Kat and Farhad – A Traditional Afghan Engagement and Wedding – Shirni and Nikkah

The Shirni: In Afghan culture, there are several traditions that symbolise and make up the wedding of two people. Traditionally speaking, it all starts with the giving of a Shirni. The the Shirni (which literally means Sweets  in the Perisan/Dari language and is generally a plate of yummy things like chocolates or candies almonds) is given to the Grooms family from the Brides family – symbolising the acceptance of the Grooms proposal. In exchange, the Groom and his family give the Bride gifts (usually Jewelery). Now of course, living in Australia, there are several twist to this very traditional approach. Nonetheless, this giving of Shirni marks the beginning of an Afghan couples marriage, after which they are officially engaged.

The Nikkah: The Nikkah, is the religious union of a man wife under Islamic traditions. Generally, a spiritual leader recites prayers and then asks the Bride and Groom whether they accept the each as a marital spouse. Witnesses are required and marriage documents are signed – all in a similar way to a celebrant lead civil union.

I had the pleasure of shooting the giving of the Shirni and the Nikkah for Kat and Farhad. The Shirni event was an intimate love filled garden party, with a scrumptious barbeque and lots of dancing and hugs. What followed was an epic night of dancing, celebration, food and joy as their Nikkah was performed and the couple were wed.

Congratulations to the happy couple,

Enjoy!

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