Monday, 22 July 2013

Indian Wedding

Pairs are made in heaven and marriages are planned on earth. Wedding occasions are full of vibrant colors, dressing up, looking gorgeous, food, jewellery celebrations and get together.   The main focus of the day is on Bride and Groom, it is their big day. How much we struggle to look like million dollars and worry that nothing goes wrong. 

 In today’s post I am going to cover up different topics related to Wedding Occasions.  Since the subject is huge I am going to divide it into various different parts. So first lets have a look at the way weddings are conducted as per the different cultures and traditions in India. 

Maharashtra Wedding

Maharashtrian wedding are a simple affair. With great emphasis laid on the rituals, the wedding ceremony of the Maharashtrians reflects a unique sense of elegance. They follow various rituals like Ganpati Pujan (worshipping of Lord Ganesha) , Gaurihar Pujan (bride prays to Goddess Paravati in a yellow sari gifted by her maternal uncle) , Lagna Muhurat (is the ritual where the bride and the groom stands facing each other with the garland separated by a thin white cloth as a partition between them while the priest chants the verses. This ritual is completed when the bride and the groom exchange garlands) , Kanyadaan (biding good bye to bride), Laxmi Narayan Pujan (The bride's parents now worship the couple as they are considered to be the avatar of Lord Narayan and his wife Goddess Laxmi), Akshataropan (showering of unbroken rice) , Mangalsutra bandha (Putting Magalsutra around the neck of the bride) , Vivah Hom( The priest ask the couple to repeat the marriage oath in front of the fire) Lajja Hom ( a ritual of putting ghee and puffed rice into the fire), Saptapadi (is a ritual of taking 7 pheras around the fire).

They do have some lighter moments too, like the bride’s mother twisting the groom’s ear, the couple feeding each other sweets and taking names of each other in verses. With changing times, an element of contemporary style has been infused into the traditional attire, Jewellery, food preparation etc. And some rituals are given a go-by mainly because of the lack of time. 

Bengali Wedding 

Bengali weddings are traditionally in two parts: the 'gaye holud, the wedding ceremony called Bibahobashor, and the reception known as Bou-bhaat. These take place on separate days. The first event in a wedding is Ashirvaad, where the elders of both families assemble to bless the bride and groom to-be with gifts of gold, silken clothes and dhan-durbo(husked rice and a special grass),signifying wealth, prosperity and well-being. The groom and bride may as well exchange rings, but this is not a part of the tradition Bengali wedding however. This marks the beginning of the elaborate wedding rituals.

Rajasthani Wedding 

Rajasthani (Marwari) weddings are about the never-ending rituals and traditions on the one hand and the grand functions and music and merrymaking on the other. Festive galore is visible from the very time when the marriage of bride-to-be and the groom is fixed. 

The wedding rituals usually start four or six days before the D Day and hence in totality there are celebrations of almost five or seven days in all including the wedding day. These rituals are performed separately for the bride & the groom at their respective venues. They have various functions like Ganesh Puja(function to invoke the lord and dispel any evils that may occur), Godh Bharai ( the grooms sister gives the bride sweet, gifts jewellery etc), wedding sangeet, Mehndi, (where the bride’s dad and other male members of the family goes to groom’s place to invite them for the reception.), Tel Baan (It’s a ritual where both the families apply a paste milk turmeric & other ingredients and apply to bride and groom) , Baraat (the procession of the guest along with music and dance to the venue)  etc. 

Muslim Wedding 

In Muslim wedding before the start of the ceremony they apply Ubtan to the Bride and the Groom followed by functions like Haldi Mehendi and the wedding ceremony where the Imam recites the sermons which is called Nikah during which a Mahr( a marriage gift given from the grooms family which consist of money or Jewellery)  is given to the bride from the grooms end, After the nikah sermons are over,the bride and the groom accept each other by saying “Kabool Hei”(I accept). 

The next day there is a dinner party at the Grooms house which is called “Walima” (reception hosted for the bride’s family by the groom’s family). There are many lighter moments like Brides sister hiding the groom’s shoe and returning back only in exchange to the demanded amount of money, sister of the groom putting surma in the groom’s eye wherein she gets money in exchange, Bride and the Groom hunting a gold ring in the bowl full of milk and water. Then there is Ruksati which is also called Bidai which I believe is common in most of the cultures. 

Gujarati Wedding 

Gujarati people are vibrant and lively people. They love to celebrate all their festivals and ceremonies with great pomp and show and Gujarati marriage ceremonies are thus no exception. 

A typical Gujarati Wedding begins with Sagaii or engagement. It is actually the first formal approval of marriage in the Gujarati community. The wedding rituals of a Gujarati Wedding ceremony are very interesting because of the traditional ritualistic pattern. 

Like other traditional Indian marriage Jaimala Varmala (Garland exchange ceremony), Kanya Daan (which means giving away of bride)  and Mangal Phera (walking around the fire) are the rituals that are solemnized in the wedding apart from exclusive Gujarati rituals like Madhuparka (Where Grooms feet are washed), Hastamilaap (the groom's scarf or shawl is tied to the bride's saree), Saubhagyavati Bhava (ritual wherein several elderly, married women from the bride's side of the family whisper "aashirwaad" which is also called as blessings)and Chero Pakaryo (This funny ceremony entails the groom catching hold of his mother in law's saree and asking for more gifts). The post wedding ceremonies are equally interesting. An emotional ‘Vidai’ (biding good bye to bride), ‘Ghar Nu Laxmi’ i.e. welcome ceremony of the bride at groom’s home and ‘Aeki Beki’, an interesting game to find out who will rule the household are some interesting ceremonies of a Guajarati Ceremony.

