Navjote Ceremony
Athens Georgia Photographer

October 23, 2015

I feel so blessed to have gotten an inside peek into another culture by photographing a Navjote, a “coming-of-age” type ceremony where a Parsi child is inducted into the Zoroastrian religion.  This ceremony is comparable to a Christian Confirmation or a Judaic Bar Mitzvah and is one of the most important rites of passage in the Parsi culture.  The ceremony was held at the Georgia Club in Statham, GA during a gorgeous sunny day.  It started with a procession of family members and priests carrying items of new clothing for the child as well as symbolic items to be used during the ceremony.  During a Navjote, the mother begins the ceremony by rotating an egg and then coconut around the child’s head and then breaking them on the ground, which draws out any evil that is present.  The rest of the ceremony consists of recited prayers, maintaining a fire, and dressing the child with a Sudreh, a sacred white shirt symbolizing innocence and purity, and a Kusti, a threaded wool rope that symbolizes the connecting of the present world and the future spiritual world.

Gorgeous flower arrangements and garlands by Elizabeth Ann Florist decorated the ceremony and reception.  The adorable cowgirl-themed reception was full of dancing and celebrating with the help of my favorite DJ team: D-Street Entertainment.  All in all, it was a glorious event, and I feel so blessed to have captured it.  I love that my job connects me to so many people and allows me to experience things I’d never even imagine experiencing.

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Claire Diana