A wedding is always a grand affair, but what makes Indian weddings unique are the rituals and traditions. The rituals followed in an Indian wedding can differ from state to state, however, they are all held with great enthusiasm and fervour.
One of the most interesting aspects of an Indian wedding is the celebration of the union of the groom and the bride in wedlock. You can find day and night weddings, mehndi, a wide range of silk garments, astonishing decorations and a lot more. Most of the Indian weddings also include Ganesh Puja during the rituals and the families of both the bride and groom take part in it.
Let us dive a little into this breath-taking saga of wedding traditions across various states in India, and learn about a few unique/special traditions.
Bengali weddings are known for their pompous celebrations. It is said that the marriage rituals are not complete without the ritual called “Saat Paak.” This is a ritual where the bride encircles seven times around the bridegroom. While she does this, she covers her face with betel leaves. After this ritual, there is another ritual that follows, called Shubodrishti. This is when the eyes of the couple meet after the bride takes off the betel leaves that cover her face. The conch shells are blown post this ritual, and other wedding rituals follow.
Weddings in Assam are known to be quiet. However, there are quite a lot of pre-wedding rituals and ceremonies that take place like panitola, jurandiya and nuani. The brides and the groom’s family exchange gifts before the wedding. On the wedding day, the mothers of both bride and groom fetch water from a river for the to-be couple to bathe. This bathing custom is followed to date in almost every Assamese wedding. Also, a grand feast is held before the wedding ceremony where they serve the best of the local delicacies.
If you have ever attended a Buddhist wedding, you would know that their marriage ceremonies are as simple as their lives. Most of the weddings are very low-key and there are no must-follow rules or traditions here. The bride and the groom get married in a temple which is legally licensed as a wedding venue.
Malayali weddings happen in the morning, and the ceremony is known as “Velli.” The rituals in these weddings happen quick and do not take much time. One ritual which is worth the mention is when the groom is welcomed by the bride’s father by washing his feet. Like many other South-Indian weddings, the marriage is complete when the bridegroom ties the sacred thread called “thali” around the neck of the bride.
On the wedding day, it is the sisters of the bride who bring her to the mandap. The bride covers her face with a beautiful peacock feathered fan. Post this, a ritual known as “Dhare Herdu” is performed, where the bridge’s father gives his daughter away to the groom. This is then followed by a ritual called “Satapadi” where the couple circles the holy fire seven times saying the vows to stay together in thick and thin. After the wedding, the bride enters the house of her husband and this ritual is called Griha Pravesh or Ghar Pravesh.
If you love attending a lot of ceremonies or rituals that happen continuously, you must attend a Gujarati wedding. Some of the must-perform wedding ceremonies include Puja of Lord Ganesh, Jaimala, Hasta Milaap, Saat Pheere and Bidai.
The wedding ceremony starts with the exchange of jaimaala and this happens twice. Also, the couple takes four pheras around the holy fire and these are called “Mangal Pheras.” The four pheras symbolise Kama, Dharma, Artha, Moksha.
Jain weddings include the three most pre-wedding ceremonies called Lagna Lekhan, Lagna Patrika, and the Engagement (Sagai). An auspicious date for the wedding is fixed during the time of Lagna Lekhan, and the Sagai confirms the alliance. Like many other Hindu Weddings, the two most important rituals in a Jain wedding are the Pheras and the Kanya Daan.
One of the most important pre-wedding rituals is the engagement ceremony, called the “Shakhar Puda.” A Maharashtrian wedding has many ceremonies including the Mehandi, Haldi and the Sangeet. Also, the bride is escorted to the wedding mandap by her maternal uncle.
Also, during the ceremony, the bride and the groom are separated using a silk cloth or a shawl. Once the Mangalashtak is recited, the silk shawl is removed, and the couple gets to see one another. Post this, the couple gets permission from the parents and ties the knot, and completes the saat pheras.
Like most Indian weddings a nose ring and a toe ring are a must for the bride. The bride and the groom also wear a plain wedding headband, and this is considered mandatory to date in Maharashtrian weddings.
Sanathan/Vedic Wedding Ceremony
Most South Indians follow the Vedic form of wedding. The important rituals performed are the Kanyadan, Panigrahana and the Saptapadi. The ritual of Kanyadaan is performed by the father of the bride. He places his daughter’s hands in the hand of the groom, and the groom accepts her hand in marriage while the Kama Sukta is chanted.
Panigrahana is also called the holding of the bride’s hand ritual and this symbolises the union of the couple. Also, the groom lits the holy fire to mark the start of his grihasti or household.
During the ritual of Saptapadi, the couple take vows and take seven steps around the holy fire. In most weddings, these vows are chanted in Sanskrit by the pandit. Post this ritual, they perform agnipradakshinam where they take pheras with their hands linked and the ends of their garments tied.
We can find regional variation when it comes to Indian weddings, but every wedding is unique. Weddings in every state of the country reflect the traditions of the family, the ancestors and the region. Whatever the ritual or the ceremony, a wedding is the union of two people and an opportunity for them to grow from being life partners to inseparable soulmates. Book professional Vedic pandit for marriage with Pujarambh at best price.