A Hindu wedding is guaranteed to be a grand occasion, with so many Hindu rituals and traditions to go through, why not take the time to read up on the intricate details of a Hindu wedding. Specific rituals and traditions may vary across regions but the main sections of the wedding remain the same.
Before the Wedding
The Misri marks the beginning of the wedding ceremony and is where there is a formal announcement that the couple are now betrothed.
The Sangeet ceremony is all about dance and music and really helps to build excitement for the wedding. The Sangeet is traditionally held a few days before the mehendi ceremony and is a time to celebrate and generate excitement for the wedding day.
An occasion for the females of the family, the mehendi is a fun celebration and a time for the bride to have her wedding henna applied.
The haldi ceremony is held the day before the wedding ceremony and is a time where the bride and from go through a cleansing process and are smeared with turmeric paste to give a glow for the all important wedding day.
The Wedding Day
This is a time when the groom and his party are welcomed to the wedding venue by the family of the bride. The priest will them chant sacred mantras and the bride’s mother blesses the groom by applying Tilak – made from vermillion and turmeric powder.
At this part of the wedding ceremony the groom will be greeted at the mandap and given gifts from the bride’s father; this shows how the bride’s family are accepting the groom as part of their family.
This is when the father of the bride hands his daughter away to the groom, entrusting him to take care of her.
This is the sacred fire ceremony to represent the couple’s purity and spirituality.
The groom takes the bride as his lawfully wedded wife by taking her right hand in his left hand.
The couple walk around the fire with the bride leading and make a vow of loyalty and fidelity to each other.
The mother of the bride helps the bride onto a stone slab and prepares her for her new life.
The couple offer rice, oats and leaves to the fire to represent that the couple is willing to sacrifice their worldly possessions in return for God’s blessing. The offering is made with the bride’s hands over those of her groom.
Parikrama or Pradakshina or Mangal Fera
The most important part of the wedding ceremony, the couple will circle the sacred fire seven times. This part of the wedding ceremony legalizes the marriage in line with the Hindu Marriage Act.
A marriage knot is created by tying one end of the groom’s scarf onto the wife’s dress. They then take seven steps together which symbolizes nourishment, prosperity, happiness, strength, long life, harmony and understanding.
This is the sprinkling of holy water and meditating on the sun and the pole star as they represent steadfastness and strength.
After making food offerings to the fire, the bride and groom will then feed each other from one plate, symbolizing their mutual love and affection for each other.
This marks the end of the wedding and is a blessing from the elders at the wedding.
After the Wedding
This ritual marks the bride leaving her old home and moving to her new home. As the bride walks out she will throw rice and coins back over her shoulder to ensure luck and prosperity stay at her parent’s home forever.
This is when the newlyweds enter the groom’s home and are given a warm welcome by the groom’s family.
The reception is held by the groom’s side of the family and is a formal event to welcome to newlywed couple and introduce them as a couple.
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