This fact is well established that even an average Indian Wedding is a four-day long event, and is no less than any festival. Indian Weddings are known for their display of pomp and grandeur, a variety of mouth-watering delicacies, vibrant apparel, and some absurd yet fun Indian Wedding Rituals. Each and every community in India has their own rituals to add to the cultural essence of this prime festival. With every community comes their own set of traditions and customs, each celebrated and followed grandly. Some might make a little sense, and some might just make no sense whatsoever. But what is the significance behind these Indian Wedding Rituals?
The following rituals are followed (varying from culture to culture) in an average Indian Wedding, somewhat in a chronological order:
This is said to be one of the oldest Indian traditions that we follow. Mehendi or Henna is something that an Indian bride (as well as the groom) usually applies before the wedding. Now, let us mix a little bit of celebration to this as well, and we have a full-fledged event for an Indian Wedding. Women dance and sing traditional songs to celebrate this. As per our beliefs: the level of darkness of the Mehendi is directly related to the amount of love the bride will get from her husband (or mother-in-law). I just fail to understand our weird science of Indian Wedding Rituals.
The Choora (Or Chooda)
This ceremony is conducted on the morning of the wedding day with a puja. A set of ivory-red colour bangles, traditionally 21 of them, are given to the bride by his maternal uncle. This is said to be the uncle’s gift to the bride. A proper havan takes place, where the bangles are purified with milk and rose petals. All the relatives touch the chooda (A way of giving their blessings) before it is put on the bride’s wrist. Right after that, the chooda is covered with a white cloth because the bride is not supposed to see it until her wedding ceremonies. Now, going through a couple of hours of havoc and happiness while not seeing their own arms, seems like a challenge added to put the bride through a weird patience test.
Kaleerein Come Into Play
Kaleerein are umbrella-shaped hangings, which work with the Chooda. As per some North Indian Wedding Rituals, the sisters and friends tie the Kaleerein to the brides Chooda. An interesting tradition (or a fun game) comes out of this, as the bride is supposed to shake her chooda and kaleerein worn hands on the unmarried girls’ heads, and if any part of the Kaleerein falls on a girl’s head, then she is supposedly next in line to get married.
I personally think that this ceremony is a lot of fun. Haldi (or Turmeric) paste is applied on the body of the bride as well as the groom by their families. According to Indian culture, this turmeric paste holds a very special place of honour. And, apart from it being an Indian Wedding Ritual, it has all the properties to be the perfect body scrub as it adds an extra glow to your face. The bride and groom also put a tiny portion of this paste on their unmarried siblings and friends, and it is believed that whoever is touched by this paste the first, will soon find a good looking partner.
Let’s come to the Grooms side for a bit. So, there is a floral veil which is used to hide the groom’s face during the wedding which is called a Sehra and is tied to the groom’s turban. Equivalent to the bridal veil or ‘Ghunghat’, this veil’s significance is that it is believed to protect him from any evil. This ritual involves a pooja, during which the groom’s sister ties the sehra on the groom’s turban. In fact, at a particular point of time before the wedding, somebody from the bride’s side of the family lifts the veil to make sure that the groom isn’t an imposter. How filmy can Indian Wedding Rituals even be?!
Rice Throwing Ceremony
Now we have come to post-wedding rituals already. This one takes place at the marriage venue, during the Vidaai (which marks the end of the marriage ceremony). This custom signifies that the bride is somehow returning or paying back whatever her parents have provided her with in all the years she has stayed with them. I really wonder how a handful of rice will ever achieve that, but that’s the whole crux behind the whole facade.
The Right Foot First
Post the end of the Wedding, the bride reaches her husband’s house and is then ceremonially welcomed inside the house. A vessel full of rice is placed on the entrance of the house, and the new bride has to enter the threshold with her right foot first. It is believed that with her feet, she will bring her good luck and prosperity in the house, as she is believed to be the Lakshmi of the house.
The bride is then supposed to dip her feet in a huge tray containing Kum Kum (vermillion) and water. After that, she enters the house, while her footprints get imprinted across the floor as she walks. This signifies the entrance of Goddess Lakshmi in the home bringing fortune to the groom’s family. I wonder who even came up with such traditions, to begin with.
Yes. So many Indian Wedding Rituals might sometimes seem like a drag. But, there is no type of weddings which are as fun as Indian Weddings, and all these rituals and customs are what make them truly unique. Every culture has their own set of traditions, making every Indian Wedding incredibly fun.
So, what do you think of Indian Wedding Rituals?