Tag Archives: Blessings

Eritrean Wedding Day 1: Day of Blessings

Background provided by DG: DG was born and raised in Redlands, California. Both of their parents were born in west Africa, but more specifically Eritrea. Eritrea is located on the Horn of Africa and adjacent to the Red Sea. They belong to a specific tribe of Eritrea, called Blen (spelled Blien) After war broke out, both of their parents migrated to America.

Context: DG was approached about folklore, which they shared in the middle of the day. They were very enthusiastic about sharing parts of their culture because not many people are aware of Eritrean tradition and culture. They explain some general details about Eritrean weddings, which span for a minimum of three days. 

Main Piece Transcription of interview (contains the context of particular performance and additional background information):

DG: “ So, the first day is … like … the day where they get married, where the bride and groom get blessings from their elders. Ummm … typically there’s A LOT of dancing. It’s like … shoulder dancing (raises shoulders up and down, almost like  shrugging)  … and like … they like kneel over their ancestors … and do their … like prayers.  They also dance with a stick like this (proceeds to pump fist in the air in a very rhythmic manner) … but there is also at one point …. I don’t know the cultural significance of it … but the bride and the groom … individually … like sit and everybody dances around them and they get this white blanket … it’s called a Gabi (proceeds to spell G-A-B-I). And they’d have someone sit with them … so for … like the bride, a little boy sits with them … and like the groom … a little girl sits with them … and they take the Gabi and throw it over (motions as if casting a net over an object) … and like that I guess. You go up … like that … and put it on like that … while you’re singing.” 

Me: “ So … is the Gabi … like … a cloth … or … is it ….?” 

DG: “It’s like a blanket. It’s … like handmade … I wanna say it’s like a cheese cloth, but like … it’s not … it’s cotton. It’s … like … multi-use. It’s like bringing .. the bride and … groom together like bringing the bride and groom over the threshold … or something like that .”

Analysis: This portion of an Eritrean wedding emphasizes the union of two individuals through symbolism and customs. The Gabi seems to be a tangible unifying object that close family and friends use to represent their approval. It seems like past, present, and future is represented in this ceremony. Ancestors are honored and respected. The married couples celebrate their union with loved ones. The young boy and girl who sit next the groom and bride are symbolic of future happiness either to have children or for the children to be happily married.

For more information about traditional Eritrean weddings including images please visit https://omar-safeer.blogspot.com/2014/08/wedding-tradition-in-eritrea.html.

Házi Áldás

Main Text:

Házi Áldás 

Hol hit, ott szeretet

Hol szeretet, ott béke

How béke, ott áldás

Hol áldás, ott Isten 

Hol Isten 

Ott szükség nincsen. 


House Blessing 

Where there is faith, there is love

Where there is love, there is peace

Where there is peace, there is blessing

Where there is blessing, there is God

Where there is God

There is no need. 

Background about Informant: 

She was born and raised in Hungary, but moved to the United States in 1997. She is knowledgable of her roots and has lots of wisdom to share about its’ cultural traditions. She comes from a religious background in Catholicism and is experienced with Hungary Catholic practices and beliefs. 


She explains: 


“In Hungary, entering a household is considered scared and thus its’ sacredness is embodied in the Házi Áldás (House Blessing). It is often seen in embroidery, carved in wood, and other traditional arts. 

In bonds with Hungarian Catholicism, it is meant to serve as a list of virtues to living a pious life under God’s blessings. 

It is also a statement of wisdom that reflects familial bonds and a connection to past cultural beliefs tied with religion. 

In the past, people would hang this on the wall to preserve their faith in God. It began only being used in civic houses, but eventually it even started appearing in peasant households and farmhouses. 

The power of the text allowed people to believe that God would bless the people in the house if the text was present. It is traditionally placed in kitchens. 

Lots of people still sell them today at craft fairs and mostly to tourists.

It’s not really used as much as it was in the past and today it’s used more for decoration, than for spiritual purposes.”


In my research and interview, I was able to learn more about the history behind the Házi Áldás. Having Hungarian roots myself and a Házi Áldás in my own kitchen, I’ve always wondered what its’ purpose has been. Since my informant is religious and grew up in a Hungarian Catholic household, she was very knowledge about the context behind the Házi Áldás rich history. Hungary has a history of being religious and attributing to its’ history it was no surprise that people dealt a great deal of value to such texts, but it was interesting to learn about how it shifted from civic houses to the poorer population, because even so today most of the poorer population are the ones contributing to the religious life in Hungary. 

I also found the shift from the Házi Áldás as a sacred text to now a symbol of craft and tourist souvenirs. It highlights the disconnect between Hungary’s traditional past which suffered a lot because of its’ Communism past where a lot of these traditions are not practiced or valued because of its’ censorship under particular leaders. But overall, I was very ‘blessed’ to learn about the history behind the Házi Áldás and its’ shift from a valuable text of great importance to now being found in every gift shop available, a path that many of these relics are finding themselves headed towards, opening eyes to how Hungary is trying to preserve their past. 


For visual references and information visit:



Padre Nuestro- Blessings

Every single time when you pass by a church, or any holy site, you give yourself a blessing. Doing so, it shows respect to the Saint of the church as well as providing you protection from the sacred site as you continue in your journey.

Ruby is a young Mexican-American woman who truly connects to her Catholic roots and leads her way of life through that method. She is also a single mom who works at a Non-Profit feeding the homeless of Los Angeles.