudanese friends as
well as to any people who come to the Sudan from other
Every Sudanese of the family believes that it
is his duty to maintain into his children a sense of
hospitality. Because those children will be the parents of
the future and they will influence the values of our society.
This practice has dominated Sudanese lives and their ways of
thinking. You can find people travelling to distant places inside
the Sudan without carrying any food with them. Yet they are
always sure of finding food and even a place to stay.
Whenever a Sudanese guest is present, either for
business or for social reasons, he will be presented with a drink
and some other refreshment such as small pieces of candy and
cake or other refreshments. And if someone asked a Sudanese
person if he had such a thing, he will simply offers it.
Of course the ways of showing hospitality are
different from one area to another. But in all areas the tradition of
welcoming and looking after their guests is the same.
The customs of greeting upon two men
meeting each other is to shake hands and tap each other’s
shoulder at the same time. A hug and rubbing of cheeks
may be exchanged between Sudanese ladies and their
Traditional clothing for Sudanese men:
However, most individual
Sudanese wear either traditional or western
clothes. A traditional garb for men that worn
in Sudan is the “jalabiya”, which is a loosefitting, long-sleeved and white colored with
“sirwal” (loose pants) and “taqia”(cap) and
“imma” (a long turban) and “markoob”
The jalabiya is accompanied by a
large scarf worn by men “shal”, and the
garment may be white, colored, striped, and
made of fabric varying in thickness,
depending on the season of the year and
The “taqia” is a short and
rounded cap. It can be any colour. Some Sudanese
Muslims wrap the “imma” (turban) around the cap.
“Markoob” is a traditional Sudanese shoe for
men. It is made of leather.
Traditional clothing for Sudanese women:
wears a traditional “thawb”.
"Thawb" means "garment" in
Arabic, and the thawb itself is
the traditional clothes for
Sudanese women. “Thawb” is a
long and wrapped around the
body. And it has different
colours and textures.
Food in Daily Life:
The day usually begins with a
cup of tea. Breakfast is eaten
in the mid- to late morning,
generally consisting of beans,
salad, and bread. Millet is the
staple food in some areas, and
it is prepared in as a porridge
called ‘’asida’’ or ‘kisra’’.
Vegetables are prepared in
stews or salads. A dish of
broad beans “ful” is common
Nomads in the north rely on dairy
products and meat from camels. In
general, meat is expensive and not often
consumed. Sheep are killed for feasts or
to honour or a special guest. The
intestines, lungs, and liver of the animal
are prepared with chilli pepper in a
special dish called “marara”.
Sometimes cooking is done
in the courtyards outside the house on a
tin grill called a “kanoon”, which uses
charcoal as fuel.
Tea and coffee are both very
popular drinks. Coffee beans are fried,
and then ground with cloves and spices.
Then the liquid is Poured into sieve and
served in tiny cups.
Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions:
At the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the
Great Sacrifice, it is customary to kill a
sheep, and to give part of the meat to
people who cannot afford it themselves.
At Eid al_Adha Sudanese people prepare
a large family meal of sheep meet with
chilli and other dishes .The Eid al-Fitr, or
Breaking of the Ramadan Fast is another
joyous occasion, and it also involves a
large family meal. The birthday of the
Prophet Muhammad is primarily a
children's holiday, celebrated with
special desserts: pink sugar dolls and
sticky sweets made from nuts and
Henna is a beautiful
Sudanese tradition. Henna is a paste
that is made from the leaves of the
Henna bush. The leaves are picked and
made into a powder. Then water is
added to the powder until it gets pasty.
The paste is put into a
cone that can be made of a sturdy
plastic bag, and then it is used like a
pen to draw beautiful drawings on the
hands or feet. It is left to dry, then
Henna is a beautiful Sudanese tradition.
Henna is a paste that is made from the leaves of the
Henna bush. The leaves are picked and made into a
powder. Then water is added to the powder until it gets
The paste is put into a cone that can be made of
a sturdy plastic bag, and then it is used like a pen to draw
beautiful drawings on the hands or feet. It is left to dry,
then washed off.
If you are careful, your henna can last for over three
weeks before fading away! Traditional designs are mostly
of roses and flowers. They’re very popular and mostly
done on the hands and feet.
Men also use “henna” .They put it on their hands
and feet for their weddings!
In the groom's "Henna party" right before the
wedding, his mother, sisters, and aunts get together, sit him
on a decorated bed, and put henna on his feet and his hands
(not drawing). Meanwhile, all his female relatives are
singing and dancing, and his brothers and guy friends all get
one hand "hennaed"!
Henna has been used for over 5000 years in
many countries around the world to decorate women's hands
and feet, and especially married women and brides.
Some make it light orange, some make it red,
but Sudanese like to make it BLACK and shiny !
Wedding in Sudan:
Wedding is one of the most important occasions in Sudan. It
reflects the culture and hospitality of the Sudanese people .
The arrangement of it begins before two months
when the bridegroom family comes to the bride family to give
them “ALSHAILA” which is a big group of clothes, creams and
perfumes for the bride. It also includes the money that called
About two days before the wedding the bride invites her
friends for “El Henna”. On this day “Al_hannana” comes to
decorate the hands and legs of the bride with henna and also
her girlfriends. Then they dance and sing and spend a happy
That night the groom also has his Henna night with his
friends and relatives. The groom doesn't decorate his legs,
only his fingertips and bottom of feet. This is done for him by
his mother or one of his female relatives. All his male friends
do the same on their hands.
The wedding party "Al-Dukhla" takes place in houses, large
tents, in the streets or in clubs. The bride's family gets a singer
or DJ. There's a lot of music and dancing and a beautiful dinne
is served. Everyone is invited and everyone is happy. The bride
wears a white wedding gown and the groom wears a black
On the first day of the marriage, “Al Subhia”,
the bride's mother invites all the women of the family and the
girlfriends of the bride. Only certain men can attend the
“Subhiya” : the bride's father, brothers, uncles, and the groom.
