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Punjabi wedding- resplendent and loving

November 7, 2017

An array of colors, lavishness, extravaganza, fun and traditional values! This is how you can describe a Punjabi wedding. Indeed, they are every bit luxurious. The fun element is top notch in them. You are absolutely right when you think that a Punjabi wedding is a lot about dancing and songs. But, this is not it. You have to know the tradition which backs the rituals in a Punjabi wedding to comprehend them perfectly.If you are the soon-to-be-groom or the soon-to-be-bride, here is a short summary of the rituals you will be experiencing:-

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Pre-wedding rituals:

Roka and Thaka- :

Roka involve the family of the bride visiting the family of the groom with gifts. And, the same is reciprocated by the family of the groom, when they visit the family of the bride. The former ceremony is Roka and the latter is Thaka.

Chunni Ceremony :

a red colored saree, suit or Lehenga choli is gifted to the bride-to-be. If you reading this right there, is the soon-to-bride, be ready for a potpourri of gifts to be showered on you during this ritual. Jewelry, clothes, fruits, dry fruits, Mehendi and the list goes on. During the ritual of chunni chadana the chunni will be placed on your head, like a veil.

Sagai or Engagement :

the bride and the groom are required to exchange rings during this ceremony.

Mehendi Ceremony (Henna) :

This ritual takes place a day or two before the wedding. The soon-to-be-groom and the soon-to-be-bride gets the Mehendi done in their respective homes. In Punjabi homes this ritual is accompanied with dance and singing.

Ladies Sangeet :

this is one of the most fun filled evening of the wedding. So, during this ceremony, held mostly together by both the families, dancing and singing takes place. It is an evening of immense fun and merriment.

Kangana Bandhana ceremony :

this ritual is performed on the day of the wedding. A sacred thread which is known as mouli is tied on the wrist of both the soon-to-be-couple. The ritual is performed by the priest to avert any evil eye.

Chooda Chadhana :

a havan is done post the Kangana Bandhana. During the havan, the eldest maternal uncle and his better half of the bride, gift a set of 21 bangles for her. The bride is required to wear the chooda at least for 45 days post wedding. The bride is also gifted Lehenga choli which she wears at the wedding day.

Kalire ceremony :

This ceremony is more pertinent for the unmarried sisters and friends of the bride. The kalire are umbrella shaped jewelry tied to the chooda. The bride is required to shake her hand on top of the head of the unmarried girls. The belief is that the girl on whose head falls a part of the kalire, is the next one who gets married.

Haldi :

a paste of turmeric, sandalwood and mustard oil is applied to the bride and the groom in their respective homes. This is done by the elderly members of the family.

Ghara Ghardoli :

he haldi ceremony is followed by Ghara Ghardoli. A pitcher filled with holy water is poured on the bride. She is taken to the temple to seek blessings of the deity. The same ritual takes place at the home of the groom. However, the pouring of water is done by the sister-in-law of the groom.

Sehrabandi :

the groom is tied a turban or headgear called sehra by the priest and the elderly members of the family. Mostly, the father of the groom does the needful. After the sehrabandhi, the groom gets ready to leave for the venue.

Ghodi sajana and Ghodi chadna :

Ghodi sajana is done by the sisters and female cousins of the groom. They feed and give water to the mare. Ghodi chadna is the ritual when the groom gets up on the back of the mare to leave for the wedding venue

Wedding ritual:

Agwaani and Milni :

the family of the bride welcomes the family of the groom in the ritual of Agwaani. Milni is the ritual where each of the relative meets and greets the corresponding relative from the other side. It is a beautiful gesture and involves strengthening new relations.

Varmala or Jaimala :

this ritual involves, exchange of garlands by the groom and the bride.

Madhuperka :

his is an ancient Vedic tradition. It involves giving a sherbet to the groom.

Kanyadaan :

during this ritual, the father of the bride gives her daughter’s hands in the hands of the groom.

Mangal Phere :

the couple has to circle the sacred fire, 7 times. Before the ritual, the chunni worn by the bride is tied to the scarf worn by the groom, indicating their unison.

Lajahom :

the younger brother of the bride takes rice flakes in his hands. He puts the rice flakes on the palm of the hand of his sister. The groom’s hands are beneath the hand of the bride, making a cup like hand posture. The rice flakes are offered to the havan, symbolizing the God of Fire. This ritual of Lajahom is pursued thrice.

Sindoor Daan :

Sindoor Daan involves the ritual, wherein the groom puts vermilion at the hair parting of his bride. This signifies the completion of the wedding.

Post wedding rituals :

Vidaai :

this is the ritual wherein the bride, bids goodbye to her family, relatives and siblings. She takes puffed rice in her hands and throws them over her head backwards in the direction of her family. In this manner she wishes that there would be everlasting prosperity in the house. The brothers of the bride lead her to the doli or the decorated car, from where she embarks on her new journey with her life partner.

Pani bharna :

the mother-in-law pours oil on both sides of the entrance door. She does the aarti with a pitcher of water. After every circle, she tries to drink the water. However, the bride ceases her to drink it, and lets her drink it only after the seventh count of Aarti. The bride is then required to overturn rice Kalash inside the abode. This is followed by the Mooh dikahi Ki rasam, where her veil is lifted.

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