Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ask Abby: The A-Zs of Throwing a Traditional Sofreh Aghd

Cultural Weddings are some of our favorites as they can showcase a couple's culture and pay homage to the traditions laid out by their ancestors. We spoke with Romy from Fazeli Cellars who has hosted Sofrehs at the winery! Check out the gorgeous detailed photos below from a Sofreh Aghd held at Fazeli Cellars and learn a little more about the A-Zs of hosting a traditional Iranian wedding ceremony! 

Aghd, the Iranian wedding ceremony, is a beautiful and joyful event dating back thousands of years to the ancient culture of Iran-zamin. It incorporates and pays tribute to many aspects of the Zoroastrian traditions and to the elements of nature; including earth, wind, fire and water.  Each of these four elements is represented on the Sofreh (the spread) and is believed to bring prosperity and happiness in the couple’s life and marriage.
Items on the Sofreh and their symbolism:
Ayeneye_Bakht (Large mirror) - believed to bring light and brightness into the future
Sha’am (Two candelabras) - to symbolize fire and energy
Naan-e-Sangak (Flatbread/bread) - represents prosperity
Tokhm-e-Morgh (Decorated eggs) – to symbolize fertility
Gerdou & Bodoum (Walnuts & almonds) – to symbolize fertility
Seeb (Apples) – to symbolize the divine creation of mankind
Anar (Pomegranates) – for a joyous future, pomegranates are considered heavenly fruits
Nabaat (Crystallized sugar) – to sweeten life for the newlyweds
Asal (Honey) – consumed right after the ceremony to ensure sweetness in life
Kalleh Gand (Two large sugar cones) – to shower the couple with sugar symbolizing sweetness and happiness
Esfand (Wild rue) – to represent purity and good health and ward off the evil eye 
Sabzi (Tray of fresh herbs) – to share the happiness and prosperity of the couple with the guests
Shirini (Sweets & pastries) – to share the sweetness of life with the guests after the ceremony
Noghl (Almond candy) – representing prosperity
Other various items on Sofreh may include:
Termeh (Embroidered cloth) – traditional Persian gold or silver embroidered fabric used to decorate the table,
usually a family heirloom representing family and tradition
Golaab (Rose water) – extracted from Persian roses to perfume the air
Hafez (Book of Poetry) – beautiful poems of love and life for the couple to reflect upon
Shaah-Naameh (The Book of Kings) – to reflect Iran’s history and its cultural values
Koran (The Muslim Holy book) – for religious or spiritual representation