The bride dances three or four dances for her audience,
changing dresses for each dance. A woman sings and drums on
the "dallooka" songs that all the girls know, and they all sing
along, clap and have a great time!
After she finishes dancing, it's time for the
final ritual called the "Jirtig". It has special traditions, and a
special red and yellow tray with pottery to put the perfumes
and “bakhoor” in .
The bride wears a red tobe
and the bridegroom wears a
white jallabia with red and
golden strips on it.
They sit on a bed with a beautiful
decorated red and gold sheet called
“milayat aljirtig”. All the elder women
around them. And one of the older
women comes and wishes the happy
couple wealth, health and the blessing
of children upon them.
She sings “aladeel
walzain” while perfuming them, and
ties “alhareera” and "hilaal" around the
groom's head, and the "sibha" around
After that the groom cuts “alrahat” which is a
robe that tied around the bottom of the bride and there are
some dates and sweets.
After cutting it the groom throws it into the
single ladies. In Sudanese traditions when a lady catches
“alrahat” that means she will marry soon.
The groom gets up and sprays the audience
with perfume. Then the woman offers them a cup of milk.
They both take a drink and spray it over each other as a sign
of love, peace and hope for a clean, pure life together- pure as
milk.ts tied on it.
Manifestations of the social and religious
celebrations in the Sudan are varied.
Ramadan is one of the religious customs in Sudan
.it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29
or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which
participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and
Villagers, who work in different Sudanese towns
and abroad, return to their villages ahead of Ramadan. Those
include employees, workers and also students. The mosques
are crowded with worshippers all the day .people have
religious programs throughout the day including Koran
recitations between midday and afternoon prayers.
Exhibitions of religious
books are also displayed
within the mosque courtyard.
Men and women throng apart
to perform the “Taraweeh”
(the nightly prayers), which
are performed only during
“Taraweeh”, one chapter of the
30 chapters is recited; winding
up the whole holy book by the
end of Ramadan, and each
“Taraweeh” is concluded with
invocations and poems on the
The worshippers intensify their worshipping activities
at the last ten days of “Ramadan”. They remain in the mosque till
dawn, in the hope of witnessing “Laylat al-Qadr” (the night which
God respond the pray).
The Program of “Khalwah” (a room where students
are secluded to memorize the Holy Koran) is run throughout the
year, including the fasting month of Ramadan, except that, during
Ramadan, the Koran students are distributed in groups to families
of the village to share the sunset breakfast.
Sudanese Good habits during Ramadan:
A remarkable habit in the Sudanese villages
during Ramadan is that people get together in large
numbers on the main streets for the sunset breakfast; a
group of the elders stand at the cross-roads to insistently
invite passersby to join in and they never allow anybody
to pass by without accepting the invitation to share the
breakfast. They even force the drivers to stop by placing
stones on the road minutes before the breakfast time
and drivers will have no alternative other than park and
get down for the breakfast.
Carpets and prayer rugs are
stretched for people to have breakfast and
perform prayers on after the meal. Usually,
those carpets are kept in a certain house
and are taken out only during Ramadan.
Men and boys of neighbouring houses
usually have the sunset breakfast together.
Well before the Azan (call for prayers) the
men sit down on the carpets while the
young men bring in from the houses trays
full of a variety of delicious foods and
juices and immediately after the Azan,
every one sits down to eat and drink,
starting with a date as a must like what
Mohammad the Prophet used to do, from
the nearest tray, not necessarily the one
brought from his house, signifying
solidarity and equality between the poor
Ramadan tray contains genuine
Sudanese foods and drinks,
particularly “asida” (porridge
made from sorghum), “hilu-mur”
(sweet-bitter, a drink made from
sorghum and all kinds of spices)
and “kerkede” drink, “aradaib”
,“tabalde”, lemon and various
kinds of fruit and juices. After
eating dates and drinking, all
worshippers line up behind the
imam to say sunset prayers and
immediately after that they all
assault the trays to squash thirst
and defeat hunger.
Ramadan is regarded a return to the original
Sudanese kitchen and housewives call in their long
experience and prepare genuine delicious Sudanese
dishes and foods, including “kisra” which is made from
sorghum, “gurrasah” which is made from wheat flour,
salads and other kinds of highly nutrient and delicious
The Moslems have two Eids.The first one is
Ramadan Eid(Eid alfitr) and the second one is the Eid of
Sacrifice, or the Eid of Haj (Eid aladha).
when The holy month of Ramadan is about
to finish families are preoccupied with preparations for
the Eid alfitr as was the case before the advent of
Sudanese like other Muslims across the globe they
prepare for the Eid, most gracious feast and beautiful in Islam. In
the Eid The markets and shops are full of people despite the
increasing of prices. people buy new clothes, bed sheets,
redecorating their houses, some event are replacing old furniture
with new one, all types of sweets, etc…
In the past, there used
to be different types and shapes of cakes. The traditional
shapes like (soft cake, biscuits, bidebford and alghariba), but
today there are new shapes and names of cakes.
many women are frequenting beauty shops to
come out in their attractive look during the Eid days.
Eid al_Adha the feast of the great sacrifice, it is
customary to kill a sheep, and to give a part of meat to people
who cannot afford it themselves .
Al eid al-kabir (the greater aid) also called Eid alAdha is one of the two most important Islamic festivals, Eid
al-Adha begins on the 10th day of Dhu'l-Hijja, the last month
of the Islamic calendar. Lasting for three days, it occurs at the
conclusion of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.
Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, not simply
those undertaking the hajj, which for most Muslims is a