Since Ancient times, the Samaritans have been known for unwavering adherence to their religious principles and traditions. Even though they have faced a lot of persecution from various imperialists, including Moslems, Romans, Mamelukes, Ottomans, Turks, and other nations that ruled Israel, not even this high magnitude of persecution was enough to suppress their customs. Some of the deep-rooted Samaritan customs include:

Identification

Unlike other demographics around the world, the Samaritan community does not have secular youth. The reason for this is obvious: being a Samaritan is synonymous with being religious. Those who fail to comply by the customs of the community are not considered Samaritans. To identify with the rest of the community, each Samaritan must do the following four things:

  • Participate in the Pascal sacrifice
  • Observe the Sabbath
  • Strictly adherence to ritual purity laws
  • Live in the land of Israel

Circumcision

The Samaritans are perhaps the strictest community when it comes to circumcision of the male child. The circumcision is done on the eighth day after the birth of the child. The postponement of this ritual is not possible even if the child is not in good health. The only scenario when postponement is allowed is when the eighth day happens to be the Sabbath. In this case, the circumcision takes place the following day.

Marriage

In the Samaritan community, marriage takes place in three stages: “Kiddushin,” “Erusin,” and “Nissu’in.” “Kiddushin” is the first stage, and it involves making a marriage proposal. Typically, a Samaritan girl will urge her husband-to-be to request his parents to make the proposal to her parents. In rare cases, the man’s parents may make the proposal without the girl’s knowledge. Once the proposal is accepted, the “erusin” or betrothal ceremony is held shortly after the “Kiddushin.” “Nissu’in” is the last stage, and it is meant to complete betrothal or engagement. Here, the family of the bridegroom announces a week of rejoicing just before the wedding. This period is regarded as one of the most joyful moments in the Samaritan Community.