India being a land of varied culture there is no surprise that Indian weddings are marked by a lot of customs and traditions. For sure Indian marriages are a spectacular manifestation of its rich cultural heritage.
Wedding fads change with each passing day. What is trendy today perhaps outdated tomorrow yet certain ingredients are there which can’t be modified or ignored as they form the quintessence of the whole event. Of course Indian weddings are always an epitome of fun, frolic and glam along with longstanding traditions and rituals which makes them unique.
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When it comes to wedding rituals, there are countless variations across the country but the commonality of all different versions is the fervor along with a proclivity towards adherence to traditions. There are certain common pre wedding, wedding day and post wedding customs generally observed by all Hindus thus symbolizing its unity in diversities. Let us have a look into it.
PRE WEDDING CEREMONIES
Among a host of pre wedding events, the most recognized Indian wedding tradition is the Mehandi function. It is a ceremony where the bride has her hands and feet adorned with intricate, elaborate and classic henna designs which signify the bond between her and her future husband. Only the women in the families are permitted to participate. It is considered a get together among women from both the families.
It is a pre wedding day function and happens to be one of the most cherished event. It can be a stand alone or be accompanied with the Mehendi ceremony. The one event where all vibrant traditions come into the forefront with a fun and festive vibe. It is where both families get along to sing and dance enjoying the trendy songs and forge memories that would last a lifetime. It gives a great respite over serious rituals.
It is a very common ritual, where turmeric paste with sandal is applied to both bride and groom at their respective places by elderly members of their families before they are washed by sacred water. It is known by different names across the country.
WEDDING DAY RITUALS
Hindu weddings are basically a Yajna ritual with the Fire Deity or Agni as the primary witness. The agni which represents the holiness and sanctity of an Indian wedding ceremony is the centerpiece of the day. The rituals are primarily handled and carried out along with Sanskrit mantras as per the guidelines laid down in the Vedas. During the special day, the couple take seven steps around the fire and take the Hindu pledge of marriage.
Another important custom is tying Mangalsutra which is the highlight of the special day. In Hindu marriages the groom ties a mangalsutra around his bride’s neck with three knots. This is to represent a strong century long union and this would be the signature of an Indian women’s marital status.
Kanya dhan is yet another significant custom in which the father of the bride gives her away to the groom by placing the left hand of the bride on the groom’ right hand. The groom now takes the responsibility of the bride and they promise each other that they will remain faithful to each other throughout their life.
The post wedding rituals comprises of maru veedu or vidaai ceremony, welcoming of the bride at the groom’s house. An emotional send-off has been given to the bride by her family.
Indeed, Indian weddings are celebrated on a very expansive scale. It is an auspicious and precious ceremony associated with religious sentiments. So when planning for the big day, giving attention to minute details is very imminent to make the special occasion a perfect one.