A scrappy life!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hello?

Oh dear, I don't know if anyone still pops in to red my blog...but I figured it was about time I made an appearance!

What can I say...it has been a MANIC few months with us and downs. Thank God my FIL is doing really really really well (Mashallah) and is back in Morocco. Thanks to all who sent me all your good wishes and much needed prayers.

In a short space of time a lot has gone on. Firstly we had to move.....AGAIN...as the landlord was selling, at the same time I found out that I was PREGNANT!!!!!!! WOhooooooo that was a good day. I did fell bleugh for the first three moths though!! Which actually was a good thing as I managed t loses a few kilos which is much needed!

So I taught a little English, moved house and then........went for my 13 week scan to be asked by the sonographer 'do you have a history of twins in your family?'......UH NOOOOO.

SO thats my biggest news of all. God willing Im expecting twins and I found out yesterday that they are ickle girlies...YAY YAY YAY..all that pink and frills and plaits. They will hate me Im sure but they will be the girliest girls EVER..hehehe.

SO the downside of the summer....I missed my baby sisters wedding in Iran. I couldn't fly out. I cried sooooo much its silly. Everyone was there except poor me, all our friends had gone and my family. It was a BIG and lovely affair so I'm told although everyone says 'its better you didn't come as we were soo stressed'. Unfortunately that doesn't make any difference, but hey at least a get a great double consolation prize in a few months.

So here are some pics of my sister one is from the phororgrapher. This was her Iranian/Islamic ceremony in Iran the 'real' wedding of you like. This is my Dad collecting her from the salon and giving her hand to th groom...

Traditionally the groom bings the flowers for the bride (after this they were whisked away for filming and photos.

Here comes the cultural bit! This is the Sofreh Aghd the bride and groom sit in front of it and it is where the vows are made her is an explanation I found online
:Persian Wedding Traditions and Customs
There are two stages to a Persian marriage. Most often both take place on the same day, but occasionally there could be some time between the two. The first is called "Aghd", the legal process of getting married, when both the bride and bridegroom and their guardians sign a marriage contract. The second stage is "Jashn-e Aroosi", the wedding reception - the actual feasts and the celebration.

The ceremony takes place in a specially decorated room with flowers and a beautiful and elaborately decorated spread on the floor called "Sofreh-ye Aghd". Traditionally Sofreh-ye Aghd is set on the floor facing east, the direction of sunrise (light). Consequently when bride and bridegroom are seated at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd they will be facing "The Light".
By custom Aghd would normally take place at bride's parents/guardians home. The arrival of the guests, who are to be witnesses to the marriage of the couple, initiates the wedding ceremony. Traditionally the couples' guardians and other elder close family members are present in the room to greet the guests and guide them to their seats. After all the guests are seated the bridegroom is the first to take his seat in the room at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd. The bride comes afterwards and joins the bridegroom at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd. The bridegroom always sits on the right hand side of the bride. In Zoroastrian culture the right side designates a place of respect.
Persian Wedding Spread - Persian Wedding Sofreh Aghd

The spread that is used on the floor as the backdrop for Sofreh-ye Aghd was traditionally passed from mother to daughter (or occasionally son). The spread is made of a luxurious fabric such as "Termeh" (Cashmere: A rich gold embroidered fabric originally made in Cashmere from the soft wool found beneath the hair of the goats of Cashmere, Tibet, and the Himalayas), "Atlas" (Gold embroidered satin) or "Abrisham" (Silk).
On Sofreh-ye Aghd, the following items are placed:

Mirror (of fate) "Aayeneh-ye Bakht" and two Candelabras (representing the bride and groom and brightness in their future) one on either side of the mirror. The mirror and two candelabras are symbols of light and fire, two very important elements in the Zoroastrian culture. When the bride enters the room she has her veil covering her face. Once the bride sits beside the bridegroom she removes her veil and the first thing that the bridegroom sees in the mirror should be the reflection of his wife-to-be.

A tray of seven multi-colored herbs and spices "Sini-ye Aatel-O-Baatel" to guard the couple and their lives together against the evil eye, witchcraft and to drive away evil spirits. This tray consists of seven elements in seven colors:
Poppy Seeds "Khash-Khaash" (to break spells and witchcraft)
Wild Rice "Berenj"
Angelica "Sabzi Khoshk"
Salt "Namak" (to blind the evil eye)
Nigella Seeds "Raziyaneh"
Black Tea "Chaay"
Frankincense "Kondor" (to burn the evil spirits)
A specially baked and decorated flatbread "Noon-e Sangak" with blessing "Mobaarak-Baad" written in calligraphy on it. The writing is usually with either saffron "Zaffaron", cinnamon, Nigella seeds, or glitters. This symbolizes prosperity for the feasts and for the couple's life thereafter. A separate platter of this flat bread, feta cheese and fresh herbs are also present to be shared with the guests after the ceremony, to bring the new couple happiness and prosperity.

