Parsi weddings are an occasion of great joy and merriment, like any other wedding. But what sets apart are the unique rituals that are associated with the wedding. Spread over a few days, a Parsi wedding entails unhindered fun and frolic for any beholder. Do we know enough about this miniscule community and their wedding rituals? Read on to know...


Rupiya peravanu: This ritual marks the unofficial engagement when both the families of the bride and groom accept the alliance. On this day, 5-7 (but never more than 9) from the groom's side visit the bride's house. They are welcomed at the door by the bride's mother at the doorstep. The bride is presented with a gift of silver coins with other items of goodwill like coconut and sweets. Once refreshments are over, the groom's family returns back home. The bride's family now adds more silver coins to those presented by the groom's family and visits the groom to repeat the ceremony.

Madavsaro: Held four days before the wedding, each of the families plant a young tree (generally a mango plant as it is considered a symbol of fertility) in a pot amidst recitation of prayers by the family priest and places it at the entrance of their respective homes. The soil in which the tree is planted is mixed with chips of three types of metals, betel nut, turmeric and dry dates. The plant is watered every morning till the eighth day after the wedding and then re-planted elsewhere.

Adravanu: Adravanu refers to the formal engagement ceremony when the groom's family presents the bride a new set of clothes, accessories and jewelry. Usually, it is held at the bride's house though it is not a compulsion. The doorways of both the houses are decorated with fresh flowers and colorful rangoli. The relevance of adravanu is fire (adra means fire). It is reflected by lighting a diyo (earthen lamp) and the red color of the sari worn by the bride and the red bangles gifted to her by her in-laws.

Adarni: This ritual marks the day for gift exchanging. The groom's family presents the bride with various gifts as a gesture of welcoming her into the family. The guests, including family, relatives and friends, are treated to a traditional auspicious snack of sev and dahi, boiled eggs and bananas.

Supra ni reet: This is similar to the haldi ceremony of a Hindu wedding and takes place just a day before the wedding. Traditionally, four married women are handed a supra each containing betel nut and leaves, dates and a piece of coconut. The supras are exchanged among the women while traditional songs are being sung. A fifth lady sits in the middle with dry turmeric and khalbatto. Once the exchange of supras is over, all the five ladies join hands to grind the turmeric into a paste mixed with milk. The paste is then applied to the groom and the bride at their respective places.

Nahan: Nahan is the last of the pre-wedding ritual which takes place just before the bride and the groom start getting ready for the wedding. This is done for the purification of the body and soul wherein they are bathed amidst recital of prayers and making them drink the taro and eat a few pomegranate leaves. A popular belief runs that after nahan, the bride and the groom cannot touch any person outside their family or caste. Following this, the bride dresses up in the madhavate, an ornate wedding sari gifted to her by her parents while the groom dons the traditional Parsi dagli and pheta (black cap).


Achumichu: A Parsi lagan takes place at a baug or at an agiary, the fire temple. The most auspicious time for a Parsi wedding is immediately after sunset or very early in the morning. A stage is set for the ceremony. Before the couple steps onto the stage, a ritual called achumichu is performed with the groom first. The bride's mother, taking a tray of raw egg, betel nut, rice, coconut, kharekh and water, begins the ceremony. She takes the coconut and circles it around the groom's head seven times before breaking it on the floor to his right. This is repeated with every other item except the water, which is thrown on either side. Following this, the bride comes forth and the groom's mother performs the same ritual with her.

Ara antar: In this ceremony, the couple is made to sit facing each other but separated by a cloth so that they cannot see each other. Both the bride and groom are then given rice. With a length of thread, the priests circle the couple on opposite sides of the cloth seven times. As soon as the seventh round ends, the couple showers each other with the rice from over the cloth. It is believed that whoever throws the rice first will dominate the other.

Chero bandhvanu: The couple now sits beside each other with the seven strands of thread binding them. The witnesses also are seated with them. Diyos or lighted lamps are placed on the tables on either side. Priests begin an hour-long ceremony of prayers and showering of rice and rose petals. At the end of the ceremony, the couple exchanges the wedding rings. The priests wish the newlyweds the var and bairi, and bring them fire from the agiary so that they can pay their homage.

Haath borvanu: Once the main ceremony is over, the fun rituals begin. The bride's sister begins by extracting money from the groom. He is made to put his hand into a glass of water, which he cannot remove until he pays up.

Pag dhovanu: The fun continues. The groom is now threatened with milk on his shoes, unless of course he pays his sister-in-law.

Chero chorvanu: The seven strands of thread that bind the couple are finally removed by the bride's sister. This is again done only on the payment of some amount of money. Finally, the wedding ceremony concludes with the couple paying a visit to the fire temple.


Reception: Parsi weddings are known for their enormous receptions. Sumptuous food, free-flowing drinks and lively music make it a grand experience for all. The traditional dinner is a lavish four-course meal comprising delicious Parsi bhonu like sarya (crisps), gajar mevanu achaar-roti (carrot pickle and chapati), patra ni macchi (steamed fish), salli murgi (chicken with potato crisps), lagan nu custard, pulao-dal and ice cream. Finally, the newlywed couple is being escorted home by the bride's family where the groom's mother welcomes them with achumichu being performed for a blissful life ahead.