Monday, June 1, 2009

Mango Tree Party

What, you ask, in the world is a mango tree party? Well, a mango tree party is exactly what it sounds like—a party to plant a mango tree. Why, you ask? Well in our religion, Zoroastrianism, the mango tree party is a pre-wedding ritual to ensure newlyweds have lots and lots of healthy babies. Basically, the bride’s younger brother (or cousin or close family friend if no little bro exists) plants a mango tree as a fertility blessing for the starry-eyed couple.

We will have a mango tree party at Danoosh’s house in Bombay and my family’s house in Hillsborough, California. Traditionally, the ceremony takes place four days prior to the nuptials. Family and close friends get together watch the tree being planted, eat, drink, and be merry. Food and community are clearly the most important parts of the afternoon. After the tree is planted and the gifts are given, everyone pigs out on rice, shrimp curry, beef kebobs, spicy chicken—the works. {Check out the book My Bombay Kitchen by Niloufer Ichaporia King for a deeper look on the relationship between Parsis (Parsis are Zoroastrian’s from India, aka us) and food.}

Although I am not that well-versed with the various religious traditions and customs of our religion, my family kinda goes with the flow and picks and chooses the fun, meaningful ceremonies. The mango tree party is my favorite ceremony because its a relaxed celebration with those closest to us. Plus, there is just something so special about planting a tree, especially a tree that bears mangoes, my favorite fruit. 

{Check out the pics above of my sissy’s mango tree party last July 2009. Danoosh, my hubby-to-be, Jehan, our little cousin, and Zephan and Zane, our two two-year-old family friends presided over the tree planting.}

Do you have any cultural or personal ceremonies that you did/will include in your wedding celebrations?

1 comment:

  1. How beautiful! I'm Iranian-American, my fiance is Italian-American and we're planning on having an Iranian ceremony with the sofreh aghd, a spread of symbolic items representing health, fertility, wealth, happiness, etc. The sofreh aghd is used by Iranians of all faiths, but I'm fascinated by the mango tree party especially since the sofreh aghd tradition has its roots in Zoroastrianism.

    Looking forward to reading more about your wedding planning and love your blog!