Indian Marriage: Traditions to Know & Their Significance

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The events of a Hindu wedding typically take place over three days, with various events taking place every day. Most guests attend the wedding ceremony and reception on the third day and the sangeet during the second day. The Ganesh Pooja ceremony that begins the wedding events on the first day is customarily an intimate event with only close family attendance.

Sangeet Performances

There’s a family gathering called the sangeet where the family comes together to sing, dance, and revel in the joy of the upcoming union. Both sides of the family harmonize a traditional folk song to welcome the other, and family members may even give full-blown performances in celebration and cheeky competition.

Also check – Haldi Ceremony: Significance for Soon-To-Be Bride And Groom

Bride’s Hands and Feet Adorn Henna

The mehndi ceremony is the part of the festivities where the henna paste is applied to make intricate designs with decorative art to the bride’s hands and feet. The designs customarily reflect floral motifs where the designer tries to hide her partner’s name within the artwork. Darker the henna, the more a mother-in-law loves her daughter-in-law, the stronger the marriage.

Bride Wears a Red Saree or Lengha

The beautiful patterns and richness of the colour with gold embroidery in her outfit symbolize commitment and fertility. Modern brides choose various rich, saturated hues, from pastel floral prints to bright yellows with embroideries.

The Groom’s Arrival in Baraat

The arrival of the groom with his party to the ceremony site is called baraat. As guests enter, they get split into the bride and groom’s side to join the groom on his processional entry. They are embraced by the bride’s parents, relatives, and friends amidst live music and dancing. Groom is offered with a plate carrying a lit lamp, a garland and a tilak.

The Father of the Bride at KanyaDaan

The bride will be escorted to the ceremony by either her brothers or uncles. The bride’s father puts his daughter’s palms into her soon-to-be husband through a wedding pooja. The instant the father carries the bride away is known as the kanyadaan. 

Couple Weds Under a Mandap

The wedding mandap or altar is a temporary structure constructed for the marriage ceremony. It is decorated with flowers and greenery on cloth and crystals. The couple is traditionally joined under the mandap by their parents and the service officiant.

Fire Burns in the Middle of the Mandap

In the middle of the mandap, a holy fire is kindled. A Hindu marriage is a bond, not a contract. Fire is kept as a signatory, and offerings are made to imply the viability of the ceremony. The bride’s brother gives a handful of puffed rice to the bride to wish for his sister’s happy marriage.

Couple Exchanges Floral Garlands called Jai Mala.

The Jai mala is a garland composed of strung flowers that is swapped between the newlyweds. The Jai mala signifies the partners welcoming each other into their families.

Groom gives the Bride Mangala Sutra.

The bride is dressed in a necklace of black and gold beads by her new husband. Traditionally, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune, and prosperity, Lakshmi, is invoked in the Mangala sutra, or auspicious thread.

Bride and Groom Are Tied Together with a Sash

The couple makes seven circles around a ceremonial fire, each round signifying a specific blessing they request of the gods. The primary significance of the ritual is establishing friendship.

The Newlyweds Shower With Rice and Flower 

This tradition signifies fertility, prosperity, and optimism for the couple’s future life collectively. It also presents a moment of fun and merriment during the ceremony.

Sindoor Applied to the Bride’s Hair Parting 

Sindoor, a red-orange powder, is applied by the groom to the part of a woman’s hair, symbolizing her new status as a married woman once the ceremony is complete.

An Emotional Vidaai Ceremony

Hindu bride formally leaves her home to commence a new era with her spouse. The goodbyes are heartwarming and tearful during the vidaai tradition. She walks away, radiating happiness and prosperity by taking handfuls of rice and coins to show admiration and love before a final farewell to her new home.