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Unique Wedding Customs In India

posted by Arushi Singh November 22, 2016 0 comments

Indian weddings are a huge vibrant affair. Being a diverse nation, people from different castes and cultures practice different customs in their weddings. While some of these wedding customs are beautiful and necessary in order to preserve the life long traditions, some are just outright amusing without anyone having the slightest clue about the origins. One thing that’s common for all customs is that they are beautiful and an essential part of any Indian wedding, making it the colourful affair that we know it as.

We are here to reveal the real reason behind the following popular wedding customs in Indian weddings

Wedding Baaraat

The most popular of all Indian wedding customs, Baaraat is the most looked forward to and exciting customs of North Indian wedding. This custom involves a large party of people from the groom’s side walking down to the wedding venue where the bride awaits. As fun and vibrant as this custom is now, it was started as a convenient idea that evolved over time. In olden times people had to travel long distances on horseback to reach the venue for the wedding, which was generally the bride’s house or a temple close by. But sometimes they travelled even to cities far away hence, the party would move in large groups with the groom. The people accompanying the groom would celebrate and play music as they travelled. Now the times have changed, the distances are shorter and we have adequate means of travel but the fun filled custom of Baaraat still goes on.

Baaraats are essentially the most entertaining caravan of people one could witness in India and why not! They are no less than a private carnival, people are dressed up and dancing their heart out to the DJ on wheels AKA the Baaraati band. Honestly, this particular affair can send people into a dance frenzy. And while we are at it let’s jus admit that the west has got nothing over the desi ‘Thumka’ we get to see so often in a Baaraat.

P.S- Legend has it that this custom was the birthplace of the infamous ‘Nagin’ dance too.

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Groom’s Sword

Punjabi’s may be famous for their lavish weddings but no one does classy like the Sikh. From a humble wedding ceremony to the attire of not just the bride but the groom too, the wedding custom dictates that the groom carries a sword with him to the wedding. During the pre-Independence era, Punjab was a vast land filled with dacoits. It was during this time that the wedding party had to travel long distances to the bride’s village for the wedding. The groom was supposed to carry a sword with him in order to defend his new bride in case there was an attack by the dacoits on the way back.

No one can beat the swag of a Sikh groom with a sword. That’s right Sikhs doing it like a BOSS since decades. Period.

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Ulu Dhwani

Bengali weddings are outright mesmerising and boy they rock! One of the most enchanting things about the Bengali weddings is a popular wedding custom called ‘Ulu Dhwani’. That’s right, it is the high-pitched tongue trilling noise made by the women present in the ceremony and is one art mastered by almost all Bengali mothers.Ulu dhwani along with the sound of conch shells officially marks the beginning of the auspicious ceremony.

While this art may seem like an easy thing to do, it requires a lot of practice to save oneself from the embarrassing fate of sounding like a fool. But a Bengali wedding experience is as exciting as one can imagine, no matter how soulful the sound of a typical shehnai is, a Bengali wedding is incomplete without the deafening sound of Ulu and conch shells. Be prepared for some major goosebumps.

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Kashi Yatra

Unlike the North Indian wedding, the wedding down south takes place at gruelling timings, early morning, you would know if you’ve been to one. But some of them have a few wedding customs that can make the timings worth it, for instance, Tamil weddings, have this one hilarious custom called ‘Kashi Yatra’. One can call it the male version of ‘Runaway Bride’, exciting turn of events, eh? Anyway, the story behind this custom states that thousands of years ago, men who wished to lead their lives for intellectual pursuits did not take a wife or father children. So, at one point or another, someone probably had cold feet before marriage and was confused if he should scuttle to  Kashi/Varanasi in the pursuit religious studies or get married and settle for a domestic life.

This role play is still carried out today in a hilarious fashion where the groom has to set off on a mock pilgrimage to pursue religious studies and it’s the bride’s father intervenes and advocates for the superiority of the married life to ascetic life.This custom hands down is the most entertaining of all and in some cases, the groom, based on his equation with the bride’s family, take his mock pilgrimage to a whole another level by giving them a slight scare of actually fleeing. Yeah, thanks, who wouldn’t love a mini heart attack standing at the alter, right?

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Joota Churai

Another one of the popular and fun wedding customs in North India is the ‘Joota churai’ ceremony AKA stealing grooms shoes. Yes, that’s a thing and it’s very entertaining. The custom involves the bride’s side of the family, especially brothers and sisters stealing the groom’s shoes once he enters the ‘mandap’ while the groom’s family is supposed to save the shoes from getting stolen.

If the bride’s side wins this war then the groom must bribe the sisters to return his shoes. Talk about (legal) extortion. Also, a certain amount of pride is associated with the stealing as it is said that the side which wins this war will have upper hand in years to come. Now that’s a fun take on the new couple’s life.

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What do you think about these unique wedding customs? Tell us in the comments section.

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