The wedding ceremony is full of rituals in all the societies. The groom as well as the bride is the special person of the day. The groom leading his happy procession reaches the bride’s house or the marriage venue. The happy procession is known by the name barat. The groom receives a warm welcome from the members of bride party and even from the bride. The most important ritual just after arrival of the groom is Var Mala.
A Vedic Reference of Var Mala
The Var Mala ceremony is known as Jaimala also. The reference of this ritual is found in Vedic literature. In ancient times (during Vedic age), the kings used to arrange the system of selection of the groom by their daughters. They used to invite the son of kings (rajkumars) of the friendly states, a grand ceremony was arranged and the girl (or bride) was given the opportunity to select the groom of her choice. In this system, she was free to put the garlands in the neck of her groom of choice. The same concept is followed in modern times too, but with the changes that there is only one bride and groom.
How the Ceremony Takes Place?
When the groom reaches the marriage venue with barat, he is welcomed by the mother of the bride. She has a pooja thali in her left hand, offers the tilak to the groom and blesses him by performing aarti. At some places, this ritual is done by father or elder brother of the bride with the help of priest. This ritual is called “Dwar Pooja”. Immediately after this, the groom is taken to a specially prepared stage. He stands there and waits for the arrival of the bride. After some time, the bride also reaches the stage with garlands in her hands. The groom is offered a garland (in his hand) by some other person. A huge gathering of family members, friends, relatives and guests gather near the stage. At some places, the seating arrangements are also done for the audience.
The Var Mala ceremony starts with the bride offering the garland to the groom. To receive the garland, the groom has to bend forward a little. This causes a good tussle or teasing by friends and associates of bride and groom. The parties enjoy this, during this teasing only, the bride succeeds in putting the garland around the neck of groom and the groom also put his garland around the neck of the bride. This is followed by showering of flowers by people to the new couple. In fact, the ceremony is indication of acceptance as husband and wife by the groom and the bride. All are seen eager to take wedding photography of this scene.
Planning of Var Mala
The wedding planner prepares a special stage for Var Mala. The Var Mala is made of colourful, exotic and fresh flowers. In modern time the artificial flowers are also used. The most used dress by the bride during Var Mala is Lehenaga Choli.