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Home » Indian Wedding Traditions

Indian Wedding Traditions

Nowhere is the unique diversity of India more evident than its marriage traditions and ceremonies. With multitudes of different religion, traditions and customs, Indian weddings are a melting pot of myriad wedding traditions.

Modern India too has evolved some of its own wedding traditions such as the Indian wedding barat and the Indian wedding games. Some popular games, such as hiding the shoes have even been glamorized by Bollywood movies. Barat refers to the procession of the groom on a horseback, accompanied by family members, relatives and friends. The groom sits on a decorated white mare (ghodi), resplendent in his wedding attire, and usually carries a sword. A barat is an occasion of much revelry and you can often see the relatives of the groom dancing with gay abandon on the streets as they proceed towards the wedding venue.

Nikhil Bhide - The Wedding Planner will provide for all you barat arrangements. Right from selecting the ghori (white mare), choosing a brass band party and deciding on which tunes would they play (and that can include all the latest Bollywood musical hits as well as the groom's favorite ones), leave all the worries to us. In addition to the barat, we also provide arrangements for the Doli as well.

Another important wedding tradition that has stood the test of time is the use of Henna for adorning the hands and feet. Pertaining to ladies, the art of applying Henna, also known as Mehendi goes back as far as 5000 years ago, but you can see still se eager women- young and old get henna applied to their hands during the occasion of a wedding ceremony. Even through Henna is green in color and appearance, when applied on the skin, it takes a orange- reddish hue. These days one can even go for fanciful Mehendi colors in gold, silver and black, but those are liable to cause allergic reaction. Henna is best to be appreciated in its purest form. You can get beautiful, intricate designs imprinted on your hands and feet that will lend a traditional yet a contemporary look to your overall get-up for a marriage function.

These days, there is generally a Mehendi night as a part of the pre-wedding functions where lot of Mehendi artists come and apply henna to the ladies of the house to the accompaniment of dholaks and much revelry. Nikhil Bhide - The Wedding Planner will arrange for all your needs and recreate a magical Mehendi night for you. We would book professional Mehendi artists who would recreate magical designs on your hands and feet.

Some of the traditional Hindu wedding rituals are:

Vara Satkaarah: This refers to the reception accorded to the bridegroom and his kinsmen at the entrance of the wedding venue where the groom receives blessings from the bride's mother who applies a tilak of vermilion and turmeric powder on his forehead.

Madhuparka Ceremony: The groom is accorded another welcome, this time by the father of the bride at the wedding mandap.

Kanya Dan: One of the most purest sacrifices ever, the bride's father gives away his daughter to the groom to the accompaniment of chanting of sacred mantras.

Vivah-Homa: The sacred fire ceremony is kindled by the priest presiding over the marriage ritual to ensure the commencement of all auspicious activities.

Pani-Grahan: The bride's right hand is placed in the groom's left hand whereby he accepts her as his lawfully wedded wife.

Pratigna-Karan: With the bride leading, the couple walks around the sacred fire while taking vows of loyalty, steadfast love and life-long fidelity to each other.

Shila Arohan: The mother of the bride assists her to step onto a stone slab and counsels her to prepare herself for a new life.

Laja-Homah: The couple offer puffed rice into the sacred fire as a symbol of offering to the Fire God, whereby the bride stands in front of the groom and keeps her palms over those of the groom.

Parikrama/ Pradakshina/ Mangal Fera: The most important aspect of a Hindu wedding ceremony, taking these seven rounds around the sacred fire legalizes the marriage according to the Hindu Marriage Act as well as traditional customs.

Saptapadi: Saptapadi indicates the seven steps taken by the couple that represent nourishment, strength, prosperity, happiness, progeny, long life and harmony and understanding, respectively. This is done after the groom's scarf has been tied to the bride's dress.

Abhishek: Abhishek entails sprinkling of water, meditating on the sun and the pole star by the couple.

Anna Praashan: The couple gives oblations in the fire and then feed a morsel to each other as an expression of their mutual love and affection.

Aashirvadah: The couple receives blessings from all the elders in the family who wish them a successful married life

Some other rites that have been mentioned in one of India's oldest religious books- Manusmriti that describes the different types of marriage are:

Rite of Brahmana (Brahma) - This rite involves the father of the bride inviting the prospective groom who is a man learned in the Vedas and of good conduct to his house and handing his daughter to the him after decking her with jewels and costly garments.

Rite of the Gods (Daiva) - Here the girl, bejeweled with ornaments is handed over to a priest who carries out a sacrifice.

Rite of the Rishis (Arsha) - According to this rite, the girl is married off after the groom makes a offering of a cow and a bull.

Rite of the Prajapati (Prajapatya) -The parents marry off their daughter while blessing the newly wed couple with these particular words-"May both of you perform your duties together" .

Rite of the Asuras (Demons) - The groom receives the bride's hand in marriage only after he has given enough wealth to her kinsmen.

Rite of the Gandharva - Loosely translated as a love marriage, this union is initiated by the groom and the bride themselves as they are sexually attracted to each other.

Rite of the Rakshasa - This rite entails the forcible kidnapping of the girl by her prospective husband after he has killed off all her family members.

Rite of the Pisaka - The worst of all, according to the Pisaka rite, the man seduces a girl when she is sleeping or intoxicated or if she is mentally unbalanced or handicapped.

Nikhi Bhide-The Wedding Planner is based in Mumbai, and offers wedding planning services for all of India, with a special focus on Mumbai and Goa.

Nikhil Bhide - The Wedding Planner offers information on Indian wedding traditions and online booking for wedding services and arrangements.

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