Uttar Pradesh – the biggest state in India in regard to population accommodates people of various religions and cultures. The major community being of Hindus, when you say Uttar Pradesh marriage rituals, we you mean to say about rituals related to a Hindu wedding.
A typical marriage in the state of Uttar Pradesh consists of pre-wedding rituals, wedding rituals and post wedding rituals.
The first step of any marriage process is the mate selection. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, since there has been a long joint family system, the elder of family has monopoly in deciding the mates. The criteria for mate selection are matching of caste, direction of residence of would-be-couples and matching of horoscope. There is a unique conception that the girl should be married in west and south direction and bride will be taken from east and north direction.
After the mate selection is finalised, the ceremony of Rokka is performed. This is followed by the ceremony of Mangni (the engagement) where the exchange of rings takes place between the groom and bride.
A few days before the wedding day, parents of the bride bring a Thal of Shangun to their home. The bride is given Chunari of red colour and bangles. She wears the same on the wedding day. This is followed by the Sangeet where women sing wedding songs and dance on their tunes. One or two days before the marriage, the henna is applied on hands and feet of the bride.
On the wedding day the groom takes the marriage procession to the house of bride. He rides on the Ghodi (She-Horse) and leads the barat (marriage procession). At marriage venue he is received and welcomed by the relatives of the bride. This ritual is known as Milni.
When the barat reaches the house of the bride, Varmala ceremony is performed on a stage specially made for the purpose and bride and groom exchange the garlands.
In the mandap, rituals of kanyadan, phera etc are performed. After the ritual of Saptapadi, the groom and wife become the husband and wife.
Since the marriages in UP are held in winter season and in night, the feast is an important part of marriage. The feast consists mainly of heavy and delicious vegetarian food like Kheer, Gajar Ka Halwa, Shahi Paneer, Golgappey, Laccha Parantha, Jalebi and many more dishes.
Post Wedding Rituals
After the wedding is completed, the barat (on the next morning) returns with the bride. The departure of the bride from her home is known as the ritual of Vidai. It is very emotional moment as the bride after birth spends her many years of life and after marriage she has to leave that home permanently.
When the new husband-wife reaches the home of the husband, they are welcomed. The newly-wed wife is not allowed to place her bare feet in the ground. The couple is taken to home-deity where they perform the worship.
After four days of marriage the newly-wed wife is taken to her parental home and she returns to her matrimonial home after 2-3 days and live there permanently.