Kerala Wedding 

The Syriac Christians of Kerala were formerly Hindus who were converted to Christianity.  So along with the Christian rituals some Hindu rituals are also included. The groom presents the bride a sari called as the 'manthrakodi'. They also tie a thali. This function is called the 'thalikettu'. The remaining functions of the Christians are also conducted later.

The Christian marriages are held from the church as is the case globally. The priest welcomes the couple and a wedding mass is conducted, sentences from Bible are read and hymns are sung. The priest then presents a speech about the importance of family life, love, care and adjustments. This is called as Homily. After that the priest blesses the rings which are then exchanged.

Kashmiri Wedding 

Kashmiri wedding ceremonies are also quite simple and conducted in accordance with their own customs and rituals. The wedding procession is welcomed at the venue, wherein the fathers of the couple exchange nutmeg as symbol of eternal friendship. 

The bride and the groom are fed nabad (Misri, Sugar lumps) and a dwar puja( this Puja is performed when the groom arrives with the baraat) is conducted before going to the mandap for wedding ceremony. It is quite similar to the Hindu wedding and consists of seven pheras in front of the sacred fire, amidst mantras. After this the couple feeds each other with rice and finally the Vidai ceremony takes place, as per which the bride leaves for her marital home with her husband.

Parsi Wedding 

Parsi marriage is known as 'Lagan' and is conducted with great zeal and fervor. The customs and traditions observed in the Parsi marriage are quite different from the traditional Hindu marriage. This makes them a lot more fun and interesting. The rituals performed during the wedding are quite simple otherwise and provide full opportunity for enjoyment. For a Parsi wedding a stage is set in a baug or agiary, the Fire Temple. 

The priest circles the couple with a string, seven times. On the seventh round the couple is supposed to throw rice at each other from over the curtain. Whoever does it first, is supposed to rule the household.

Punjabi Wedding 

Punjabi wedding are strong reflection of Punjabi culture. Just like the opulent culture of Punjab, Punjabi weddings are quite fun. They are conducted lavishly and celebrated with extreme gaiety. It is difficult to resist the fervor of these weddings as they comprise of traditional folk dances such as Bhangras and Giddas. To rejoice the special occasion like marriage, there are number of rituals, which are performed before and after the wedding. These rituals at times, seem to be just an excuse to celebrate and have fun.

 To name few rituals conducted Chuda (a set of red and cream ivory bangles arranged by Maternal Uncle and Aunty that is touched by all present. People touch the chuda and give their heartiest wishes to the girl for her future married life), Vatna (Four lamps are lit and the bride is made to sit facing the lamp so that the glow of the lamp is reflected on bride’s face. Vatna involves applying of paste made by turmeric powder and mustard oil, Ghara Ghardoli (is a ritual where the bride and the groom at their respective place are made to have bath with the holy water before getting ready), Milni Ceremony (the brides close relatives gives a warm welcome to the groom and their relatives by sprinkling rose water and giving Shagun (small token of gift). Varmala (exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom) Kanyadan (biding the bride goodbye) & pheras (going around the sacred fire) these are few of the rituals in Punjabi wedding. 

Catholic Wedding 

Considered one of the seven sacraments, or channels to God's grace, the wedding ceremony is a serious affair in the Catholic Church full of deep spirituality and rich symbolism.  Like other culture catholic tradition does not have so many rituals as compared to the other culture we have seen so far, here’s what to expect.

 Introductory Rites (Catholic weddings begin with an opening prayer by the priest, naming the couple and asking for God's blessings on their wedding day), Liturgy of the Word (The readers (often family members) read Biblical passages selected by you and preapproved by the priest, followed by a short sermon about marriage given by the priest.  Rite of Marriage (couple declaring their commitments & taking vows), Exchange of Rings (I think this is self explanatory), Mass (Final Prayer where the priest as for sign of peace and nuptial Blessings).  

Now lets have a look at some of the Hollywood couples....

 And some of our very own Bollywood couples by whom we are so much inspired...
Leave me comment if you have enjoyed this post and what more would you like to see on this blog. Your feedback will help me improve further. 

Rest in next...till then goodbye.


  1. Thanks Kiran...glad you enjoyed reading

  2. Good survey!!! I like it!! Especially Parsi n Kashmiri weddings as i have never attained..

    1. Thanks Dipti glad that you found my post informative.. Stay connected :)) You can also give your feedback on what more you would like to see on the blog. It will be helpful.

  3. It was a good article; A few things that you could add :) : Gujarati tend to have only 4 phere instead of the 7 that other take around the fire (as it is the purest and is witness to the vows made during the phere). There is a Saptapadi in Gujarati weddings but its separate from the phere; Also the photo under the Punjabi wedding, is that of a Sikh wedding, there is a difference between Sikh and Punjabi, because Punjabi can be Hindu or SIkh, etc, but Punjabi wedding is similar to a normal north indian wedding, but Sikh wedding are different.