Religious wedding ceremonies are full of traditional and symbolic elements, like the Sofreh Aghd. If you haven’t had a chance to witness this Persian wedding ceremony, here’s an explanation of the symbolic elements.
In Farsi, the word Sofreh means ‘spread’ and Aghd means ‘ceremony‘. The following symbolic items make up the display known as the Sofreh Aghd.
The Mirror – a symbol of light, purity, and brightness. As the bride removes her veil, her reflection in the mirror is the first image the groom has of his soon to be wife.
Two Candelabras – these are placed on each side of the mirror, symbolizing clarity and energy in the couple’s life together.
The Traditional Persian Embroidered Cloth – a silk or embroidered cloth, handed down the generations, is a symbol of family and traditions.
The Holy Book – a symbol of God’s blessing for the couple.
Tray of Spices – to guard the couple from the evil eye, a tray of seven herbs and spices is part of the display.
Decorated Persian Flatbread – a decorative display of flatbreads is a symbol of prosperity for the feast and the couple’s life together.
Decorated Eggs, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, and Almonds – these are a symbol of fruitfulness, fertility, and abundance. The hope is that the marriage is as strong as the shells of these nuts.
Rock Candy – representing a sweetened life for the newlyweds.
Honey – a symbol of sweetness in the couple’s life
Two Sugar Cones – showering the couple with sugar is a symbol of a happy, sweet, and good life together.
Wild Rue – to guard the couple from the evil eye, a tray of seven herbs and spices is part of the display.
Sweets and Pastries – symbolising the sweetness of life.
Sugar Cloth – a piece of silk or fine fabric which is held above the bride & groom’s heads, for the duration of the ceremony, by happily married female relatives and friends.
Traditionally, the Sofreh Aghd would take place in the Mother of the Bride’s house. This would be set on a fine ceremonial fabric, on the floor. Today, the modern way of displaying the Sofreh Aghd is on a table or platform, designed to reflect the unique and personal style of the couple.