Parsis are Persians who migrated to India from Central Asia and specifically Persia. They follow Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest religions in the world. They have been successful in preserving their traditions and culture to a great extent. However, they have incorporated some local customs into their wedding rituals as well. Actually, the Parsi weddings are a mixture of cultures and span for several days. Parsi weddings are called ‘Lagan’ and are held at the Fire Temple or ParsiAgyari.
This is an informal engagement between the groom and bride and the first interaction between their families. Ladies from the groom’s family visit the bride’s family with a bag containing rupia or coins. The groom’s family gives gifts for the bride in return. The ladies from bride’s family also visit the groom’s family with gifts.
This is typically a Parsi custom and is held for warding off the evil spirits. This ritual is performed before every wedding. It involves placing a coconut, raw egg, small bowl of rice, a glass of water, and some nuts and betel leaves and nuts on a thali or ses. The mother of the bride breaks the egg on the right side of groom’s mother after making seven rounds with the egg. She repeats the same thing with the other items on the thali. All the items are then thrown behind the house.
As part of this ritual, the groom’s mother puts a silver coin before lighting an oil lamp. The groom’s mother performs the achoomichoo ritual and presents the bride with a red saree and bangles. In Parsi culture, this amounts to the exchange of rings.
The groom and bride are brought on to the stage and the sagan ritual is performed by the mothers and older ladies from both the families. Finally, the couple is fed sugar-cubes dipped in yogurt.
The families of both the bride and groom plant a tree in a pot. The pots are kept by the side of the main entrances of their respective houses till the wedding is completed. After that, they are removed and planted elsewhere.
This ritual involves offering prayers in remembrance of their ancestors by the two families.
The Adrani ritual which takes place three days before the wedding day involves the groom’s family visiting the bride and presenting the bride with clothes, cash, jewelry, and sweets.
Supra nu Murat
This is an adopted ritual and it involves five married women making turmeric paste together. The paste is applied to the bride and groom by their family members.
This is a ritualistic bathing ceremony that is performed by the bride and groom for purifying themselves before the wedding ceremony.
The groom wears a white cotton kurta, overcoat called Dhugli, and cotton pants. The Parsi groom also wears a black elongated hat (Fetah or Paghudi) and a white shawl on his shoulders. He may wear jewelry and black formal shoes.
A Parsi bride wears a heavily embroidered white chiffon or silk saree called ParsiGara and a white blouse. She also covers her head with the saree. She wears the red bangles given by the groom’s mother and a little bit of gold jewelry.
Wedding rituals include arrival of the couple, AchooMichoo, VarBehendoo, AraAntar, Haathevaro and CheroBandhvanu, Marriage Ceremony, lighting the spiritual flame, and Payvand-e-Zanshooi. Post wedding rituals include HaathBorvanu, PagDhovanu, visit to the Fire Temple, and reception.