Common Indian Wedding Traditions

Common Indian Wedding Traditions

Marriages are made in heaven but solemnized on earth. This decision of god is turned into destiny for a bride and a groom. The numerous traditions of Indian wedding are organized and fulfilled with pomp and show, and fun and frolic. For India is a country with diverse culture and religion, the rituals to perform this ceremony are highly exquisite and unique in themselves full of extravagance and splendid. Though the customs differ on the basis of region and religion, the cascade of ceremonies has fun and frothy moments. The individuals of both the sides, gets busy for the preparations since the marriage date finalized. There are pre-wedding ceremonies, main wedding day, vidaai and post-wedding ceremonies.

These ceremonies starts before few days of the main-wedding day. Normally, the close kin and cronies are invited in these rituals, but anybody can attend them. Worshipping of stone and traditional family god is the initial step. Follows, the coloring of bride (by her family) and other side groom (by his family) with turmeric, mustard oil, henna using grass twigs. This is one of the most amusing moments. All near and dear ones there turn their head over heels to make the special person of the day… the most hilarious clown. In the night arrives the henna tradition. The henna is the pole star of bride’s make-up. Her hands and legs are decorated with the beautiful patterns. Most of the girls get their fiance’s name hidden in their henna. On the same night, bride family arranges a dance party called ‘ratjaga’ (as everybody dances literally whole night). Similar scenario is at groom’s place. This is the last night for a young girl who is spending her memorable hours with her family. Her psyche is palpable only to a girl who had left her youth behind her at her maternal place. Even this night is important for a young boy who is a free bird today and will be tied with a responsibility of a life partner. With dreams of wedding ahead arrives the most important day.

Early morning welcomed with the melodious chirp of birds starts the onset of wedding rituals. In the late afternoon, ‘Gauri Puja’ is performed by the bride and her family. She is gifted by her close family members. They circle around her showering rice on her and touching her feet after every round. The bride is tied with a sacred red thread on her wrist with seven knots. On the other side of groom, he too is tied with the same thread and seven knots. Now its time for the bride and groom to get them polished and turn them out to be the most beautiful angel and the fairy of universe with the basic help of their beauticians. At groom’s place, ‘Barat’ ceremony is getting prepared with pomp and show, music and dance at the main entrance of the boy’s house. The sister-in-law of boy puts traditional eye pencil in his eye and dresses him up with ‘Sehra’-a traditional groom hat with strings of flowers in front covering the groom’s face. She demands money for that. Then the wedding main ceremony commences with the Barat function. The groom sits on the mare and proceeds with the near and dear ones dancing in front. The resplendent procession can be manifested by the passers by. At the banquet hall the groom’s Barat is welcomed by the bride side guests. The boy is accompanied by the girl’s brother to the stage. The girl’s mother welcomes the groom with some of their traditional customs. And now, the beautiful bride with dreamy thoughts accompanied with her kin and crony, festoon in her hand plying softly to her destination. On the stage, the first traditionally important step of wedding is manifested and fully enjoyed by the guests. The bride and groom exchange festoons. They sit on the chair arranged for them on them on the stage. People visit the couple gifting flowers, cash or gifts. After few hours of camera rolling with friends and family the couple is taken for the dinner. The food is followed by the next very important step of marriage-‘Phere’. For this the girl changes her attire. The girl with her family and the boy with his family settle near the sacred fire. The Hindu priest starts the Vedic hymns. With many small rituals the auspicious seven encirclements are performed by the couple around the sacred fire making seven Vows to each other. Though everybody there is haggard but naughty comments can be heard unstopping. The boy dresses the girl with the vermicelli and ‘mangalsutra’. An emotional step for girl’s family is ‘Kanya Dan’ in which girl’s father donates his sweet heart, his lifetime treasure, his daughter to the boy. The wedding is now solemnized with the wishes of the entire close one present there.

The watery eyes of bride leaving all her memories behind her, makes this moment the most heart touching. Feeling of parents is indescribable but palpable to all. The bride’s father gifts his daughter the most possibly arranged trousseau for her, groom and in-laws.

When the bride reaches her new home-her in-laws place, the newly wedded couple is welcomed with the basic rituals. The traditional games are played like searching of ring in water, opening the sacred thread on the wrist with single hand and so on by the couple together. With all these games and traditional rituals according to region and religion the contemporary Indian wedding is featured.