Marriage is the most important event of life. It is rightly termed as the re-incarnation day for both man and woman. Apart from an auspicious day for both bride and bridegroom it is time for a lot more functions and festivities.
An Indian wedding is more of like a festival that extends to more than a week’s time. Once decided upon the “jodi” i.e. Bride and the bridegroom a ceremony of “roka”is performed. In this ceremony both families exchange gifts as they decide upon the final proceedings of the wedding and the dates.
After “roka” comes the ceremony of exchanging rings i.e. ring ceremony. It is quite similar and embarks the start of actual marriage proceedings. Along with this ceremony comes the function of “shagun”. On this day with religious customs both the families offer prayers in favor of the “auspicious relationship” and putting “tikkas” on the foreheads marks the success of the relation. Basically it is just another occasion of seeking blessings from the old people of the family.
The major beginning of wedding starts from the day of “mehndi”. On this day both the families enjoy the ceremony as all women and girls of the family put mehndi (heena) on their hands. The mehndi of bride is specially sent by the bridegroom’s family. This marks the beginning of the occasion. In the end it’s all about another day of partying and enjoying the celebrations.
Just a day or two before the wedding comes the night of “ladies sangeet”. At bride’s house a ceremony of “chuda” and “vatna” are performed. In the “chuda” function the maternal uncles of bride bring chuda for her and one by one help her wear it. Chuda is basically a combination of bridal bangles red and white in color they symbolize the change of marital status for the girl.
In the ceremony of “vatna” a mixture of besan, haldi and milk are applied on hands and face of both the bride and bride groom. As a symbol of thanks from the bride and bridegroom both of them gift people with an auspicious thread which has ghungrus attached to it. Another very important ceremony at the bride’s house is the event of tying “kaleeren”. Kaleeren is like a kind of bangle that has beautiful metal extensions that are not firmly tied. After tying them and a bit of prayers starts the ceremony of shaking hands of the bride over unmarried girls in case the “kaleeren” fall on any girl’s head it symbolizes her options of getting married in the near future.
After this comes the event of “mayian”. On this day both the girl and boy are not allowed to have a bath. The next day those clothes are supposed to be given in charity.
Finally comes the day of “Marriage”. It is the day of actual and heavy celebrations. Both the families get prepared for the final changes to their lives. Before leaving the house the groom’s sister-in-law puts “kajal” in the eyes of bridegroom as a token of love and his sister’s feed the white horse with rice. Then comes the turn of “sarwala”, a small boy dressed as bridegroom he is supposed to accompany the groom on his horse. Once the wagon of groom’s family reaches bride’s house the bride’s brother is supposed to escort the groom from his horse into the house.
After this the bride is accompanied with her sisters and brothers who carry the “chunni” above her head and is brought to the groom and then the ceremony of “varmala” is actualized. Both the bride and bridegroom exchange “varmalas”. Varmala is a kind of long chain made of garlands and rose petals. It marks the final acceptance of both the bride and bridegroom.
From there onwards both the bride and bride groom are escorted to the “pandaal” where the actual religious proceedings of marriage are actualized. During this time the groom gifts the girl with a gold chain which has black beads symbolizing the marital status of the girl known as “mangal sutra”. Apart from that the groom puts “sindhur” on the forehead of the bride using a “sikka” and finally both the bride and bridegroom take vows by moving in circles around the fire (lavan phere). Every “phera” symbolizes a promise that both bride and groom takes. In the first three “pheras” boy heads the round and in the last four girl walks in front. Then the bride’s sisters are gifted with gold rings by the bridegroom.
After this ceremony bride and bridegroom are finally pronounced as a “Married copule”
Indian weddings are regarded as the longest weddings. But these embark the time of enjoyment for both the families.
Marriages are made in heaven but actualized on earth and are best actualized when performed in an “Indian style”
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