There are several beautiful and meaningful rituals that take place during a Persian wedding ceremony. One of these is the Sugar Rubbing ritual that involves several well-wishing women spreading sweetness in the couple’s life and marriage.
During the Sugar Ceremony, the couple will be seated, and women are called forth to spread a Cloth of Unity over their heads. Sometimes two women hold the opposite sides of the cloth, and at times, four women can hold each corner of the cloth. Other ladies will come up, and take turns rubbing together large cones made of hard sugar, to sprinkle sweetness onto the cloth held overhead. Another interpretation of this custom is that each sugar cone represents the bride and the groom and this act is in the hopes that every contact between them will result in sweetness.
Although this is an organic and unrehearsed part of the ceremony, there are strong beliefs about who should and should not take part in this ritual. Some families believe that the ladies who are rubbing sugar must be “happily married” so that their happiness and success rubs off on the couple. With the rise of multi-cultural marriages, this ritual has adapted to embrace the varying demographics of the guests. During many ceremonies, the bridesmaids are the ones to hold the Unity Cloth, which makes for a uniform and color coordinated effect. And as for who does the sugar rubbing, many families are open to having any woman who so wishes, to come up and take part in this beautiful ritual. In my opinion, any woman who comes up to rub the sugar cones and sprinkle sweetness, has the best of intentions and that is much more important than whether they are single or married!
Happy Sugar Rubbing!