Weddings in India are not anything less than a celebration. Every religion has its own way of celebrating this pious association. Just like how Punjabi weddings and Hindu weddings give a different vibe, a Parsi wedding has an aura of its own. A Parsi wedding is very well known for its subtlety and the beautiful traditions and rituals it incorporates.
So readers, in this blog we are decoding all the holy and divine wedding rituals and traditions that are followed by the people of the Parsi religion
ACCHOO MICCHOO- Acchoo Micchoo is a quintessential Parsi tradition of staving off the evil eye of the bride. On a thali, a coconut, betel leaves and betel nuts, a small bowl of rice, nuts, a raw egg, and a glass of water are placed. The mother of the bride performs this ritual.
RUPIA PERAVANU- This ritual is an intimate and informal engagement between the groom and the bride. Here, the first interaction between both families takes place. After the agreement of the couple on marriage, the Rupia Peravanu ritual is performed. A woman from the family of the bride visits the house of the groom with a bag full of coins, and as a gesture of warm welcome, the house of the groom is decorated with beautiful rangolis and torans. After that, the family of the groom visits the house of the bride with gifts.
MADHAV SARO- The family of the bride and the groom plants a tree in a pot and places it next to the front doors of their own homes. The pot is lovingly painted by members of the family, and before it is used, an achoo michoo-style ceremony is performed with it. The potted plant is left there and watered daily during the period of the wedding. It is taken from the entrance and planted somewhere else when the wedding is over.
DEVO- In this ritual, an oil lamp is lit after the mother of the groom puts a silver coin in it. After that, the bride steps into her assigned spot with her right foot, and then the mother of the groom performs the achoo michoo ritual and gives her a red saree and a set of bangles. The bride then wears the saree with the help of her female family members, and then her would be mother in law helps her with wearing the bangles. This ritual is very much equivalent to the exchanging of rings in the Parsi tradition.
VARADHA PATRA- This ritual refers to the prayer done for the ancestors of both the families.
SUPRA NU MUHURAT- Supra nu muhurat is a ritual which is equivalent to the ritual of haldi. The ritual is conducted by five females. One of the five women sits in the middle and the other four surround her, and then she makes a turmeric paste with a khalbatto. They exchange bundles containing betel leaves and nuts, dates, turmeric, and a piece of coconut known as supra between them seven times. The paste is then applied to the bride and the groom.
NAHAN- This ritual is performed before the wedding in which the bride and the groom take a holy bath to purify their body and soul.
THE WEDDING ATTIRE
The Parsi bride wears a heavily embroidered white silk saree or a chiffon saree. The saree is known as Parsi Gara. As per the Parsi wedding ritual, it is mandatory for the bride to cover her head with one end of the saree.
The Parsi groom wears a light white cotton short kurta, and a typical white Parsi Dhugli. He pairs it with loose white pants. The groom wears a black an elongated hat, which is known as a Fetah or Paghudi. Apart from that, he carries a white shawl on his shoulder and wears black formal shoes.
ACCHOO MICHOO- Achoo Michoo is a Parsi tradition of staving off the evil eye from the bride and the groom. This ritual is performed at the beginning of the wedding rituals.
VAR BEHENDOO- The groom ascends to the wedding platform and takes a seat on the left chair with his back to the spectators when the Achoo Michoo rite is finished. He is given a water pot, known as a chambooru, as part of his dowry. The groom places a silver coin into the water-filled pot after dipping his hand into it. Var Behendoo is the name of this ceremony.
ARA ANTAR- In this ritual, the bride and the groom sit facing each other with a white cloth or a parda between them. Seven married women circle around the groom and the bride with a white thread seven times. After that, they are given grains of rice by their mothers, which they have to shower on each other without removing the parda. It is believed that whoever does it first rules the household.
The wedding ceremony is directed by two priests.
CHERO BANDHVANO- The bride and groom sit next to one another with lighted oil lamps on either side of them after the wedding ceremony. In order to officiate the Parsi wedding, the priest starts the prayers and completes additional formalities. To conclude the wedding rites, the couple then exchanges wedding rings.
PAYVAND-E-ZANSHOOI- The couple recites the Payman or the vows of Payvand-e-zanshooi during the wedding rituals.
HATH BORVANU- This is the groom's typical hand washing ceremony. The sister of the bride forces the hand of the groom into a water pot where it remains until he throws a silver coin into the water as a gift to the bride.
PAG DHOVANU- The sister-in-law of the bride threatens the groom with hot milk spilling on his shoes, and he has to buy her off with a financial gift. The groom must give the sister-in-law more cash gifts if the Hathevaro sting is still there in order to persuade her to untie the knot.
VISITNG THE FIRE TEMPLE FOR BLESSINGS- After the wedding, the couple visits a fire temple to seek the blessings of the almighty.
The oil lamps that were lit during the marriage ceremony are put out by placing a rose flower on the flame.
RECEPTION- The wedding ceremony is followed immediately by a lavish banquet including mouth-watering Parsi cuisine. The bride and groom are served food on a single plate and are to eat from it together, a tradition known as dahikoomron. Some of the all-time favourite festive Parsi food items include alima-murgh or sali-na-gosht (chicken or mutton and potato straws), pulao-dal (rice and lentils), and patra-ni-machhi (fish wrapped in gourd leaves).
Parsi weddings are indeed filled with lots of passionate and beautiful rituals and are full of ardour and fun.