Pre and post wedding functions are full of fun and adventure for the bride and the groom along with their family. But the most important and significant ceremony is the mandap ceremony. Many important rituals are performed during the mandap ceremony. It takes place during the wedding after the newlywed is blessed by the invitees. Usually, only family members and close friends and relatives attend the mandap ceremony since it involves the vows taken by the husband and wife.
Mandap is a traditional and temporary set up in the wedding venue, often considered to be a sacred place. Earlier when the weddings were not so lavish, the set up of mandap was usually done at the bride’s house. The mandap is covered by a canopy supported by four pillars in each corner.
Rituals in Mandap :
There are various rituals performed during a mandap ceremony that considered to be performed during the shubh lagan or vivah lagan. The rituals are phere, sindoor, mangalsutra and sometimes the exchange of garland. Traditional mandaps are decorated using mango leaves, Kalash, banana leaves and colorful flowers. The decoration also depends on caste and creed of the families involved in the wedding.
The mandap supported by four pillars is said to be related to the human lifespan, namely Brahmacharya, Grahsta, Vanaprastha, and Sanyasa
It is also said the four pillars also represent the four eras of 1250 years each namely Satyug, Dwapar, Treta and Kaliyug.
Mainly a mandap is a symbol of home for the newlywed where they exchange vows in the form of pheras. A total of sevenpheras are completed during a Hindu wedding. Each phera holds a promise or vow made to each other by the bride and the groom.
During the first phera, the couple prays for plenty of nourishing and pure food. During the second one, they pray for health and a prosperous life. Then in the third phera, the couple prays for wealth. During the fourth one, the couple prays to God to increase their love and respect for each other families.
The fifth phera includes the prayer for good and heroic children in their life. In the sixth phera, the couple asks for a peaceful and long life together. Finally, on the seventh phera, the couple prays to God for loyalty, companionship, understanding, and togetherness. Then the couple promises to never break these vows and be like friends with each other. The marriage is said to be completed once the mandap ceremony is over.
After the pheras, the groom puts the mangalsutra around the bride’s neck and applies sindoor. Mangalsutra and sindoor are signs of a married woman.
Kanyadaan takes place where the father or any male member of the bride’s hands over his daughter’s hand to the groom. It is said to be one of the noblest acts where the father is ready to send her daughter to another home to fill happiness and love there. Mandap ceremony ends here and all the guests move for the vidaai ceremony.
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