Weddings bring with it an air of joy and enjoyment. It is time to enjoy with friends and relatives and some weddings, even provide opportunities for kith and kin to get together after an agonizingly long period of time. In a place like India with varied cultures and traditions that differ even within the same community, there are bound to be a lot of rituals and ceremonies that start well before the wedding and continues for a time after the wedding, as well. Since we are bound to traditions, it is better to learn at least a few do’s and don’ts in an Assamese wedding.
Pre-wedding rituals Do’s and Don’ts
The rituals in Assamese wedding begin with the tying of leaves of a mango tree in the entrance door of the house. The reason behind the ritual is to get rid of negative energy from entering the house. Then again, it is a ritual in which the groom and the men from the groom’s side do not participate. It is customary for the groom’s mother to go to the bride’s place, accompanied by relatives and friends (all women) to perform rituals. The women have to go to the bride’s place singing wedding songs.
Welcoming the groom’s mother do’s and don’ts
The mother of the bride has to receive the groom’s mother with a brass plate on a stem on which betel leaves and nuts are kept and closed with Gamocha which is the special Assamese bathing towel that has to be used. Use of other towels is not entertained.
The groom should not apply vermilion on the forehead of the bride in Assamese wedding Tradition. The groom’s mother applies the vermillion before which she put a ring in her daughter-in-law’s front hair parting and pours oil three times. The gifts which include the wedding trousseau is then handed over to the bride.
The traditional Assamese wedding attire of bridegroom is dhoti, kurta, and Cheng (an Assamese Shawl). They must be made of Muga silk. Wearing a garland of flowers as well as one of tulsi leaves and stems is a must. The wedding attire of the bride is the Mekhla chadar which should also be of much silk with silver and gold zari threads. The gold jewelry known as Jun Biri, which is handmade is a must. Traditional off-white base color is preferred they do not go in for colored attires.
Wedding Day Rituals- Do’s and Don’ts
The things that the mothers of the bride and groom should carry to the pond to take water for the Ceremonial bath include a brass stand with a lighted Diya on it. It must be placed over a heap of rice with a pair of betel nut and leaves. The other must-haves is a coin and a knife. Singing Biya Naam is a must. The mothers should not look back at the pond after taking water. The coin and the knife tied to the games should be carried everywhere till the wedding is over.
Arrival of the groom
The bride’s sister washes the feet of the groom once he enters the venue. After this, he will not be allowed to set foot on the ground and is lifted by the bride’s brother to the hall. In an Assamese wedding, the groom is considered a Devota.
Biya or Wedding
The couple should not eat before the wedding is solemnized and they exchange garlands and not rings. Once the Konyadon is performed, the brother of the bride places puffed rice on the bride’s hand and it is added t the holy fire. It is repeated thrice, during which the conch shells have to be blown and the women must sing Jura naam at intervals. Then the chandor of the bride and the cheleng of the groom are tied together by the priest.
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