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Rituals

        In Indian weddings, the scope for amusement and fun starts with the very day of the pre-wedding rituals. Such celebrations range from Haldi, Mehndi, to Sangeet, which are some of the most enjoyable moments in a wedding. Amongst these, special mention may be made of the Sangeet party, which is the most entertaining of all. At this function when conducted at the bride’s home, female friends and relatives play the dholki and sing the traditional folk song called Suhaag. These songs are structured on a funny note and elucidate about the in-laws, the would-be husband, the secret of a successful marriage and also about the bride leaving her parents’ home.

Roka- A formal beginning of a relationship with a commitment between two families.
 

Shagun- offering of gifts and sweets by bride’s family to the groom’s family.


Sagai / Ring Ceremony – An engagement is the promise to marry. Often this leads to a grand celebration, engagement party, where friends and family are invited to witness the engaging and ring exchange.


Chunni Chadava (Bridal Wear) - Where presents like red saree or bridal wear and others are given to the bride by groom’s family as a token of love. Bridal sarees and lenghas are the traditional Indian dress worn by the bride in weddings. Red color is considered the symbol of happiness and love in India. Most of the brides in India in almost every religion and culture are made to wear red color attire at the time of her wedding.


Sangeet Ceremony- Performance of folk dances along with singing of traditional songs at both bride’s as well as groom’s place.


Mehndi- Applying of henna on bride’s hands and foot with husband’s name on it.


Chuda- Red and cream ivory bangles are worn by the bride, which is first rotated among all the relatives to seek their blessings.


Sehrabandi- The groom is tied a turban with other accessories on it, and then he is offered gifts representing good luck and love.


Ghodi Chadna- . The Groom climbs the mare with blessings and leaves for the wedding venue.


Varmala- Exchanging of wedding garlands among bride and groom.


Gath Bandhan (Tying of the Nuptial Knot) -The scarves placed around the bride and groom are tied together symbolizing their eternal bond. This signifies their pledge before God to love each other and remain faithful.


Saat Phere- The bride and groom walk seven steps together to signify the beginning of their journey through life together. A pink cloth is draped over the bride’s shoulders and tied to the groom’s shoulder cloth. Then the couple walks seven steps together. With the priest chanting mantras, the couple ties the knot of marriage taking seven rounds around the holy fire. Each step represents a marital vow:


•    First step: Let us take this first step vowing to keep a pure household; avoiding things injurious to our health.
•    Second step: Let us take this second step vowing to develop mental, physical, and spiritual powers.
•    Third step: Let us take this third step with the aim of increasing our wealth by righteous means.
•    Fourth step: Let us take this fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust.
•    Fifth step: Let us take this fifth step to pray for virtuous, intelligent, and courageous children.
•    Sixth step: Let us take this sixth step for longevity.
•    Seventh step: Let us take this seventh step to vow that we will always remain true companions and life-long partners.

Mangalsutra -The groom ties a mangalsutra—a sacred necklace of black beads and gold—around the bride’s neck. This symbolizes the eternal bond that unites the bride in marriage to the groom.


Kanyadaan - Kanyadaan is one of the most vital rituals in Hindu Culture, which is performed in conformity to Vedic scriptures. ‘Gift of a girl’, the literal meaning of Kanyadaan, signifies the custom in which a girl is gifted by a father to a groom. This ritual is carried out just before the Mangal phere and is considered as a Mahadaan as per the Hindu custom.


                     A dutiful act, Kanyadaan is believed to bring fortune and relieve the parents of bride from all the sins. In this emotional ritual, father places the right hand of the daughter in the right hand of the groom and the mother pours holy water on the palms of bride and the groom. Then, the sacred verses are read. The father of the bride asks the groom to promise that him that he would help his daughter in accomplishing three significant goals of life that are Dharma, Artha, Kama.
Once the verses are read, the beloved daughter is given away by the parents to the groom and she becomes responsibility of the groom and his family.

Sindoor -The Indian bride holds great pride in wearing a SINDOOR, which adds to the beauty of a married woman. This ritual is one of the most important rituals on the wedding day, where the groom applies a small dot of vermilion, a sindoor to the bride's forehead and welcomes her as his partner for life. This signifies the completion of the marriage.       

 
Vidaai - The last ritual of the ceremony is where the Bride begins an important role in her life as a wife and a member of the Groom's family. She throws a handful of rice so that the house of her childhood remains Prosperous and happy.


                 This ceremony is considerably shorter and is intended to be understandable even to a non-Indian audience, making it suitable for intercultural or mixed Hindu/non-Hindu marriages. The marriage among Hindus is not only considered a union of two souls but of two families. A Hindu wedding not only involves the bride and groom but the entire community, friends, family and relatives as everybody participates in their coming together. After all the rituals have been followed in the main day wedding function. There are still some more to be followed. And those are called the post day wedding rituals.


               The guests who attend the wedding ceremony showers flower petals and rice on the bride and groom with blessings. Later on the guests give their individual blessings to the bride and groom. After the completion of the marriage ceremony they are invited for a delicious meal. Viddai ceremony is the farewell to the bride by her family and friends before she goes to her husband’s place.


                Pilucinchuanu is a ritual, which concludes the wedding ceremony here the priest places a coconut in front of the car and wait for it to be broken before the newly wedded couple heads for the temple to take the blessing.