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Termeh: The Silk Cloth
The Termeh is a beautifully hand-woven silk or wool cloth which sits in the center of the Sofreh Aghd. It is nothing if not striking: the background colors generally used in a Termeh are jujube red, light red, green, orange and black.
The creation of Termehs is an ancient Persian art most famously associated with the city of Yazd in Iran. The Termeh is as old as Persia itself, is deeply revered and has long been celebrated: Greek historian Herodotus and Avesta writings celebrate Iranian gold and silk weave.
Termehs are generally passed down in families or purchased as a gift by family. Also, it carries religious connotations: the Termeh is often called, or used, as a prayer rug, and its presence on the Sofreh Aghd is intended to remind the couple of the importance of prayer to God. For this reason, among the devout, the Termeh may bear a small cube of clay with prayers written on it (Mohr) and rosary-like beads (Tasbih). Non-Muslim or more secular families may or may not include these, but the presence of a Termeh is a given.
Christen Flack Behzadi, MD, is the author of the internationally selling book The Persian Wedding Book. She live in Houston, Texas, with her beloved husband, Dr. Pedram Behzadi, M.D.