Hindu Wedding Rituals : The Most Traditional Way Of Wedding!
A traditional Hindu wedding is known for its grandeur and rituals that unite two souls for a lifetime. Every ritual and tradition that forms a part of a typical Hindu Wedding has some fascinating cultural and religious significance. Even though the rituals have been significantly modified to suit the needs of the changing times, their importance has remained unblemished.
Given below are the most common rituals followed during a typical Hindu marriage ceremony.
- Roka: It is the first ceremony in most Hindu weddings and is performed after the match has been fixed. The groom and his family visit the bride’s house and present her with a traditional stole and gift items to ensure that her parents stop looking for a suitable match for her.
- Tilak: In this ceremony, the bride’s family member applies a pinch of red vermilion mixed with some rice grains on the groom’s forehead. The groom is also presented with various gifts by the bride’s family.
- Sagaai: This is essentially the engagement ceremony in Hindu wedding and is in fact the first official announcement of the impending marriage of the bride and groom. During the ceremony, the bride and groom exchange rings in the presence of their families and friends and seek their blessings for a happy and prosperous married life. The couple is presented various gifts by both of their in-laws and the assembled guests as a mark of their happiness and blessings.
- Haldi: This ritual is performed to sanctify the body of the bride and groom for the marriage ceremony. The parents and relatives from both sides visit each other’s house to apply a specially prepared turmeric paste on the entire body of the bride and groom. The paste is meant to purify their bodies as well as add to their glow.
- Mehandi: An auspicious day, just a couple of days prior to the wedding ceremony is chosen for applying henna paste on the hands and feet of the bride and the groom.
- Baraat Swagat: As the Groom and his entourage reach the wedding venue, they are accorded a ceremonial welcome generally by the eldest female member from the bride’s family. The lady performs the arti and after applying tilak to the groom makes him eat sweets.
- Jaimala: After the welcome ceremony, the groom and the bride are seated on a stage where the jaimala ceremony takes place. In this first gesture of acceptance of each other by the couple, the bride and groom exchange garlands signifying the start of their journey together.
- Kanyadan: This emotional ritual involves the father of the bride giving his daughter away to the groom by placing her hand in his and pouring sacred water over their joined hands. In many communities this is also the moment when the groom’s sister ties the sacred knot between the stoles of the bride and the groom.
- Havan: The sacred fire is lighted to call on Lord Agni to be a witness to the holy union of the couple. Offering of rice, oats, scared sandalwood, herds, clarified butter, and other condiments and herbs are made to the sacred fire by the couple.
- MangalPhere & Saptapadi: The bride and groom go around the sacred fire four or seven times, depending on individual communities. In either case the bride leads in the first three rounds and the groom in the final one or the last four rounds, as the case may be. They walk seven steps together either on betel leaves or money. The steps symbolize the beginning of the married life of the couple with each step signifying a marriage vow they make to each other.
- Sindur-Dan: The groom puts a pinch of red vermilion which signifies female energy into the hair parting of the bride to complete her marital status and also bring good fortune into the married life of the couple.
- Mangal Sutra: A sacred necklace made from black beads hung on a thing gold string and with a gold or diamond pendant is purified with Vedic mantras. The groom puts this necklace around the bride’s neck to seek the blessings of the divine beings and also to ward off any evil eye that might have a negative impact on their sacred union.
Once the couple completes all rituals that signify their holy union, they seek the blessings of the priest and their elders for a happy married life. The assembled guests shower flower, to wish a couple a long and happy life together.
- Bidaai: With the wedding ceremony having come to an end, it is time for the bride to say goodbye to her family and go to her husband’s home. The occasion is both joyous and sorrowful as the bride begins her new life leaving behind her parents and other family members who bid her a tearful adieu.
- GrehPravesh: Once the bride reaches her husband’s house, she is welcomed by the eldest female of the family. The bride is considered to be Goddess Laxmi and asked to knock down a container full of rice with her right foot and step-in the house.
- Games & Masti: It is the last ritual in which the bride and groom play games to allow the bride to gel-along well in the family. Here, in a vessel a mixture of milk n water with rose petals is kept in front of the couple. Whosoever draws the rings out of the vessel first is assumed to be the ruler for entire life.
Hindu wedding is fun to watch with so many colors and rituals!