Iranian wedding

  Every autumn, on the gray and black streets of downtown Tehran, in the rushing traffic of the expressway, you can often see that kind of eye-catching and beautiful floats. I have always been curious about the characteristics of Iranian weddings. Woolen cloth? Finally, I got a chance to see a full version of the wedding in person.
  On a crisp autumn afternoon, I was invited to my friend Afsanay’s house for her wedding.
  
  Prelude
  
  Iranian weddings are divided into engagement and marriage ceremonies. The engagement ceremony is held at the woman’s house, while the marriage ceremony is held at the man’s house or in a hotel or club, usually a few days or months after the engagement ceremony. Iranians place more importance on engagement than marriage. Once engaged, both parties are legally recognized. Therefore, the family will prepare carefully before the engagement ceremony, and the ceremony is also quite particular. But now more and more Iranian families are combining engagement and marriage in order to save money.
  Today is the great day of Afsanai. As soon as I entered the door, Afsanai’s aunts and sisters warmly greeted me and kissed me one by one. Unlike Europeans who stick the left cheek first and then the right cheek, the Iranian-style kissing ceremony is very special and extremely enthusiastic. They stick each other’s right cheek first, then the left cheek, and then the other’s right cheek again. When I first arrived in Iran, this kind of kissing ceremony felt as awkward as if I had to drive on the left side of the street. Sometimes I made a mistake and stretched my right face to the other’s left face, or forgot there was the third time. As a result, it was either making a fuss as if the two were dodging each other, or making the other’s face stop awkwardly in front of him. Made us laugh at each other.
  This gave me time to appreciate their “stage” before the bride and groom came out. In front of the fireplace in the best position in the living room, there is a plain white cloth of three or four square meters on the carpet. At one end of the white cloth is a large mirror with antique copper frame and two copper candlesticks of the same style. At the other end, under the palanquin-like scaffolding made of flowers, there are seats for the bride and groom. There are all kinds of cute little things scattered in the middle. What looked like golden eggs, golden walnuts, golden almonds and golden hazelnuts turned out to be real objects carefully wrapped in gold foil. On closer inspection, there are actually flowers folded from brand new banknotes. The most amazing thing is the flowers made from the pancakes that Iranians usually eat. If my Iranian friend told me, I really didn’t see it. Afsanai’s father told me carefully: “These things are the most important and most commonly used necessities in the daily life of Iranians. They are used here to symbolize that the newlyweds will live a good life with plenty of food and clothing after marriage.” White cloth There are also beautiful dolls on it, don’t ask, this is a blessing to the newlyweds to have a precious child early. Among these things was a small basin of clean water. Seeing my curiosity, Afsanai’s father said: “The Persians believe that water is the purest thing in the world, a symbol of perfection and health.” Afsanai’s father also pointed out that With a hardcover Quran, a goblet full of honey, and two candy canes with white bows, he said to me: “These three things are essential for a ceremony, and you will be Got it.” So while I chatted, I couldn’t wait for the arrival of Afsanai and her wishful husband.
  
  Exception
  
  After a while, there was a cheer from the female relatives outside the door, “Hey, here, here…” It must be the bride and groom arriving! I ran to take a look. Afsanai, who was wearing a floor-length dress, slowly got up and left the car with the groom holding hands. A little girl was holding her white wedding dress behind her. There is only one time in an Iranian woman’s life that she can be seen on the street without a robe or a headscarf, and that is when she puts on a white wedding dress.
  Iran is one of the strictest Islamic countries in the world. In Iran, according to the teachings of the Koran, the law stipulates that women are not allowed to expose the rest of their body except their face and hands in public. Therefore, women must wear long coats and headscarves, so that their hair and beautiful curves will not arouse the evil thoughts of men. If the parts that should not be exposed are exposed, it is an act of blasphemy and violation of the canon.
  Even in swimming pools, this rule is no exception. In Iran, even the formal seaside swimming pools are separated for men and women, and they are tightly surrounded by tents. If you swim at the beach where there are no separate places for men and women, women must wear the same attire as they would when walking on the street, because from time to time police patrolling in patrol boats, and if they see women swimming without a robe, they will arrest them.
  Once, a few friends and I were invited to an Iranian friend’s villa by the sea for a few days. In the evening, after the sun went down, the seaside had already turned grey. For the first time in my life, I saw a strange scene: a A girl in a black robe and a black turban, who was fully armed, walked laboriously into the sea with a “hulla huala”, not to do anything else, but to play in the water! That scene doesn’t make people feel the ease and comfort of swimming.
  In Tehran, a friend introduced to me from time to time: According to Islamic criminal law, one hand will be cut off for stealing something; adultery men and women will be trapped in the valley, stoned to death, and so on. I also heard that a diplomat’s wife who was not wearing a hijab was taken by the police and her face was blacked out.
  These horrific situations make me, an outsider, cherish this day of dressing freedom for the bride.
  
