SIDON, Lebanon: The coastal city of Sidon began preparations Monday for a mass Palestinian-Lebanese wedding this weekend at the Rafik Hariri Sports Stadium.
The city will celebrate the marriage of 38 couples Sunday at the annual event organized by the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue and Development Committee in collaboration with Sidon municipality.
The mass wedding celebration was started five years ago with the support of Sidon MP Bahia Hariri and has become an annual tradition.
The ceremony brings together many Lebanese and Palestinians from around the city, its suburbs and the Palestinian camps.
According to organizers, the event aims to strengthen the ties between Lebanese and Palestinian youth and help young couples celebrate their marital union.
Excited brides met Monday for final dress fittings and alterations ahead of the Saturday dress rehearsal.
The gowns were donated by the Sympathy and Social Services Association, while groomsmen will wear suits provided by the Mahmoud Hijazi company.
These young couples will wed Sunday evening at the Rafik Hariri Sports Stadium in front of a large gathering of Palestinian and Lebanese families.
A troupe of folk dancers will perform traditional Lebanese and Palestinian routines and several singers will also entertain the newlyweds and their guests.
Mass weddings are usually preferred for economic reasons, such as the costs for the venue, catering and decoration. Lebanon has witnessed several mass wedding ceremonies in the past decade.
The Maronite Church organizes collective weddings on a yearly basis at the Basilica of Harissa and the southern port city of Tyre witnesses similar celebrations during its summer festival.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 02, 2012, on page 2.