Aiburo Bhaat is the ritual of hosting the last feast especially for the bride or groom by their families, before their marriage.
This is a tradition of Bengali weddings.
When does it take place?
To be more precise, it takes place just the night before the wedding. Alternatively, some choose to host it two or three days before the wedding too.
How to source?
The meal can be prepared at home or can be outsourced to a caterer.
How is it performed?
‘Aiburo’ means an unmarried boy or girl and ‘bhat’ means rice. Basically associated with the rice that the young bride-to-be or bridegroom-to-be eats, before they tie a knot. This ritual is commonly referred to the last meal had by the bride and the groom, at their respective houses (as this is not a combined family feast).
Rice happens to be the staple food of West Bengal. Therefore, this is considered as the final grand rice ceremony offered to bride and groom by their parents and elders before they enter into their next new phase of life.
For the bride, its actually the last meal that she has at her house, as post wedding she would start living in her new house with her spouse. Few close relatives also invite the bride-to-be for dinner before her marriage.
Food is a critical and important part of the Bengali culture! The menu consists of all the Bengali delicacies such as fish head curry, huge steamed prawn curry with coconut milk or mustard, shukto (a slightly bitter vegetable stew), mango chutney with tomatoes, Payesh (Payesam/rice pudding) with jaggery and nuts, luchi/puri(deep fried flat bread that puffs when deep fried), Dum Aaloo(curried potatoes with fried boiled eggs), Pulao(prepared with a special flavoured rice), capsicums stuffed with lamb mince and curried potatoes and some saunf( mouth freshners after heavy meal) and lots more.
Aiburo Bhaat can be very closely related to the modern spinster and bachelor parties that we get to see and be a part of.