Wedding traditions and rituals
Buddhist marriage ceremonies can vary greatly depending on the teachings of each invididual temple, but the Buddhist marriage ceremony will generally follow the same set of rituals and traditions, although possibly adapted slightly.
Before the Wedding
An astrologer and a lama (priest) will do horoscope matching for the couple, once this has been done then the groom is permitted to give a marriage proposal.
This is the official betrothal ceremony and the date of the wedding will be fixed with consultation from an astrologer. Recitals of prayer will take place followed by each of the guests having madyan to drink.
On the Wedding Day
On the wedding day, the families of the bride and groom will arrive at the temple very early. Traditionally the groom’s family will arrive with trays of fruit, wine, cakes, tea, meat and jewelry to be given to the bride, 6 or 9 trays will often be brought as they are considered lucky numbers. There will also need to be a tray of candles to be lit by the bride and groom or their parents to symbolize the union of two families.
The couple and the guests will then stand before a shrine and the image of Lord Buddha and recite hymns before then offering flowers, candles and incense sticks to Lord Buddha. The bride and groom’s parents will then place large loops of string over the couples’ heads as a symbol of connecting them and the couple will recite traditional vows from the Sigilovdda Sutta. After this the couple will then give offerings of medicine, food and flowers to the monks at the temple. The priest will then place threads on the heads of the monks and this thread is connected to a container that will be sanctified after the ceremony has taken place. The couple will then have a red paste smeared on their foreheads as Mangal Sutta and Jayamangala Gatha recitations happen.
After the Wedding
After the wedding ceremony has taken place there is prayer, a feast and an exchange of gifts before the newlyweds head to their new home.
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