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Morning pilaf

Morning pilaf is one of the ancient and obligatory Uzbek rites. Morning pilaf ceremony is solemnized during wedding and funeral repasts (20 days and one year after the death date).  It is prepared on the eve of such events as a birth of a baby, wedding, engagement, funeral repast and other major events. The wedding organizers fix the date and the time of morning pilaf, preliminarily coordinating it with the community of Mahalla or district committee. They send out invitation cards to relatives, neighbors and friends indicating the date of morning pilaf ceremony solemnization. The day before ceremony beginning in the evening they solemnize “sabzi tugrar” (carrots shredding) rite, which usually neighbors and near relatives come to. After finishing “sabzi tugrar” ritual, all participants are invited to sit at the table. At table during entertainment elders distribute duties among the presents.

The morning pilaf should be cooked to the end of morning devotion “bomdod namozi”, as the first guests are suppliants. By the moment of morning devotion ending the sounds of karnay, surnay and doyra announce that the morning pilaf ceremony has opened. The guests take seats at tables and after they have made “fotiha” (wish), tea and flat cakes are served up. Soon pilaf is served in lagans (big plates); by the tradition one lagan is meant for two persons. After repast finishing the lagans are taken away, the guests again make “fotiha” and, expressing their thanks to the host, take leave. After they leave the home the tables rapidly cleared for new guests’ reception.

The morning pilaf is served after the morning pray of “bomdod namozi”, which is finished at the sunrise. Usually morning pilaf lasts not more than one and a half or two hours. Throughout mentioned time guest musicians sing songs. After people finish eating morning pilaf, guests of honor are presented with gifts – usually these are chapans (national men’s oriental robes).

The funeral pilaf differs from festive pilaf. The guests, sitting down at the tables and they say surahs from the Koran and pray for the dead person soul’s rest. The repast finishes with saying surahs from the Korans as well. The musicians are not invited for ceremony of funeral pilaf eating, and the tables are set more modest than for festive pilaf. It should be noted one peculiarity, that festive and funeral pilaf is served only by men.