Wedding Planning

Like any other marriages all over the world, the wedding rituals and customs of our Parsi community are also spread over a couple of days. In Parsi wedding, the wedding celebrations are divided into three parts- pre wedding rituals, wedding day rituals and post wedding rituals. As

marriage is encouraged as a religious ritual in our Parsi religion, we consider marriage to be an occasion of social as well as religious celebrations.

Pre-Wedding Rituals

A number of colorful and fun-filled customs are observed as a part of pre-wedding rituals in a Parsi Wedding.Below mentioned is a brief synopsis of a few of our customs & ceremonies.

 

Rupiya Peravanu



Rupiya Peravanu marks the unofficial engagement when both the families acknowledge the acceptance of the marriage alliance. On this day, ladies from the groom's family pay a visit to the bride's house. The bride is presented with a gift of silver coins with the usual sagan. Refreshments are served and the grooms family return home. The bride's family now adds more silver coins to those presented and go to the groom's home, where this ceremony is repeated.


Madavsaro



The Madavsaro ceremony is done four days before the wedding. The families of the bride and the groom each plant a young tree in a pot, amidst recitation of prayers by the family priest and place this at the entrance of their individual homes. This is generally a mango plant and is treated as a symbol of fertility. The soil in which the tree is planted is mixed with flakes of three types of metals (usually gold, silver etc), paan (betel leaf), supari (betel nut), haldi (turmeric) and dry dates. The plant is watered every morning till the eighth day after the wedding and then transplanted elsewhere.


Adravanu (Engagement)

The adravanu or the engagement is the time when the groom's family give the bride a new set of clothes, accessories and jewelry. Generally, this ceremony is performed at the bride's family home, though the ceremony can also be performed at the groom's family home. The doorways of both the homes are decorated with flowers and chalk designs(colourful rangoli).The relevance of adravanu is fire ("adra" synonym fire). The theme is reflected by lighting a divo and the red colour of the sari worn by the bride and red bangles gifted to the bride by the groom's family.

 


 

Adarni



The Adarni ceremony is performed a day before the lagan.It is regarded as the day for gift exchanging. On this day the groom's family visits the bride's home to present her with all the gifts like clothes and jewelry.The relatives, neighbors and friends are treated to a traditional auspicious snack of sev and dahi, boiled eggs and bananas.Later, on the same day the supra ni reet & pithi chorvanu takes place.


Supra ni reet



The Supra ni reet is similar to the Hindu mehndi-haldi ceremony and is organized a day before the wedding. Carrying out the tradition, four married women are given a supra each, containing auspicious items like paan, supari, haldi, dates and a piece of coconut. While singing ritual songs, these supras are exchanged seven times among the women cross-wise, length-wise and breadth-wise. A fifth lady sits in the middle with khalbatto and dry turmeric. After the four women finish passing the supras, all five join hands to beat the turmeric along with some milk in the pestle and this paste is applied by all to the groom and bride at their respective homes.


 

Nahan



Before the marriage ceremony, the bride and groom go through the Nahan ritual. This is done for the purification of the body and soul wherein the dastoor of each family symbolically bathes and purifies the man and the woman by reciting prayers & making each of them drink the "taro" and eat a few  pomegranate leaves. The tradition goes that after the Nahan ritual has been performed the bride and groom cannot touch any person outside the family or caste. The bride then dresses in her white ornate wedding saree given by her parents, while the groom wears the traditional Parsi dagli and pheta or pagri (black cap).


 

Wedding Rituals

Parsi lagan usually takes place either at a baug or at an agiary - the Fire Temple. We Parsis consider the period immediately after sunset or very early in the mornings auspicious for marriage. Most weddings generally take place at about 6.40 p.m. On the day of the Parsi lagan, a chalk or rangoli pattern adorns the staircase and doorway of the bride & the groom's home. Even the gates of the wedding venue or baug are decorated with large colorful designs. A few of our ceremonies are briefly described below.

Achumichu

At the wedding venue, a stage is set for the couple and before they step on it a ritual called achumichu is performed with the groom first. Herein, the bride's mother takes a tray with a raw egg, supari, rice, coconut, kharekh and water and begins the ceremony with her son-in-law to be. First, she takes the coconut and circles it around the groom's head seven times before breaking it on the floor to his right. The same is done with every other item on the tray, except the water, which is thrown on either side. The bride then steps onto the stage for her future mother-in-law to perform the same ritual.


 

Ara Antar



During the Ara Antar ceremony the couple is made to sit facing each other. However, a cloth is held between them, so they cannot see the other. Then, each of them is given rice. With a length of thread, the priests circle the couple on opposite sides of the curtain seven times and as the seventh round ends, the couple showers each other with the rice from over the curtain. It is believed that whoever throws the rice first will dominate the other partner!


 

Chero Bandhvanu



At this point a ceremony called Chero Bandhvanu takes place. The couple sits besides each other with the seven strands of string binding them. The witnesses sit besides them and diyos or lighted lamps are placed on tables on either side. Priests begins an hour-long marriage prayers or aashirwaad and showering of rice and rose petals ceremony. At the end of the prayers the bride and groom exchange wedding rings. The priests now wish the couple the var and bairi. Fire from the agiary is brought to them to pay their respects.


 

Haath Borvanu



Fun-filled ceremonies take place on the completion of the lagan. Groom's sister-in-law begins extracting money from her new brother-in-law first haath borvanu. She makes the groom put his hand into a glass of water, which he cannot remove until he pays up. This if followed by pag dhovanu wherein the groom is threatened with milk on his shoes unless of course, he pays. Later, chero chorvanu ceremony takes place. Herein, the sister-in-law removes the seven strands of string binding the couple, again on payment. At the end of it all the newly wed couple pays a visit to the fire temple for blessings.


 

Post-Wedding Reception

Parsi weddings are well known for their enormous receptions. Everyone enjoys as food, drink and music flows freely throughout the night. The traditional dinner is a lavish four-course meals comprising delicious Parsi bhonu like sarya (crisps),gajar mevanu achaar - rotli (carrot pickle and chapatis), patra ni macchi (steamed fish), salli margi (chicken with potato crisps), lagan nu custard, pulao-dal and ice cream.

The wedding day finally ends with the couple being escorted home by the bride's family and the achumichu being performed once again by the groom's mother for the newly wed couple in togetherness.

 

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