Indian Marriage Rituals by Cultures in India

Indian Marriage rituals and indian cultures
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India Celebrates around 10 Million Indian Marriages every year and 80% of marriages are Hindu Weddings, but their rituals are diversified. Indian Marriage is a Celebration like a festival in the family full of loudness, Music, Colours, Decoration, Wedding Dresses, Wedding Jewelry, Food, Dance, Long list of Guests and lots of fun and many more things.

India is known for its rich cultural heritage and diverse customs. Each state has its own traditions and ritual.

Different existing groups in the country-  Kashmiris, Punjabis, Bengalis, Marathi, Tamilians, Rajasthani, Gujaratis, etc every state has their own wedding customs.

Though Indian marriage is mainly associated with the Hindu Indian Wedding ceremony. in which the

7 round around the holy fire and exchange of garlands are mandatory in every form.

Here listening to you some unique Cultures & Rituals from Indian marriage all over India.

Kashmiris: Posh Puza

An Indian Marriage in Kashmir is one made up of traditional and joyful ceremonies and rituals. It is an especially happy occasion for not only the bride and groom but for anyone who is lucky enough to receive an invitation to be a part of the Kashmiri wedding.

The posh puza is a significant ceremony that formally ends the wedding ceremony.

In Posh Puza, A red cloth is placed on the newlyweds’ heads, following which everyone presents showers them with posh (flowers) accompanied by Vedic mantras.

The couple considers being the embodiment of Lord Shiva and Goddess Paravati, who are duly worshiped. The wedding ceremony over, all the guest including the newlyweds head for dinner (a vegetarian fare) where they are made to eat from the same plate.

Punjab : Chuda Chadana and Ghara Ghardoli

Flamboyant, full of gaiety, and larger than a life these words perfectly describe a Punjabi wedding. The culture of Punjab oozes a sense of warmth that has been well captured in the Yash Chopra movies.

The energy at Punjabi wedding is definitely worth a watch. 

On the morning of the wedding, the maternal uncle of the bride presents her with a set of red and cream ivory bangles (chuda) which she is not supposed to see till she gets ready for her wedding.

The female members tie the kaliras on the chuda to convey their good wishes. A sacred thread called mouli is also tied to both the bride and the groom which is believed to bring luck and blessings to the soon-to-be-wed couple.

Ghara GHardoli is a ceremony at both the bride and the groom’s place, the sisters-in-law along with other female members fill a pitcher (ghardoli) of water from a nearby pond or temple and rinses off the Haldi(vatna).

Post this the bride and the groom head off to get ready for the actual wedding.

West Bengal: Saat Paak and Subho Drishti 

The tying of the nuptial knot in traditional Bengali style entails a series of elaborate and colorful rituals, which are not only enjoyable but are of great significance in conjugal life.

The blowing of the conch shell and ululation by the women gathered at the wedding venue are most characteristic of a Bengali marriage. Shehnai recital played by live musicians or else played over a music system adds to this symphony. 

Saat paak:

Saat Paak is a beautiful sight to be witnessed only at a bengoli wedding where the bride sits on a wooden stool called a pidi/piri and is carried to the mandap by her brothers or uncles.

The bride is not supposed to see her groom when she enters the mandap, so she has to keep her eyes covered with sacred beetle leaves. Keeping her lifted up on the stool, her brothers’ then walk around the groom seven times.

After the seven rounds, when the bride and the groom look at each other in presence of all the guests, this is called Subho Dristi.

Maharashtra: Antarpat and Vivaah homa  

Maharashtrian wedding is perhaps the simplest and the least sumptuous in the whole country. It is a simple affair with light moments, like the bride’s brother twisting the groom’s ear; the couple feeding each other sweets and taking each other’s names in verses, etc.

The Antarpat is a silk shawl placed between the couples as they sit in the mandap and recite prayers. The bride and groom are not supposed to see each other until specific mantras are said, so the shawl keeps them from resisting temptation. After the mantras are recited, the shawl is removed.

Next is the Vivaah Homa, the bride’s brother (or close male relative), and the groom light the wedding Agni, or fire, together. This ritual symbolizes the support that a bride has from her brother as she enters into married life. 

Tamil Nadu: kashi yatra and oonjal 

Weddings in the region of Tamil Nadu are diversified. There is no one style of wedding observed. The different classes observe different wedding traditions. But, there are some styles or rituals that are followed by all classes together.

