To ask a girl’s hand in marriage
The male side, who pays a visit to the girl’s house to ask for her hand in marriage, customarily always takes a special type of cookie called “armut kurabiyesi.”
Engagement ceremonies take place at the girl’s house. Usually the offerings will be sweets and pastries along with lemonade and sherbets. Both households exchange gifts, however the most important thing is, one day after the engagement, the girl’s side sends the boy’s side a stuffed turkey or chicken and a tray of baklava.
In Bursa culture there are two types of hen nights called “has kına” and “el kına.” In the “has kına” the bride-to-be is out of sight for sometime, while the guests are being offered sweets and savoury foods, with nothing to drink. The thirsty guests would start chanting, “let the bride come out and bring water” then the bride would come out and join them and they would start singing songs and dance.
Nowadays, during hen nights, the guests are offered Turkish delight flavored with walnuts, nuts and sherbets. The boy’s side would bring rice pilaf with chicken dish and at the end of the night they would leave with dessert from the girl’s house.
Bringing the Dowry Chest
The dowry chest brought from the girl’s house is displayed for a while at the boy’s house. Those who come for a viewing would be offered cantık, yoghurt drink and Turkish delight.
The wedding week that starts with hen night is celebrated with various fun activities. The wedding celebrations would end with the arrival of the bride into the house that she will be living in with her husband. The girl’s house would give the new married couple a “honça.” Honça is the name of the food platter that is made up of chicken, bread, rice pilaf, and dessert. The groom would pick the chicken and eat it together with the bride. Then they would bury the bones.
The Henna party for circumsicion ceremonies
These celebrations would take place at home. The henna is prepared by the single girls. Turkish delight flavored with walnuts, nuts and sherbets are offered.
The offerings depended on the income level of the families. Usually included cantık, yoghurt drink, and Turkish delight. In addition to this, wedding soup, a meat dish, rice pilaf and a saffron dessert called “zerde” is offered as well.
Sending the boys for the Military Service
This ceremony does not have any specific dish associated with it. However once the boy gets back safe and sound from the military service, the family would prepare a feast along with prayers held at home.
M. Ömür Akkor, Bursa Yemeği, İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, İstanbul, 2009