“Marriages are settled in heaven and celebrated on earth and unity of two unknown souls is determined from birth” is a true saying and with no exception, marriage ceremony in Indian culture is one of the oldest customs in mankind and is one of the most important events of an individual’s life. Wedding in India is not less than a festival. Each and every part of India has its own diverse customs, ceremonies which reflects the cultural connotations. In India ‘donating a daughter’ which is often known as kanyadana is considered as one of the greatest sacrifices that parent could perform. Over a period of time wedding ceremony is being complicated from its initial simplicity. In today’s era marriage is a social occasion for family reflecting Vedic rites, regional colors etc.
Customs and Varieties in Indian wedding:
Auspicious moment or muhurta is chosen by pandit based on the kundlis of bride and groom. Horoscopes of groom and bride are matched and preparations are begun beforehand. Wedding is organized at bride’s place and entire kutumbh (family) enjoys the evening with eating, dancing and singing. In India, wedding ceremonies are vast and reflects diversity of cultures. A day prior to wedding friends and relatives gather at bride’s house for mehndi ceremony in which feet and palm of the bride are decorated with henna. The bride is teased about in-laws, sex in relationship, love play etc.
On the day of the wedding, various rituals are performed in the morning and the bodies of the bride and groom is rubbed with oil, sandalwood and turmeric which soften the skin and gives a unique glow to both the bride as well as groom. The awesome part of Indian wedding is arrival of groom where arrival is headed by fireworks which are accompanied by dance and songs. In east and north, there is a ritual of putting sindoor in bride’s hair. This ritual is performed by the groom and husband dips his ring in sindoor and puts it in his wife’s hairline to the crown of her head. In some of the communities such as warriors there are sword wielding ritual ceremonies.
Wedding attire of Bride and groom
Brides wear different types of ornaments, adornments and clothes in different parts of India. Clothes reflect the tradition and culture of the particular area. Punjabi bride wear salwar kameez, Maharashtrian bride wear none-yard saree, and Rajasthani bride wear lehenga. These days most brides wear sarees in the shades of mustard, pink or red. Unlike the clothes ornaments of the bride also differs with tradition and culture. Ornaments such as: waist bands, tikas, hathapula are important traditionally but are not worn by bride in all the areas. In north India grooms wear shervani and churidar payjama or suit of western style. In south, grooms wear traditional outfit’s dhoti and kurta.