Every person in India is enthusiastic about one thing in life. Apart from cricket and fashion , there is something which Indians think and are enthusiastic about, it is “MARRIAGE”. Every Indian girl blushes when someone take out the topic of marriage so does the boys.
Weddings in Hindu religion is celebrated with a bang as it is considered as a once in a lifetime occasion. Various ceremonies are involved. More than a billion people with different language and castes and religion lives in India. So mentioning about every details about marriage taking place in India of different communities would be a herculean task. Therefore this a humble effort to give you a glimse of colorful and cultural extravaganza of Indian weddings and restricting it to Hindu weddings.
Hindu wedding is not just the sacred union of two people but it is of two lives. It includes not only bride and bridegroom but also the parents of respective partners and the whole clan ! In short it is they who decide the partners for their bride or bridegroom. While the trends have changed for now as “Love marriages” are in ! Decades ago bride and bridegroom used to see each other on the day of marriage itself !
Not considering love marriages, arranged marriages are strictly confined to intra-religion and intra caste.Priests are then called in for checking out the couples compatibility by matching horoscopes. People living in urban areas go step ahead to meet each other and know about their interests.
After the partner is selected months before wedding engagement ceremony ,Mangni (in North India) or Nishchithartham(in South India) is held where the auspicious day for wedding is selected.
The phase between engagement and wedding is fun filled ! for brides as well as grooms. They as in their parents and relatives along with them,go out for shopping and buy clothes and gifts for each others clan.
The engagement itself is celebrated no less than an occasion itself in some customs. It is as grand as the wedding itself. Bride and bridegroom exchange rings and priest decides the muhurtham for wedding.
Before marriage too there are some ceremonies.like ‘Haldi’,where the bride applies a mixture of haldi,oil and water which is applie by married women and wishes the bride a happy life ahead. Sangeet ceremony –as the name suggests,music is main. It is a party where the bride is introduced to the members of the new family.And then comes,’Mehandi’. In this ceremony ,henna is applied to brides hands and feet making intricate designs.on lighter note,it is believed that deeper the colour stronger the grooms love for the bride.
And finally comes the big day- “The Wedding Day.” Bride dresses up in saree or lehenga which is of the auspicious colour like red,yellow,gree or white depending upon the community. The groom dresses up in sherwani with sulotte but intricate designs in south,the grooms dress up in shirt or kurti along with veshti. In northIndia the grooms wear turban and brides wear veil to mark respect for the deity. The brides plait their hair and decorate it with flowers. They wear their attire with intricate designs and heavy designs comprising of gold and silver.ornaments worn of gold with gemstones.
Wedding is usually held at brides home or wedding hall. The bridegroom goes to the wedding place on a decorated horse or an elephant to make it look more ethnic. He sits on top of it with abest mean,ie, usually his younger brother,cousin or nephew. The baraat usually goes to venue with a great band and pomp. The bride waits outside with a varmala or jaimala which is a decorated garland and puts it over the grooms neck. The mother of bride does the arts. Then the groom enters the place where wedding will take place. Bride workships Gowri matha and groom worships Ganeshji.
After thiswhole set ,bride and groom exchange garlands groom applies kumkum on the forehead of bride and ties Mangal suthra or thali around her neck.Thali comprises of three knots denoting three Gods.Brahma,Vishnu,Maheswara. The whole ceremony takes place infront of Agni-homam the sole witness. Then the bride and groom takes seven rounds around the agni to mark seven goals of marital life.religious and moral duties ,prosperity spiritualsalvation liberation and sensual graftification. The pheras are 7 in number and in clockwise direction. The pheras are bride first and then the groom to signify quality in decision making and to be in each others happiness an sorrow.Then Kanyadan takes place where the brides parents gives away their daughter to the new family. Usually the bride leaves for the grooms house in a decorated pallak but it is now switched on to luxuary cars for now.
Before bride enters the grooms home the mother of groom takes aarti of couple toward off all evil spirits and bride enters the home with her right leg in first .In some tradition bride lets the rice fall on floor with her right leg which was filled in small bran pot and in some the bride steps in kumkum water and comes out leaving her footprints and walk into the pooja room.
Phew . . ! ! ! This was just a small part of the Big Indian Hindu Wedding.This is celebrated as not less than a festival full of colours and lights and yes new colourful clothes too . . . !
This article is written by Aishwarya Panicker
Filled Under : Hindu wedding