A basket of decorated eggs and a basket of decorated almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts in the shell to symbolize fertility.

A basket of pomegranates and/or apples for a joyous future. Pomegranates are considered heavenly fruits and apples symbolize the divine creation of mankind.

A cup of rose water extracted from special Persian roses "Gol-e Mohammadi" to perfume the air.

A bowl made out of crystallized sugar "Kaas-e Nabaat/Shaakh-e Nabaat" to sweeten life for the newly wed.

A brazier "Manghal" holding burning coals sprinkled with wild rue "Espand" a popular incense. Wild rue is used in many Zoroastrian ceremonies, rituals and purification rites. It is believed to keep the evil eye away and bring on plenty of health.
A bowl of gold coins representing wealth and prosperity.

A scarf or shawl made out of silk or any other fine fabric to be held over the bride and bridegroom's head throughout the ceremony by various happily married female relatives (mostly bride's close family members).

Two sugar cones "Kalleh Ghand" made out of hardened sugar to be used during the ceremony. These sugar cones are grinded together above the bride and bridegroom's head (over the scarf held above their heads) throughout the ceremony to shower them in sugar (symbolizing sweetness and happiness).

A cup of honey to sweeten life. Immediately after the couple is married they each should dip one pinky finger in the cup of honey and feed it to the other one.

A needle and seven strands of colored thread to figuratively sew up the mother-in-law's lips from speaking unpleasant words to the bride! The shawl that is held above the couple's head throughout the ceremony is sewed in one corner by the needle and threads.

A copy of the couple's Holy Book is placed on the spread. For Christian couples, it would be the Bible, for Zorastians Avesta, For Muslims Qur'an, .... This symbolizes God's blessing for the couple. Some couples use a poetry book such as Khayyam's poetry collection or Hafiz poetry collection instead of a religeous holy book.
A prayer carpet/kit is placed in the center of Sofreh-ye Aghd to remind the couple of importance of prayer both at blissful times and times of hardship. This prayer kit would include a prayer rosary or a cross & Holy Bible or a small rug "Sajjaadeh" and a strand of prayer beads "Tasbih".
An assortment of sweets and pastries to be shared with the guests after the ceremony. The assortment usually includes: Sugar coated almond strips "Noghl", Baklava (a sweet flaky Persian pastry "Baaghlavaa"), Mulberry-almond paste made in the shape of mulberries "Tout", Rice-flour cookies "Noon-Berenji", Chickpea-flour cookies "Noon-Nokhodchi", Almond-flour cookies "Noon-Baadoomi", and Honey roasted almonds "Sohaan A'sali".

Having the sugar ground over their heads..


Towards the end of the reception:
Going home for the after party!!
The official 'for the guests' piccy
Are you all still with me?
Anyways I can't post her looking mashallah stunning without her scarf and bolero...you'll just have to take my word for it oh and the music is traditional persian wedding music..LOVE IT!


7 Comments:

At 10:56 pm, Blogger Hazel said...

It's good to 'hear' from you again on your blog - yes, I do pop in from time to time and have missed you, but glad to have caught up on the forum. Thanks for sharing about your sister's wedding - very interesting - and what a stunning bride.

 
At 8:53 am, Anonymous Sue said...

GREAT NEWS

whata wonderful 'lesson' I have learnt so much

thanks

xxxxx

 
At 12:13 pm, Blogger Rhi said...

Wow Saffa, how lovely to hear about the traditions at your sisters wedding. Such amazing similarities, like the sugar being sprinkled over their heads, apparently thats where the importance of wedding cake comes from in Britain, it used to be broken over the couples heads in days gone by! Luckily they use confetti now!

Ive rambled, great to have you back :)

 
At 3:04 pm, Blogger Kathy said...

oh Saffa, what a fantastic post and what wonderful photos too. Thank you so much for sharing all this info, I love to hear of the customs and traditions surrounding celebrations and events so this was all fascinating.

I just know you're going to make a simply wonderful scrapbook from these photos

 
At 8:38 pm, Blogger Paula said...

Loved the update Saffa, and all the info on the wedding. I love the photos as well, best use between now and Jan to get the scrapbook done!

 
At 11:54 pm, Blogger Susan (Sue H) said...

Hi Saffa,
I just wanted to pop along a say it’s good to see you around again.
The photos of your sister are really beautiful,…stunning if fact.

Congratulations to the both of you on your news………. I bet it must have been such a shock for you and poor Ibrahim is going to be so out numbered..
When’s the big day?

Love
Sue
X x x

 
At 4:57 pm, Blogger maggieb said...

Hi saffa first of all i want to say a huge congratulations to both of you on your exciting news Twin girls how lovley is that.Your sister looks radiant on her wedding day thank you for the lesson learned a few things.Take care.

 

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