Jat is the dominant caste of the state of Haryana and is considered to be one of the most influential and important communities in North India, both politically as well as economically. Apart from Haryana, Jats are also found in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. This community is mainly associated with agriculture.Jat Weddings are elaborate affairs involving multiple rituals and customs which have been handed down from generation to generation. Marriages take place strictly within the boundaries of the same community. Boys and girls of the same village are considered brothers and sisters, which means that no matrimonial alliance is possible between them according to customs.
The wedding rituals of Jats can be divided into three categories.
The very first step in Jat Weddings is the ritual of exchanging of wedding rings also called Sagai or “Anguthi Pehnana”. The prospective bride wears the ring on her left ring finger. The ring symbolizes a formal acceptance of entering into a matrimonial alliance in the future. Bhat Nutana and Ban baithana are the two rituals which involve the maternal uncles of the couple and Ganesha puja respectively. Mugdana is a ritual in which the mother or sister of the boy worship green and dried twigs of the Khejri tree.
The bride and groom are not allowed to eat at their homes after Ban baithana. First meal is served at the priest’s house known as Banori. Thereafter, meals are served at a close relative’s house.
Mehendi ceremony, the ritual application of mehndi on the bride’s hands and feet along with Ratijka ritual in which all the members of the family stay awake throughout the night and singing and dancing take place before the wedding day.
The main wedding rituals of Jat Weddings start with the Chak puja which is the ritual worship of the potter’s wheel. Ghud chadhi is a tradition in which the groom mounts on a well-decked horse and rides it till the wedding venue. Varmala is the ritual exchange of wedding garlands between the bride and the groom. Hathlewa is a ritual in which the hands of the bride and the groom are tied together and Lord Ganesha is worshipped. Gamjoda is the tying of one end of the groom’s attire with the saree worn by the bride to signify wedlock. Thereafter, the bride and the groom take seven rounds around the sacrificial fire known as Sat Phere.
Kanyadaan is a ritual which is symbolic of the father giving away his daughter to the groom. Finally, the Thapa Lagana ritual is conducted in which the handprints of the bride and the groom in haldi or Mehdi are taken on a wall.
Post wedding rituals
Vidai is the formal send-off of the bride to the groom’s house. Tilak is applied on the groom’s forehead by the male relatives of the bride and he is also presented with gifts. Griha Pravesh is a ritual in which the mother-in-law of the bride welcomes her by doing aarti. The bride steps on a tray filled with a mixture of vermilion powder and milk or water followed by overturning a vessel full of rice and coins. Other post-wedding rituals in Jat Weddings include Rangbari, Samthiu and Muh Dikhai.
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