A Hindu Wedding
A Hindu Wedding
Considered as very extensive and lavish, a Hindu wedding lasts for four to five days. It follows traditions and adheres to ancient Hindu customs. The wedding is recognised as a very important religious practice in the Hindu culture. It is one of the sacred sanskaras, commonly known as sacraments. Not only a bond between people but also between two families. Primarily, a Hindu wedding is divided into segments such as pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding rituals.
Pre- Wedding Rituals
During the pre-wedding rituals, engagement, Tilak, Sagai, Sangeet, and Mehndi are held. Also known as the ring ceremony, engagement is the ceremony wherein the couple exchanges rings. The Tilak is a ceremony of applying Tilak to the groom and giving him precious gifts by the bride’s brother. Next is the Sagai, in which the couple exchange gifts. When it comes to the Sangeet, there are female members who sing as well as dance in order to celebrate this very special event. Lastly, both families organise a Mehndi ceremony. They apply Mehndi on the bride’s hands and feet.
After applying Mehndi on the bride’s hands and feet, next is the wedding. The groom sometimes choses to enter on a white wedding horse with band baja or dhol players. The couple exchange flower garlands to begin the Jaimala ceremony. Next, they enter the Mandap and perform the Kanyadaan ritual, a process wherein the bride’s father gives her away to her groom. During the ceremony, there is a priest who chants mantras. The bride makes an entrance escorted by uncles and brothers and in more recent years the bride has been carried in a palki or doli. Around the sacred fire, the Mangalpheras take place. The groom and the bride take Saptapadi (Seven vows) and promise to follow all of them for their entire lives. Next, the groom puts a vermillion (sindoor) in his bride’s hair parting. He also places a mangalsutra around his bride’s neck.
Lastly are the post wedding rituals which consist of the vidaai and reception. In the former ceremony, the bride’s family gives her a farewell before she leaves, she throws back rice or a coin to her parental home. The purpose of doing so is to guarantee or boost wealth and prosperity. After this, the couple will go to the groom’s house. The groom’s mother will welcome them thru a traditional aarti.
In addition, the bride will be asked to knock a vessel of rice at the entrance of the house. She will dip her feet in a red vermillion (a mixture) then enter her new home. On the floor, there will be left footprints. This ceremony is practiced because the bride is considered a form of the Goddess Laxmi. The wedding does not stop there. As a matter of fact, the bride’s new family play a wide variety of wedding games. It is a way to make the bride really feels at home. In the evening, the groom’s family organises a reception party and entertainment to welcome and introduce the bride to all family associates. The Bride and Groom may choose to leave the wedding on a beautiful horse drawn carriage.
What an amazing experience, these are all the rituals that take place during a Hindu wedding. Weddings can be complicated and expensive. However, this once in a lifetime wedding can be very special and unforgettable.
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