Wedding is the most important occasion in the lives of the couple when they tie their nuptial knot for seven births as per the Hindu tradition. The Indian wedding is full of fun-filled, thrilling and exciting ceremonies and rituals. These wedding ceremonies are categorized into two classes- the ceremonies which take place before the marriage are called the pre-wedding ceremonies where as the ones which are celebrated after the marriage are called as the post-wedding rituals. The Roka ceremony is considered to be one of the most significant and auspicious pre-wedding ceremony in Indian weddings.
About the Roka Ceremony
Roka ceremony brings about the official announcement of the consent of both the boy and the girl for getting married to each other. It can be considered as stamping the boy and the girl with the title of “booked and engaged”. Both the families gather together for the first time and exchange sweets, gifts, dry fruits, etc. with each other and also bless the couple who will soon be getting married. Puja is performed according to the Indian rituals and traditions in the presence of a holy priest who recites the holy verses and performs the rituals.
Details about the Roka Ceremony: Procedure, Location, Rituals
The roka ceremony venue is usually the home of the bride. However, if the families are willing to celebrate the roka ceremony occasion at a large scale, venue can be chosen accordingly. A banquet hall or a hotel can be selected to host the roka ceremony.
The proceedings of the Roka ceremony are very simple. The first ritual to be performed is the Tilak ceremony, where tilak or a paste made of vermillion/sandalwood and rice grains are applied on the foreheads of the boy and the girl. After the tilak ceremony, the elders present at the occasion, bless the boy and the girl.
This is followed by exchange of gifts between both the families. These gifts include sweets, fruit baskets, dry fruits, clothes and other assortments. The mother of the groom adorns the bride by placing a beautiful red chunni or duppatta over her head and blessing her with clothes, jewelry, cash, etc. on the other hand, the parents of the bride gift clothes and cash to the groom and shower him with their blessings.
Significance of the Roka Ceremony
The roka ceremony marks the beginning of the wedding ceremonies which are to follow. It is the first step taken towards making the marriage decision official among the friends and family. The families throw a party for their close ones to celebrate the fixing of marriage between their son and daughter. It represents the starting point of the relationship between the boy and the girl, which they will cherish for their lifetime.
Usually traditional ethnic is selected as the roka ceremony attire. The boy may wear kurta and pyjama, the girl on the other hand can choose from among saree, salwar suit or lehenga choli. The guests also prefer to follow the ethnic theme of dressing and dress up traditionally.
Roka ceremony is a very significant pre-wedding ceremony in the Indian weddings and marks the beginning of a new relationship between not just the couple but also the families.