Parsi Wedding

A typical Parsi wedding is marked by joyful and vibrant rituals that are spread over a few days. There are interesting and unique customs that are observed throughout the marriage. A Parsi wedding is a reflection of the rich and vibrant Parsi culture. Their marriages are characterized by good dining, wining and music. The marriage ceremony is referred to as "lagan" and is conducted with much fervor and zeal. The customs that are followed in a Parsi wedding are somewhat different from a traditional Indian wedding. The rituals are quite simple and give every opportunity for fun and enjoyment.

The wedding celebrations are sparked off by the Rupia Peravanu ceremony which is the acknowledgement of the marriage alliance by both the families. The female members of the groom's family pay a visit to the bride and bless her with silver coins and gifts. The bride's family next goes to the groom's house and blesses him. An important custom that is observed a few days before the wedding is the Madhavsaro when a mango tree is planted in a pot amidst recitation of hymns by a priest. This is kept at the entrance of the house and symbolizes fertility. The plant is kept there till the eighth day of the wedding and after this it is transported to somewhere else.

Supra nu Murat is another ceremony which is similar to the haldi ceremony that is observed in Hindu marriages. A paste of turmeric and milk is applied to the groom and the bride. Nahan is another important ceremony when the bride and the groom undergo purification of the soul and the body. The family dastur purifies the bride and the groom. According to customs the bride and the groom cannot touch anyone outside the family after this ceremony.

The wedding venue is generally the agiary, the Fire Temple. Fire is the most scared and important element in Parsi marriages. The Parsis generally conduct the marriage early in the morning or just after sunset. On the wedding day every doorway and staircase of the venue is decorated with rangoli patterns. First the ceremony of Achumichu is held wherein certain rituals involving the groom and the bride are observed. The mother of the bride conducts these rites. There is the ara antar ceremony when the couple sits face to face with a cloth between them (they cannot see each other).

An important marriage day event is the Chero Bandhvanu when the couple sits beside each other and there is an hour long chanting of mantras by the priest. At the end of this the couple exchange rings and are pronounced man and wife. There are several fun filled ceremonies that are held during the course of the wedding. One such event is the Haath Borvanu when the sisters of the bride extract money from their new brother-in-law.

Parsi weddings are well known for the elaborate receptions. Food, drink and music flows freely through the wedding night. The lavish traditional four course meal is spread for the guests. A typical Parsi wedding is characterized by much gaiety, fun and laughter.

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