Today we are covering Some of the important Gujarati wedding Rituals, This a first post on of the Series on Indian wedding Customs and rituals.
Gujaraties are lively people, they celebrate all their festivals and functions with lot of splendor, colours, dance and dazzlingly decor.Gujarati weddings are very colorful and vibrant. It is full of tradional ritualism, dance and fun.
Pre wedding functions
- Sagai (engagement ceremony) – this is the formal ceremony where too families promise commitment of relationship. The bride visits with matli (a container which is fill with sweets and gifts) as good luck. A short ceremony is performed and sweets and food is serve to the guest
- Mandap Muhurat - this is a typical hindu ceremony performed at brides and grooms place. A priest is been called, small pooja is performed and family takes blessing from bride and groom. this ceremony is performed few days before wedding
- Griha Shanti – this ceremony is again performed by priest. Small pooja is completed and a perfect date and time is decided according to the zodiac signs of bride and groom
- Garba – this is traditional Gujarati dance which is performed by family members night before wedding. This ceremony gives chance for both families to meet, greet and know each other well. Plenty of dance is done using hands and sticks hitting on each other.
- Pithi – this ceremony is held by bride and grooms family a day before wedding by inviting their close relatives and friends at their respective places. Yellow turmeric powder is applied on the body of bride and groom by all the women’s in their family. It is been said that the turmeric powder brings the healthy glow on the face.
- Barat – on the wedding day groom arrives on horse dressed in traditional attaire and family members dance in surrounding on the traditional music of band.
- Ponkhana (welcoming the groom) – the groom is welcomed by brides family in traditional way where brides mother perform aarti and pulls him payfully by grabing his nose. Groom then step forward by crushing earthen pots into small pieces this signifies that groom has power to overcome any obstacles in his married life
- Ganesh Pooja – after the groom is welcomed to the mandap the ceremonies start whith prayer of lord ganesh who is know are aradhya daivat (god of peace, happiness and prosperity).
- Madhuparka – the brides father wash grooms feet with honey, yoghurt and ghee. This is the time when sister and cousins of groom steel shoes and groom have to offer some money and take it back.
- Kanya Agman (brides arrival) – the bride arrives with her maternal uncle (mama) on the mandap when she reaches mandap there is curtain (antarpath) in between of bride and groom which separates them from each other
- Jaimala – during the arrival of bride the priest begins the ceremony by saying mangalashtak and then antarpath is lower and the couple exchange the garlands
- Kanya dan – the ritual is that parents give (dan) their daughter (goddess laxmi) to the groom (lord Vishnu). Parents give away their daughter by keeping her hand onto the grooms hand.
- Varmala – cord is tied around the neck of bride and groom and looped around 24 time by the elders in family. This means the couple is safe from any negative energy or evil
- Hasta Milap – the scarf wore by groom is tied to the scarf of bride this is known as meeting of soul. The petals of flowers and rice grains are shower on them during this ceremony.
- Mangal Pheres – brother of bride is asked to put some rice on the hands of bride and groom and pour it in hawan. The bride and groom take four circles around the hawan (fire) signifying the promise to be with each other, good health and prosperity, blessings, love and loyalty. During this ritual the priest recite some mantra. After which the bride and groom runs and sit on the chair, it is been said that whoever sits first will rule the house for life time.
- Saptapadi – during this ceremony the groom helps bride to touch 7 betel nuts with her right toes by chanting seven mantra in which he request for support from his wife in ups and downs of their life.
- Sindoor Daan – The groom puts red powder on brides head and ties mangalsutra around her neck which symbolize that she is married and belong to him.
- Kansar – the bride and groom feed sweets to each other after this all rituals have been done (this varies from tradition to tradition).
- Akhanda Saubhagyavati Bhava – here any seven womens are called to give blessing to newly married couple. These womens bless bride as akhanda saubhagyavati bhava which means that may your husband live long life and be with you forever.
- Ashirwad – The newly weds take blessing from elders by touching their feet.
Post wedding functions
- Vidaai – This ceremony is about departure of couple which include tears of joy and sadness as the bride is departing for her new home leaving her old memories back.
- Ghar Nu Laxmi – The bride is welcome in her new home as laxmi who will bring happiness and prosperity in their house. The mother-in-law place a matka or steel vessel filled with rice and ask bride to enter the new world by touching vessel with right foot.
Finally at the end some games (aki beki) are played for fun and the day is concluded with the prayers to god requesting him health wealth and prosperity throughout the life for newly wed couple.
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