Ceremonial Indian Weddings

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Wedding rituals are an indispensable part of any Indian wedding and most of these rituals are rooted in ancient logic. These rituals speak volumes of the country’s rich heritage and culture. The customs may vary in different parts of the country but each and every custom is meant for the welfare of the bride and the groom with an aim to make them lead a long and a happy married life. Some customs that are common in most of the Indian weddings are baraat, jaimala, saat phere and vidaai.

jaimala

Indian wedding not only establishes a bond between two individuals but at the same time it establishes a strong bond between their families. It’s also an occasion when close friends and relatives get a chance to bond and share memorable moments together.

After vatna and gharoli, the groom dresses up like a prince in his wedding attire and his sister ties sehra on his forehead. He arrives at the wedding venue  with his friends and relatives dancing to the tune of dhol.

groom

The bride also dresses up like a princess and her solah shringar starts from her head and ends at her toes. Her family welcomes the groom along with the baraatis and this is followed by jaimala or exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom.

indian bride

Image source: larockphotography.com

The marriage ceremony commences amidst chanting of shlokas by a priest under a canopy called mandap. Bride’s parents offer her hand to the groom as a part of kanyadaan and the groom promises to take care of their loving daughter.

KanyaDaan

Image source: Wikipedia

The bride’s saree is tied to the groom’s shawl or dupatta and the knot symbolizes their sacred union. The nuptial fire symbolizes divine witness. Havan samagri and ghee are offered to the sacred fire amidst chanting of mantras. This is followed by saat pheras or the seven rounds around the sacred fire with each round having its own significance.

sacred knot

HIndu wedding

Image sources: Phototantra.comCosmin Danila Photography

At the end of each round, the bride and the groom step on a rock (Shilarohan) and and pray for their love to be firm like a rock.

Shilarohan

Image source: Cosmin Danila Photography

The saat pheras conclude with a prayer that the union is insoluble and at the end of this ceremony, the bride and the groom become husband and wife. In some communities, there may be just four rounds instead of seven.

The groom’s parents bless the newly wedded couple and this is followed by showering of flowers by all the guests that symbolizes best wishes for their new life ahead.

After all the fun and entertainment, vidaai is the most emotional moment of an Indian wedding as it marks the bride’s departure. She seeks leave from her family and friends to start a new life with new dreams with the groom who is now her husband and his family. She sheds tears of joy as well as sorrow at the same time.

vidaai

These are tears of joy because vidaai marks the beginning of a new life and  tears of sorrow as she has to take a leave from her family.

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