Be it any part of India, marriage is all about to commitment, care, love and happiness in life. The marriage of Kashmiri people is not an exception. It also involves a lot of ceremonies which are performed before marriage day, on the marriage day and after marriage day.
Following are the pre-wedding rituals of Kashmiri people:
This is also known as vanna or engagement. When the families agree for the marriage, the formal engagement takes place. The Brahmin (or Purohit) fixes the auspicious date of engagement. The elderly persons of both the families meet in the temple and exchange flowers. The feast is offered by the bride’s family. Later on special rice prepared by the eldest aunt of the both sides is distributed among neighbours and relatives. The exchange of rings also happens in some locations in modern times.
2. Livun and Wanwun
Livun is the ceremony of cleaning the entire house before wedding day. It is performed at both the houses i.e. of bride and groom. The complete house floor is given a touch of with mud, cow dung and water. It is done by women of the family. On this auspicious the mud and brick oven is placed by the family cook on whom the food on the marriage day is prepared. In the evening the women are gathered and they sing mangal geet. It is known as Wanwun.
The ceremony of maanziraat generally takes place one week before the marriage day. It happens at the houses of both the parties i.e. bride and groom. In this ceremony the doors of the house is decorated. Thereafter, the maternal uncle of the bride washes her feet in the evening. The eldest aunt of the bride beautifies her (bride’s) hands with maanz (henna). Many guests are also invited for the occasion and they are enjoying the delicious Kashmiri meal.
It is also known as Janayu or thread ceremony. If this has not performed during student life of the groom; it is a few days before the marriage. There is difference in wearing the number of threads when the ceremony is performed during adolescence or post adolescence period.
5. Devgon and Duribat
The Devgon is the ceremony which transforms both the bride and the groom from their brahmacharya stage to grihastha stage. The close relatives and elders of both the families observe fast for this ceremony. This ceremony is performed by the purohit in front of the sacred fire. Whatever the gifts in the form of ornaments or utensils are desired to be given by the bride's parents, are also placed before the fire. Another ritual of bathing bride and groom with a mixture of water, rice, milk and curd is also performed that day. Relatives shower flower petals the bride and the groom. They are made to wear new traditional clothing.
Duribat ceremony is generally attended by the maternal relatives of the bride and the groom. On that day, traditional vegetarian is only taken and gifts are exchanged.