An Assamese wedding has a simple and sober pre-wedding ceremony that are deeply rooted in their culture. This pre-wedding ceremony is referred to as ‘Biya’ in the common and the native language of the state. These ceremonies are very elegant in nature and consist of rituals that have been firmly grounded in their culture.
The whole Assamese wedding affair takes place over a time of about 2 to 3 days in duration. The whole pre-wedding ceremony has a few striking features that really put a lot of fun and a sense of tradition in the whole celebration. One of these features is the unique and indispensable feature of ‘biya naam’ or ‘biya geet’ songs that the women of the families sing during the most of the pre-wedding and post-wedding rites and rituals. The most of the Assamese wedding rituals are generally accompanied by blowing of the conch and uruli, a kind of sound made by the women of the families by rolling their tongue inside their mouth.
The Pre-Wedding Rituals in Brief Detail
Two of the most common pre-wedding ceremony rituals that can be observed in an Assamese wedding are listed and described as under
The Juran Diya ceremony generally, just a day before the wedding day, or maybe be two days before as well. It takes place in the morning time, wherein strings of mango leaves are hung and are tied over every door of the house, which is said to absorb the negative vibes or energy coming from anyone and prevent them from coming into the house.
This is also called as Aam Daali Gatha. During this Juran or Gatha ceremony, the mother of the groom visits the bride’s house with her female relatives and perform rituals there. The mother of the bride greets her to-be-in-law by presenting her with a xorai, which is a brass plate on a stem that contains Pan and Tamul covered in Gamocha which is an Assamese bathing towel. Also, the bride has presented the gifts from her in-laws, while she accepts them with her head covered.
In Tel Diya ceremony, the mother of the groom puts a ring and a betel nut on her to-be daughter in-law’s hair parting. Over this parting, the mother pours an oil three times that she has brought with herself. After doing this, she applies vermilion or sindoor on that parting in the bride’s hair. This is because, in Assamese tradition, the groom does not apply vermilion on the bride’s forehead, but rather the mother of the groom does it. After this, the bride shall always continue to apply and wear the sindoor from now on. She also gives the bride the wedding dress or trousseau.
After these 2-3 days of pre-wedding ceremonies, comes the wedding day that has the few ceremonies reserved and the final ceremony of marriage. The bride and the groom then are bonded together for eternity.
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