Hindu Wedding Traditions and Rituals

Wedding in India is a very complex affair, which lasts for three to seven days with more than 100 people attending. Marriage has traditionally been viewed as an initiation with betrothal, virginity, acceptance and the seven steps being the essential elements of a wedding. A Hindu marriage can take place only through the performance of certain rights and rituals.

Probably the oldest religion in the world is Hinduism, which has an estimated historical heritage of 3000 BC. Many of its traditions lasted for ages and some were destroyed a short time. Hindu marriage is a very sacred method of law and practice which includes many timeless rituals and customs. It is said that marriage is a bond through which not only two hearts meet, but two families meet.

After this ritual, the lives of the families of both, including the bride and groom, change completely. Therefore it is necessary to take many important precautions regarding marriage. After marriage, the life of the bride and groom is happy and full of happiness. Vivah (Sanskrit: Vivah) is called Vivah in North India and Kalyanam in South India.

In ancient times, these traditions and rituals were spread over many days, but in today's busy society, adjusting such schedule is difficult. That is why today many of these traditions are performed during the night before the wedding ceremony. The Hindu ritual provides an opportunity not only to the bride but also to come with two families. Both the families have been included in many customs to clarify this subject.

The Engagement

Engagement is considered to be one of the most important customs of marriage not only in Hindu weddings but also in other religions. The event usually takes place a few days before the wedding. During this event, the heads of both families formally announce the marriage of their children to the invited guests. After this, the bride and groom change the ring to strengthen their relationship.

Mehndi ceremony

In this program, the henna is applied on the hands and feet of the bride (in some states it is also applied to the groom). This beautiful event often takes place in the evening amidst the dance-music of family members and friends.

After applying Heena, the bride has to sit for several hours so that her Mehendi colour will improve on her hands. The female guest present in the house also puts henna in his hands. This enjoyable festival is often celebrated by singing traditional songs and playing traditional instruments like dholak.

Sangeet

In this program, all the women of the family gather and perform music and dance. It is worth noting that not only is the event fun, but marriage planners also swear that this makes both parties forget about marriage concerns for some time. That is why these programs are specially chosen.

Tilak

Tilak's program is considered the first step in the mutual relationship between the two families. This auspicious work is mostly done at the residence of the groom, where the bride's brother comes to put kumkum on the groom's forehead.

Although many forms of Tilak ritual are seen in different parts of the state, one of them is commonly mentioned. Apart from this, music and dance are also a major part of this program in many states of the country.

Haldi

In this program, a paste of turmeric is applied on the bride's body before or on the morning of the marriage. In some states of India, this function is conducted after the mehndi ritual. Turmeric is used to beautify the bride and groom on an auspicious day.

Barat

In this program, the groom reaches the bride's house with his father, relatives and friends for marriage. The bride's parents, family and friends offer tilak, aarti and garlands and pay respect to the guests attending the procession.

Milni

When the wedding procession arrives at the door, the 'groom' is first welcomed. Thereafter, 'Vara' and Kanyadaata sit together mutually facing, performing Shatkarma, Kalava, Tilak, Kalashpujan, Guruvandana, Gauri-Ganesh worship, Sarvadevanamaskar, Swastavachan. After this, all the acts of grooming the bridegroom to perform Asana, Arghya, Padya, Achman, Madhuparka etc.

Jaimal

In this program, first the bride and the groom garland each other with flowers, then first the groom family and then the bride family bless the bride and groom. Jayamala means that both of them have accepted a couple as husband and wife.

Kanyadaan

The ritual of Kanyadaan is a very delicate moment for the parents of the girl. During this time, the parents of the girl put holy water in their daughter's hand and place it in the groom's hand. During this time, the bride's sari is tied with the bride's dupatta. Which consists of betel nuts, copper coins and rice, which is considered a symbol of unity, prosperity and happiness.

This ritual indicates that the parental responsibility towards the bride is over and the bride is now the responsibility of her husband only. The father promises the groom that he will fulfil his daughter's three basic needs throughout her life, religion, meaning and work.

Mangal Phere

Every marriage is incomplete without the ritual of Phere. The bride and groom walk around the fire in Phere. In the first three rounds, the bride moves forward which represents divine energy. While in the last four rounds, the groom moves forward, indicating balance and completeness. The bride and groom, taking seven vows with seven rounds, swear to take Agni as their witness and live with them for life.

Shoe Hiding Ritual

The ritual of shoe hiding is for the bride's sisters i.e. the groom's sister-in-law. In this ceremony, the bride's sister hides the shoes of the groom and asks for money or gifts from the groom in return of the shoes. The groom gives the money or gift according to his own, then he gets the shoes back. This shoe hiding ritual is a very enjoyable ritual. The event of shoe hiding is meant to show acceptance and an open heart from both sides of the family.

Vidai

The farewell ceremony is the most emotional in a marriage. During this ritual, the groom leaves with the bride and takes her home. During this time, the grief of separation from his daughter is reflected in the eyes of the girl's family. Before crossing the house frame, she throws three handfuls of rice and coins at her head from the top of her head.

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj started and conceptualized the powerful interactive platform - KambojSociety.com in September 2002, which today is the biggest and most popular online community portal for Kambojas in the world. He was inspired by the social and community work carried out by his father Shri Nanak Chand Kamboj. He has done research on the history, social aspects, political growth and economical situation of the Kamboj community. Deepak Kamboj is an author of various articles about the history of Kamboj community and people.