Parsis love any excuse to celebrate (mainly to eat and drink), and one of the cutest and earliest ceremonies conducted is called the 'Besna', which means 'to sit'. When the child starts to sit unaided (around 6-8 months) they are made to sit on some Pedas (milky Indian sweet) on a 'Paatlo' (little stool) to celebrate reaching this milestone, and to give a nice solid (and sticky) grounding for their little lives!
Firstly, 'Chawlk' (pretty designs with chalk powder) are done near the front door of the house, and on the Paatlo - this is for good luck and is a Parsi tradition on 'good' days. The Pedas are placed in the centre of the Paatlo where the child will sit (I always put baking paper on top to protect the baby's new clothes from getting spoiled), and having showered and wearing new clothes, the child is placed on the Paatlo to squash the Pedas!
The mother places a 'tili' on his forehead and makes him wears a flower garland and a little flower bouquet (which I both make at home).
The child is then presented with gifts and 'peramni' (cash gifts) by family attending, and the ceremony is complete! Food is then served after and traditionally biryani or dal and rice is served. I went with more of a high tea spread for brunch and this was loved by the entire family.
We'll be doing this all again in a few months when he starts walking, too!
Click here to view my video and recipe for Parsi Style Saffron Pedas.