What is a Persian blessing ceremony? 

The Persian Blessing Ceremony is an ancient Zoroastrian ceremony. Like many other Zoarastian festivities it includes a spread (Sofreh in modern Farsi). The most important element of the ceremony is the Sofreh aghd; a spread that is set up for the couple to receive blessings, in front of the guests (witnesses)  before they enter into a matrimonial union. The aghd ceremony also provides an opportunity for guests to participate in the blessing process.

 

The items used during the ceremonial process and on the spread are:

(items can change based on one’s beliefs or for religious reasons)

 

MANGHAL {A coal brazier}

Is used to burn wild rue (esphand) to drive away negativity.

 

MOKHADDEH {Seating for the bride and the groom} 

Usually stool or some sort of cushion seating for the bride and the groom to sit on during the ceremony.

 

SOFREH OVERLAY {Ceremonial cloth} 

Is the spread used under all of the traditional items of the spread.

 

TOOREH GHAND {Sugar cloth} 

The cloth that is held over the couple’s head throughout the ceremony by various happily married female relatives and friends. 

 

KALEH GHAND {Sugar cones} 

Is used during the ceremony over the couple’s heads. Happily married women rub the sugar cones together over the cloth. 

 

TRADITIONAL PERSIAN EMBROIDERED CLOTH {Termeh} 

A traditional Persian silk or embroidered cloth handed down from generation to generation to symbolize family and tradition. It is used as a decorative display amongst the rest of the traditional items.

 

AYEENEH {Mirror}

Represents bringing light and brightness into the future for the married couple. Traditionally the couple look into the mirror together.

 

SHAMDOON {Candles/candelabras}

Symbolizes energy and clarity in the couple’s life together.

 

NOON SANGAK {Flatbread}

A decorative display of flatbread, Sangak symbolizes prosperity for the feasts and couple’s life together. It can be accompanied with feta cheese and fresh herbs.

 

TOKHMEH MORGH {Eggs}

Represent fertility for the couple.

 

BADOOM, GANDOM, o GERDOO {Almond, walnut, + hazelnut}

Also symbolize fertility and abundance.

 

MEEVEH {Seasonal fruits} 

Usually pomegranates and apples. They represent a joyous future.

 

SHAHKHEH NABAT {Rock candy}

Prettified to symbolize a sweetened life for the newlyweds.

 

SEKKEH {Coins}

Are placed on the sofreh spread to represent wealth and prosperity for the couple. Modern couples often opt for decorative coins.

 

ASAL {Honey} 

The bride and groom feed honey to each other (once) usually with their pinkies. This is the Persian version of exchanging hands for the couple getting married!

 

GOLAAB {Rose water}

Is used to perfume the air.

 

HOLY BOOK OF CHOICE {The Koran, Torat, Bible or a book of poetry such as Hafez or Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam}

Is placed on the sofreh aghd to symbolize God’s blessing for the couple. The book is usually opened from the middle and placed on the spread in front of the couple as a symbol of faith.

 

SHEEREENI {Sweets and pastries}

Are placed on the spread. They are to be shared with the guests after the ceremony concludes. Sheereeni symbolizes the sweetness of life.