  Climax The
  
  bride ‘s float has arrived.
  A female family member hurriedly walked out the door, holding a small smoky stove in both hands and holding it up in front of the newlyweds. Inside burns a unique plant whose smoke is believed to ward off evil by Iranians. The bride and groom take turns symbolically grabbing a puff of smoke and making a few circles in front of each other. Relatives and friends couldn’t wait to toss fresh flower petals, candy grains and new small-denomination banknotes and coins to the newlyweds. The guests and the newcomers scrambled for banknotes and coins. Because whoever grabs more, means whoever gets richer in the future. Afsanai screamed with excitement as he grabbed it. Seeing that I was not used to it, her father grabbed a few banknotes and stuffed them in my hand.
  The crowd continued to cheer and swarm the newcomer into the living room. It was evening time. The groom holds the bride’s right wrist with his right hand to light the candles by the mirror, and their wedding begins.
  The two sat down, opened the Koran, and spread it out on their knees.
  The wedding ceremony was presided over by an old imam. Imams are Islamic religious professionals. For Muslims, becoming an imam is an honor. Only those who have studied for many years in the academy of sutras, have reached a certain level in both sutra and moral exercises, and can recite and understand the “Koran” can become imams. Therefore, Imams are very respected among Muslims. Today, the Afsanai family invited a senior imam. He wore the attire typical of an imam: a white cloth wrapped around his head, a brown robe on his body, and he sat beside the bride and groom.
  The two close relatives and friends were surrounded by four female relatives, each holding a corner to hold a piece of white cloth of about two square meters above the newlyweds’ heads. The top of it squeaked for a while. The sugar falls one after another, symbolizing that the newlyweds are bathed in sweetness.
  At the same time, the old imam first recited a section of the “Koran” aloud, then introduced the content of the marriage contract, finally announced the sacred union of the two, and supervised and witnessed them signing the marriage contract. Then the bride and groom put their wedding rings on each other’s hands to the cheers of the women, “Hey, here, here…” A female family member held up the goblet in front of them, and the two filled the goblet with honey with their little fingers and put it into each other’s mouths. Both of them opened their mouths so wide that they almost sucked each other’s whole fingers into their mouths. Because the more honey you eat, the happier you will be in the future.
  Relatives and friends came forward in order of their relatives and relatives, and put necklaces, rings, watches, bracelets and other gifts that they had sent for the groom or bride by themselves. When they have no more room to wear, show it to the crowd and put it in a gift box at their feet. By the end of the ceremony, Afsanai’s neck, wrists and fingers were covered in golden objects.
  The band played a cheerful Persian dance. The bride and groom dance to the music. Then, the revelry begins. The Persian people are known for their ability to sing and dance. The young men and women who couldn’t hold back for a long time jumped into the center of the living room first, and then more and more people danced quickly. In the crowded living room, men and women, young and old, danced skillfully and freely, as if no one else was there, ecstatic. Of course, the most attractive ones are the girls. On such occasions, they boldly ditched their robes and headscarves for flamboyant dresses or revealing couture, with their hair combed in a variety of ingenious styles, from elaborate or simple fashion. They stretched their soft arms intoxicatedly, wriggled their flexible waists and hips dazzlingly, and when they were excited, they shook their shrugged shoulders frantically, and shook their long golden dresses dazzlingly. Many Iranian girls have been sent by their parents to special schools to learn this dance from the age of five or six, just to shape them into real Persian beauties. Afsanai is a well-deserved Persian beauty. The people sitting also high-five and cheer, and from time to time they give out cheers of “Hoo! Hoo!” to the rhythm of the dance. The whole living room is filled with the unique enthusiasm of the Persians. The carnival continued until the early morning of the next day…

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