Sikh weddings are different from Punjabi weddings. Punjabi’s are people who reside in the state of Punjab and therefore, their rituals and ceremonies are more specific to the land and Indian weddings, while Sikh weddings are more traditional and have deep cultural roots. A Sikh, even when residing in a country other than India, would follow the same rituals and perform the same ceremonies that are performed in a typical Sikh wedding.
Below, we have discussed three very important wedding ceremonies in a Sikh marriage.
Once the marriage has been fixed through the Roka ceremony and a date has been fixed for the wedding (which is referred to as Taka), the next step for both the families of the bride and the groom is to start making the preparations for the engagement ceremony. The engagement ceremony in a Sikh wedding is called as Kurmani. This is first big pre wedding ceremony in which all the close family and friend of both the bride and the groom are invited. Generally, this ceremony takes place either at the groom’s place or it can also be conducted at a Gurudwara. At this ceremony, the groom presents an engagement ring to the bride, while the parents of the bride offer the groom a Kara or a steel bangle. The ceremony starts with prayers offered by the Granthi for the happiness of the couple, and this is followed by the placing of a red scarf, along with dried dates, on the groom’s shoulders. The dates are fed to the groom by the grandfather after which food and drinks are offered to the rest of the guests.
Chunni (Veil) Ceremony
After the engagement the next ceremony to follow is that of Chunni. In this the groom’s mother places a red Chunni or a red scarf on the head of the bride. The Chunni represents the fact that from now on the bride would be responsible for upholding the honors of the groom’s family. New clothes and jewellery is also offered to the bride by the groom’s family. As a sign of commitment, the groom places red Sindoor on the head of the bride. As a gesture towards acceptance of the engagement and their blessings, the groom’s parent offer sweets to the bride’s family. This is generally followed by a lot of singing and dancing by both the families as a mark of celebration.
This ceremony is performed exactly 5 days before the wedding day. In this ceremony hair of both the bride and the groom are massaged with oil and turmeric paste is rubbed on their bodies. Traditional songs accompany the entire ceremony, while unmarried girls hold a red scarf over the head of the bride and the groom. There is a lot of fun involved in it as the family members try to put a lot of oil and paste on the bride and the groom so as to make it really difficult for them to clean themselves, while at the same time the bride and the groom try to put the oil and paste on them on to other people with love and in jest.