Zoroastrian wedding

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Parsi wedding (exchange of rings)

Zoroastrian weddings are a religious ceremony in Zoroastrianism in which two individuals, a man and a woman are united. In Zoroastrianism, marriage within the community is encouraged, and is greatly favored in religious texts.

Prior to ceremony[edit]

Age[edit]

In the Avesta, manhood and womanhood are gained at the age of 15, when they would be ready for marriage. However, in India, the threshold for marriage is set by the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 which states the threshold at 21 for males and 18 for females. If either of the marrying parties are below the age given in the act, the parents of the underage marrying party must sign on the marriage certificate to signify their approval. [1]

Force Marriage[edit]

Forced marriages are common in this religion and often women are forced to marry within the religion. This is done as a justification to keep the faith alive, but parents use guilt, power, bribes, brainwashing and other forms of control to force daughters to marry Zoroastrian men. The parents do not require consent from the children. The children are forced to marry. This is done to keep the bloodlines, often contaminated, and saturated from incestuous gene pool to recycle. This results in birth defects, diabetes, and other forms of medical problems for newborn babies. The religion enables open discrimination towards other religions and races; this is justified as a survival for the religion.

Girls are told that they will be disowned if they dare to marry outside the religion. They are brainwashed from birth to obey parents and guardians. They are forced to become friends and be accessible to other Zoroastrian boys; the girls are escorted by next to kin guardians for such meetings. They are bribed with gifts and lavish things like cars to accept partners. Girls are trained to resist and push away non-Zoroastrian boys to avoid emotional connections.

The courtship happens at an early age, for example young female as young as 16 are partnered up for marriage through force by parents. Girls are not allowed to fall in love, thus the house becomes the girl’s prison, and if she finds a boy that she likes she is not allowed to date or be with him. The parents apply strict controls and monitoring of daughters. Social media and other aspects of all communications are monitored. Regardless of age, a girl cannot stay out late despite legal protections. These girls often fall victim to depression, loneliness, and are driven to online affairs. Suicide is low among girls due to parent’s ability to provide lavish life style to compensate for lack of freedom and limited accessibility and empowerment.

The religion ignores domestic laws of modern countries and continues to apply medieval tactics to control and abuse women. The girls cannot leave the house until they are sold in to marriage by the parents and guardian. The girl will not talk openly about this with outsiders out of fear of parents.

Ceremony[edit]

There exist ceremonies which are observed prior to the marriage. They will be most likely spread over several days. Ceremonies vary, and not all the rites described below may be observed in one wedding. Other customs may also be included.

Prior to the marriage[edit]

Adrâvvûn[edit]

also known by the older name of Nâm pâdvûn

Presents of silver coins are prepared by the ladies of both the bride and bridegroom's families in the homes of the marrying parties, each group going to the other's home. It is upon this betrothal that the bride takes the name of her husband, even if the marriage does not later occur. This betrothal is often performed quickly after a marriage is arranged.

Madasoro[edit]

Divô[edit]

Two lamps are lit, one in each of the homes of the marrying parties. Once again the ladies travel to the home of the other party and place a silver coin upon the lamp. It is at this occasion that formal gifts are exchanged. This includes the exchange of wedding rings.

Âdarni[edit]

The third day before the wedding, 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 ritual is known as Adarni. The bride herself may also go over to the groom's home for this tradition but the groom cannot do the same. The relatives, neighbors and friends are treated to a traditional meal of sev and dahi, boiled eggs and bananas.

The marriage[edit]

Parsi groom

Auspicious days, such as new moon day or Hormazd, the first day of the Parsee month, are generally favoured for the wedding ceremony, coming on the fourth day of festivities. The first day of these is known as mândav-saro, when a twig of a tree, generally a mango-tree, is planted near the door, symbolic of a wish for fertility. This is followed by two Varadh-patra days when religious ceremonies in honour of the dead are performed.

With the marriage ceremony occurring in the evening of the fourth day the bride and bridegroom will have prior taken baths, known as nân. The marriage must be performed in front of an assembly of witnesses, the Parsi Marriage and divorce Act requires at least two witnesses as well as the priest.[2]

The ceremonial dress of the Parsees is the Jâmâ-pichhoir of which the bride wears a white variety, with the bridegroom sporting the mark of a Kunkun on his forehead.

A few hours before the ceremony a procession forms carrying gifts to the bridegroom's house, usually accompanied by music. It then turns to the house of the bride where, typically, the marriage occurs. The assembly, once seated, awaits the arrival of the groom who is greeted at the door by the mother of the bride. Here a fresh Kunkun mark is placed upon his head.

During the ceremony rice is often used as a good luck symbol, with the bride and groom sprinkling each other with cupfuls of rice. So as to remove any evil destined for the groom an egg is passed round his head three times then thrown to the ground and broken, destroying the evil with it. A similar ritual is then performed with a coconut, and then with a small tray of water which is thrown to the ground.

At a point during the evening the groom will dip his hand into a water-pot (var-behendoo) which was part of the dowry. Into this pot he drops a silver coin, as a mark of appreciation for the gift.

When the bride and groom take their seats the groom sits to the right of the bride and they both face east. Rice is placed on trays either side of the couple to be thrown while they recite their benedictions. Candles, fire being an important symbol in the Zoroastrian faith, are placed either side also. The couple are flanked by a pair of witnesses, usually married relations. A curtain of cloth separates the couple.

Two priests officiate. The couple are asked by the priests whether they consent to the marriage. He then joins their hands, a custom known as Hâthevârô, "hand-fastening". The senior priest places the right hands of the couple into each other. Then a piece of cloth is passed round the chairs of both and tied together enclosing them in a circle. The priest then fastens, seven times, with raw twist their right hands which are grasped by each other. The prayer of Yatha Ahu Vairyo is recited throughout.

The curtain is then dropped and the couple throw rice over each other, the first to do so is said to "win".

The senior priest then blesses the couple by saying:

May the Creator, the omniscient Lord, grant you a progeny of sons and grandsons, plenty of means to provide yourselves, heart-ravishing friendship, bodily strength, long life and an existence of 150 years!

Various questions are then asked to the bride, groom and witnesses. Once they have replied, affirming that they have entered into this with righteous mind the priest will recite admonitions and benedictions. Then the couple symbolically eat from the same dish, a rite known as Dahi-Koomro. At the close of the ceremony, as well as at several junctures prior, nuptial songs may be sung.

A wedding feast then occurs at which toasts are made to, God, the couple, the sacred fire temples, the guests and the host. Fish, a symbol of good luck, is served.

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

Books[edit]

Hastings, James (2003), John A. Selbie, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Part 16, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7661-3693-9 

  1. ^ Hastings 2003, p. 455.
  2. ^ The Parsi Marriage And Divorce Act