Parsi marriages are called ‘Lagan’ and are quite different from Hindu weddings. Though Parsi weddings are simple, their rituals are spread over a week like other Indian marriages. For Parsis, marriage is an occasion of social and religious celebrations. This article highlights the traditions and customs followed in Parsi weddings.
The pre-wedding rituals mark the beginning of celebration for the wedding that includes ceremonies like Rupia Peravanu, Madhavsaro, Adarni, Supra Nu Murat, etc.
Rupia Peravanu Ceremony
This ceremony is performed to acknowledge the consent of both the families to the marriage of Parsi bride and Parsi groom. The females from groom’s family take silver coins and shagun to bride’s home and are welcomed heartily. Later, ladies from bride’s family visit the groom’s house with shagun.
This ceremony is performed four days before the marriage where families of the bride and the groom plant a mango tree in a pot separately amidst the recitation of prayers. Mango tree is treated as a symbol of fertility and this is why it is generally used in the ceremony. This tree is then placed at the entrance of house and watered every day till the eighth day after the wedding takes place. After that, the tree is transferred to some other place.
This ritual takes place three days before the lagan for exchanging gifts between families of the bride and the groom. The family of the bride welcomes relatives and friends of the groom and serves them with the traditional meal. The bride is presented with gifts like clothes, jewelry, etc.
Supra Nu Murat Ceremony
Performed a day before the wedding, this ritual is similar to mehndi and haldi ceremonies of Hindu marriages. Supras are exchanged seven times between five married women amidst singing of traditional songs. Turmeric paste is then applied to the bride and the groom by all the family members present.
In this ceremony, the couple is supposed to take a purifying bath and get ready for the wedding. The bride then dons ‘Mahavate’, the beautiful white wedding saree and the groom dresses up in traditional ‘Parsi Dagli and Feta’, the white kurta like garment and black cap.
Both early morning and time immediately after sunset signify the most auspicious time according to Parsi matrimony. The Parsi lagan is called ‘Achimichu’.
Achumichu is performed at either a baug or an agiary, the fire temple. The mother of the bride brings in a tray that contains raw egg, rice, supari, coconut, dates and water. The ceremony is carried out by her before the couple steps on the stage.
Ara Antar Ceremony
The couple is then made to sit opposite each other and a cloth is held between them so that they cannot see each other. The priests then tie the ‘marriage knot’ around the couple enclosing them in a circle.
In this hand fastening ritual, the couple’s right hands are tied in a raw twist. After this string is circled seven times around the couple, it is also passed through the wedding knot followed by the prayer ceremony.
Rice showering Ceremony
The cloth is now dropped down and the couple showers grains of rice on each other. Whoever is able to throw the rice first is believed to rule the household. The priests also sprinkle rice on the couple to bless them.
In Chero Bandhvanu Ceremony, the couple exchanges rings while the bride’s sister asks for token money by playing pranks on the groom in Haath Borvanu Ceremony.
POST WEDDING RITUALS
The wedding is completed by organizing a grand reception that consists of carried menu of food, drinks and music. The relatives and friends enjoy the dancing and feasting throughout the night.
The reception ends with the couple taken home accompanied by family of the bride. The groom’s mother again performs achimichu to ward off the evil eye.
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