The baniyan community is known to comprise of people who are extremely money minded and do not like spending money. It would appear that their weddings too would be held on a small scale. But this is far from reality. The baniyan weddings are in fact held on a huge scale and are extremely lavish in nature.
Fixing The Date Of Marriage
Like all other Indian weddings, a baniyan wedding is also held on a date which is believed to be astrologically auspicious so that the union brings happiness and love in the life of the marrying couple. The parents of both the bride and the groom fix a date for the wedding ceremony and it mostly falls between the Kartika Sud and Asarba Sud. It is for this reason that most of the baniyan weddings are held either between 11th October till November end or from 2nd half of June to end of July.
The wedding celebration starts in both the houses of the girl and the boy starts a few days before the actual wedding day. The marriage festivities are kicked off by holding a Ganapati Pujan in the house. This ceremony is known as the mandav ceremony and is held for seeking divine blessings for successful completion of all the wedding functions and also for seeking blessings for the couple starting their new life together.
Visiting The Porter
After the Ganesh Pujan, the ladies of both the houses take out a procession, where they sing and dance their way to a porter’s place. Here they sprinkle water, sandalwood and flowers on the porter’s wheel. The pots are then purchased from the porter and the same are brought back home. These pots are then used for various purposes during the entire remaining wedding ceremonies.
Exchanging Gifts Before The Wedding
A day or two before the actual wedding day, the families of the bride and the groom visit each other and exchange gifts. The marrying couple is not allowed to participate in these functions
The Final Wedding Day
The wedding day ceremonies include the following rituals:
- The houses of both the girl and the boy are decorated with fresh flowers and lights and all the friend and family members arrive for the celebrations.
- The marriage ceremonies are kicked off by making cow dung balls and throwing them in all four directions of the house.
- When the groom arrives at the house of the bride or the venue for the wedding, the mother of the bride takes seven rounds around the groom, holding curd placed in earthen pots. These pots are later crushed by the groom by his feet and only then is he allowed to enter the marriage venue.
- Once the groom has entered the house, the bride’s mother washes his feet with honey, sugar, curd, ghee and milk
- Next the bride arrives and the actual wedding rituals begin which include the kanyadan ceremony, where the responsibility of the happiness of the bride is given away by the her parents to the groom, Phere, where the couple walk around a sacred fire, the priest recites verses from holy scriptures and the couple promises to support each other at every stage of life.
- The groom then applies Sindoor to the head of the bride and also places the mangalsutra around her throat.
- This is followed by the Vidaai ceremony.