My friends wish to attend a Lavish Indian-Hindu-Wedding and cherish the hype created over it. Well, no wonder, I agree with them!! If you want to fall in love with the Indian Hindu culture and traditions, there’s no better start than attending a typical Hindu wedding. I say, “typical” since only such classic weddings shall have the essence of a real marriage, filled with ages old rituals and poojas unleashing the culture; a handful ceremonies with its meaning lying behind, unlimited food and fun to keep you entertained; lots of dance and music to keep you on toes and infinity blessings flowing through everywhere. So my dear friends and also my readers, craving to attend a Hindu wedding, you might have to wait to take delight of a real wedding! But nonetheless, here I am to help you take a ride through the imaginary wedding and to experience the richness of every ritual & ceremony, whilst you get-set-go to attend the real one!
While the traditions might differ from family to family, a Hindu wedding is usually divided into 3 phases – The pre-wedding ceremonies, the wedding and the post wedding scenes! While all the three has its own value and meaning, the pre-wedding ceremonies are my personal favorite! You might wonder why? Well then, let’s get going!
The pre-wedding ceremonies
Ganesh Vandana: A Hindu wedding begins with an invocation to Lord Ganesh, a Hindu god of wisdom and salvation. Usually the bride and groom along with their parents perform the pooja worshipping the god to remove the obstacles and hindrances from the wedding.
Mehendi and Haldi: Mehendi Ceremony is about applying Henna to the bride’s hand and feet (Applied on groom’s hand as well).
Sangeet – Here comes the night of fun, entertainment and food. Sangeet is probably the most fun- filled and loved Hindu pre wedding ceremony where in both the side of families gather and celebrate the start of relation between the families. It involves dance war between the families, lots of music, DJ, games and food. In recent times, the wedding planners also plan innovative themes to make the night even more interesting and fun-filled.
The wedding day starts with the Baraat, followed by Var mala and the pheras.
Baraat – The groom is dressed in his wedding sherwani (traditional groom’s dress) and takes a ride on the horse, along with music band and his family, relatives and friends to the bride’s residence. It is a way to show, how lavishly the groom comes to take his bride. The groom’s family are called the baraati’s and they dance at the entrance of the bride’s residence and make demands for entertainment.
Varmala – At this ceremony, the bride and the groom gather infront of the families and exchange garlands with flowers and blessings flowing over them. It is quite a small ceremony lasting for 10 minutes.
Pheras – This ceremony is the most valued and sentimental ceremony of all, establishing the commitment the couple makes to each other. The pheras are performed under a mandap by a pandit, who chants the mantras and the bride and groom takes seven circles around the ‘agni’
Post pheras, the groom ties the Mangalsutra (holy jewel) around the bride’s neck and applies sindoor (kumkum) on her forehead, whilst accepting her as his beloved wife. Another interesting ritual during the wedding is the “Kanyadaan”, wherein the bride’s parents perform a pooja to willfully lend their daughter to the groom and wish for their successful marriage.
Post wedding ceremonies
Reception – While this event is not mandatory, reception is usually held at the night of the wedding to celebrate the success of the wedding. The bride and the groom dress at their best and the relatives and friends offer gifts to the newly wedded couple and enjoy the night with a grand feast, photos and music.
Vidaai – Vidaai is an emotional event held at the end of the wedding celebrations. It is an event, where the bride with teary eyes steps out of the doors and throws back five handfuls of rice over her head reflecting wealth and prosperity. This ritual of throwing rice signifies that the bride has paid back whatever her parents have given her all these years. As she leaves in a car/vehicle, the bride’s brothers and cousins push the car, which symbolises that the brothers are helping her start a new life with her husband.
Followed by the vidaai, there are a few ceremonies like Dwar Rokai, Griha Pravesh and Mooh Dikhai held at the groom’s home symbolizing the welcome of the new bride into their home and their lives.