The best part of weddings in this region in particular is that all wedding ceremonies are conducted in the wee hours of the morning. By the time it’s afternoon, the bride and groom are married and have a few hours in hand before the reception is conducted. 

The wedding day starts with the Mangala Snanam or the sacred ritual bath. It is supposed to be a purifying bath for both the bride and the groom. Then there is the Kashi Yatra which is a bit fun.

The groom then suddenly gets up and announces that he is not going to marry and going to lead a life of a sage in Kashi. As he heads for that, the bride’s father stops him and convinces him to give up on that and instead marry his daughter.

The oonjal is where the couple is then made to sit on a decorated swing. The chains of the swing signify the eternal karmic link with the Almighty. The to and fro motion represents the undulating sea-waves of life.

Yet in mind and body, they shall move in harmony – steady and stable. The tying of the Mangal Sutra or Thali takes place at exactly the pre-determined auspicious hour, known as MUHURTHAM. The bride is seated on the lap of her father, looking eastward while the bridegroom faces westward. 

Rajasthan: paharavani and vamang sthpana 

Rajasthan is known all around the world for its magnificent lifestyle and rich cultural heritage. Royalty is a word closely associated with Rajasthan. Be it the culture, food, or clothing, Rajasthan stands apart in terms of style and opulence. No wonder then, the weddings of Rajasthan are a grand affair!

People from across the world come to experience the treat of a Royal Rajasthani wedding. The traditional dance, music, gorgeous wedding attires, jewelry, wedding rituals are mesmerizing for any spectator.

The splendor of the wedding costume reflects an exclusive appeal. 

The groom is taken for ‘paharavani’ wherein he is made to sit on a new cloth or asana and is welcomed by a Tika. He is also given gifts in the form of money, clothes, and other things for his personal use.

A silver utensil or kachola is given to the groom’s father. The woman folk of the bride’s side then take the groom for the fun-filled ‘shloka kahalai’ session wherein he is made to recite poems or dohas.

After this, the bride worships the threshold (dahaleez) of her paternal home and breaks an earthen Diya on it. Later, in a ceremony called ‘vamang-sthpana,’ the groom requests the bride to sit on his left side because the heart is on the left side of the body.

This signifies that the groom is accepting the bride and is establishing her in his heart. 

Gujarat: Pokavu, Panchamrut, and Hasta Melap

Gujaratis and Gujarat Community are known for their rich, vivacious, and colorful culture. Furthermore, they are warm and cheerful, who are fond of celebrating festivals with passion. This is reasonably evident in a Gujarati wedding as well.

The wedding rituals in Gujarat are simple and filled with fun.

The unique combination of traditions and simplicity is something that makes Gujarati weddings a sheer delight. The Gujarati community has been known for their faith and belief in religion.

Gujarati wedding ceremonies are grandiose and last over a few days. Gujarati wedding rituals are rich and deeply rooted in customs and traditions. The Gujaratis are very lively and rejoice the wedding ceremony with superb splendor and joyfulness. 

The actual wedding day begins with what is known as the Pokavu, the arrival of the groom. The mother-in-law at the entrance to the marriage hall greets him. A small ceremony is performed and then she tries to pinch the groom’s nose.

This playfully reminds the groom that he has come to their door to ask for their daughter by rubbing his nose on the door. 

In Gujarati’s wedding custom the groom sits in the mandap and his feet are washed by the bride’s parents. Next to the groom drinks “panchamrut” which translates as nector of five ingredients i.e sugar, milk, yogurt, honey, and ghee.

Next is the hasta melap a sacred thread that is tied around the bride and groom.

Vedic Meaning of ‘Marriage’

A Vedic sage emphasized that the basis of a happy and fulfilling married life is the sense of unity, intimacy, and love between husband and wife both physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Hence wife is considered to be the Ardhangani of the husband as per Hindu tradition and in the rituals of an Indian marriage.

Cultural Definition of Indian Marriage

Marriage is not for self-indulgence but is considered a lifelong social and spiritual responsibility.

Married life is considered an opportunity for two people to grow as life partners into soul mates. Marriage is of any form the reunion of family, the Bollywood dance adds spice to all marriage ceremony. 

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