Il Matrimonio

The marriage

The marriage in Iran has customs and customs, some of which are exclusive to Iranian culture. These customs have changed many times throughout history and adapt each time in different ways according to ethnic groups, religions, and even the various social levels. Today, couples before marriage usually know each other at work, at the University, in public places, at parties and family gatherings, or in many cases the same families play an important role in finding the right person for their children or daughters. Iranian marriage is an event that consists of several phases. These in some areas of Iran were a bit different at the beginning while in other areas the changes occurred gradually. But this is common and usual in the stages of traditional Iranian marriage in most areas of the country (particularly in Tehran), it is found in the majority of ethnic groups. However, alongside traditional marriages, there are modern ones that are less subordinate to customs and which deal only with the marriage contract and the beginning of married life.
The stages of traditional marriage are listed below:

Khāstegāri or Marriage Proposal

In the ceremony of the marriage proposal that usually takes place in the afternoon or at sunset, according to previously agreed agreements, the father and the mother together with the son and the other family members, go to the girl's house with flowers and sweets. At the beginning we talk about many topics and then the conversation moves on the marriage proposal addressed to the daughter of the family. Generally in this meeting, the girl offers tea, sweets and fruit to the audience and answers questions. Then if the two families come to a general agreement and from a cultural, social, standard of living, etc., the future spouses are suitable for each other, the date and the next phase of the marriage is fixed, that is the one called " bale borān ".
-The ceremony "bale borān" (lett: consent) and shirini khārān (lett: eat sweets)
In this ceremony, which takes place in the girl's home, relatives are also gathered far away from adults and the discussion focuses on definitive agreements on the dowry of the girl and on the conditions of marriage. In the ceremony of bale borān the groom's family brings gifts to the bride as a piece of cloth, a ring of gold and sometimes a sugar cone meaning that the girl is engaged and belongs to their child. The dowry is the most important thing discussed in the ceremony of bale borān. In some ethnic groups, the bride's family requires a sum to the spouse known as "shirbahā" (lett: sum or price of milk ") which belongs to the bride's father and mother and is often used for the purchase of some parts of the kit of the bride. The speeches and agreements made are written on a sheet and signed by those present as witnesses.

The engagement party

The engagement party is a ceremony that usually takes place some time after the bale borān ceremony and in conjunction with a religious festival or a public holiday; in it the families of the boy and the girl announce this union in a more official way. The engagement party can consist of a modest private family reception or a grand and sumptuous ceremony that takes place at home, in a salon or in a garden with a large number of guests. The invitation is even sent for this ceremony. Depending on the traditions present in each city, the customs and formalities of the engagement party are the responsibility of the bride or groom's family.

The ceremony of the ash-kanān (stipulation of the contract)


The subject and the ceremony of the kanān tree are very important and take place in two forms: in the first which is a ceremony in the girl's house, usually women and men in separate rooms, come together for the reading of the contract ( conditions of it and of the dowry of the girl were defined earlier and during the ceremony of the bale borān). In this ceremony, the girl and the boy sit next to each other and in front of the wedding banquet (Sofreh-ye Aghd) which is adorned with symbolic objects such as: the Koran, the mirror, the candlestick, the water, bread, cheese, herbs, crystallized sugar, sweets, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, eggs, honey, yoghurt, and on their head is kept a silk cloth whose two flaps they are in the hands of women, while another woman crumbles two sugar cones inside this cloth so that small pieces fall on the heads of the newlyweds; at the same time an "aghed" (the one who officiates the marriage) reads the contract; in most cases after having repeated three times the request to the girl, this, after having obtained the permission from her parents, after the third time gives the positive answer. Often it is used that, after making the request for the third time and before saying yes, the bride receives a gift from the mother of the groom who is called "zir lafzi", and then the contract is read. Later, the bride and groom and some witnesses sign all the pages of the ashd-nāme, an official document that includes the generality of the couple and which includes the history of marriage, the conditions, duties and responsibilities of the couple. newlyweds. The ceremony continues by offering gifts of value to the bride, in joy and entertaining guests.
In this party usually the preparation of the dinner is up to the bride's family but other expenses such as the supply of flowers, sweets and fruit are the groom's job. In the second form, after the general agreement between the girl and the boy and their families, the contract is read in private and the marriage is concluded in an official and legal manner; without other special formalities or with the organization of a simple reception, they start their life together. In some cases the contract is read after the engagement period and during the wedding ceremony.

The Pā-goshā ceremony

The term Pā-goshā means parties or receptions that the father and the mother, the family members and relatives organize after signing the contract, inviting the spouses to their home so that they can get used to attend and take part in family gatherings. Gifts are usually given to the couple in these receptions. However these parties take place among the closest relatives even after marriage.

The preparation of the wedding kit

"Jahizie" or "jahāz" is the kit made up of furnishing accessories and household objects necessary for the life of two or three people, objects that the bride in the course of marriage brings to the new common home. Usually in the years when the girl in the family is in the growth phase and is about to reach the age of marriage, her family is preparing to buy different items but with the passing of the years and with the technological progress of daily household accessories, today, the purchase of them is postponed before the wedding ceremony. Before bringing the trousseau to the newlyweds' house, the women belonging to the circle of distant relatives gather and make small parties in which guests are shown the trousseau, clothes, and jewels of the bride and each guest brings a gift. Finally, the equipment is brought to the couple's house at the right time and with special rituals, a ceremony that still exists in some cities of Iran and which is very beautiful and has a religious aspect.
-The purchase of accessories for the wedding
Before the celebration of the wedding ceremony, the spouses, accompanied by a number of women in the circle of close relatives, go to the bazaar to buy the accessories for the wedding: the ring, the wedding dress, the tricks, the mirror, the candlestick, the dress for the groom, etc. The items for the wife buy them her husband and those for him buy them her. On this occasion, the groom offering lunch and often buying gifts for his companions, thanks them. These gifts are called "sar kharidi". The ritual of buying nowadays is carried out less frequently in groups and runs out in one day.

The ceremony hanā-bandān

Hanā-bandān is a celebration and a bachelor or bachelorette ceremony organized in the newlyweds' house the night before the wedding day in the presence of the youngest. In this festival the groom's family brings to the bride fruit, sweets and decorative henna. In the end, even the hands of the spouses and guests are painted with henna and everything takes place in an atmosphere of great joy and the celebrations last until late.

The wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony is a very important ceremony, sumptuous and joyful in which almost all the distant and close families of the bride and groom participate and in which guests are given a full reception. All expenses for this party are charged to the groom. After the end of it, the newlyweds with joy and with a group of guests, are accompanied to their new home and with a special ritual like burning wild rue, sacrificing an animal and passing under the Koran, they enter the house. This festival in the cities and areas of Iran provided for particular customs and in some cases could last three days or more. In recent years in Iran we also witness group and university wedding ceremonies.

The ceremony pātakhti and mādarzan salām

The pātakhti ceremony takes place the day after the wedding ceremony. In this ceremony, which takes place less frequently today, only women belonging to close relatives participate in an afternoon party organized by the bride's family and they are offered a cake, fruit, sweets and drinks. On this occasion the guests bring the bride of gifts. Similarly, this ceremony is held in Canada and America under the name "Bridal shower". Also in the morning following the wedding party, there is a ritual called "mādarzan salām" in which the groom with a gift goes to see the mother of the bride and while he thanks her, he kisses her hand and she receives his gift.

Honeymoon

After the last phases of the formalities and the wedding ceremony, some spouses leave for a trip together, the honeymoon. Among the religious families, the city of Mashhad is chosen as the first destination.

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