What is the Mezinka tradition? Is it during the Jewish wedding ceremony under the Chuppah? Is it during the wedding reception party? Do I need anything specific to this tradition?
The Mezinka (Mezinke) tradition during a Jewish wedding reception is honoring the parents who have just married off their last child.
It consists of a different type of circle dance where the parents are seated on chairs in the middle of the dance floor. The bride and groom stand by their side and present their parents by crowning them with flower crowns*.
The guests create a circle and dance around them. They first start a line and kiss each of the parents saying “Mazel Tov” and the circle formation begins.
There is specific music written for the Mezinka (Mezinke) and it usually starts out slow then the tempo speeds up in a joyful celebration.
*Flower crowns are similar to Flower girl headpieces. A circle of flowers attached with different lengths of ribbon hang down in the back. Mother and father are both crowned.
Rabbi Andrea is seriously considering to offer her semi-handmade silk flower crowns on her web site, because it has become difficult to find them.
It is not important that the crowns be of fresh flowers or silk. What’s important is the tradition and the custom of honoring our parents as in our Ten Commandments. That commandment can be defined in many ways, and this is one of them.
Honor Thy Parents with the Mezinka (Mezinke).
What is a Mezinka?
by: Harvey Narrol
Although today it may be politically incorrect to express more jubilation when “marrying off” a child of one gender over another, my knowledge of the tradition is that “Di Mezinkeh oisgegeben” refers to “marrying off” the youngest daughter. During the times when this traditional referent came into being, “marrying off” the daughters were more difficult ‘negotiation all’ and financially than arranging a match for the sons. Hence, the daughters in a given family had to be “married off” in order — the eldest first, etc. So, the wedding of the youngest/last daughter was cause for a great celebration and resulted in the special klezmer music, dance, and song.
Rabbi Andrea Frank Replies
Thank you for sharing the historical origins of the Mezinka custom. Always helpful, and refreshing when we discover how the custom came about and we can connect to the customs even more knowing the history. MAZINKZA DANCE
You did not mention the brooms. They are a traditional part of the Mezinka Dance. The Father and Mother symbolically sweep their home as all their children are now married.
Mezinka and Divorced parents
Can you have the Mezinka dance if the groom’s parents are divorced?
Reply from Rabbi Andrea…
Yes, the Mezinka is the celebration of parents whose last child marries. As long as they can be gracious, sitting near one another without animosity. The main focus is to enjoy this wonderful time that they did parent the bride or groom and be able to celebrate just that as per custom – their last child has married.