Haryana is known for its customs and traditions which dictate each and every aspect of life in the society. Similarly, marriages in the state of Haryana follow some established practices diligently. The culture of Haryana does not give recognition to a relationship until and unless the marriage has been solemnized with all the rituals as required under Vedic traditions.
There are certain pre-requisites for a man and woman to enter into a matrimonial alliance in Haryana such as the couple cannot be from the same gotra or even from the same village. The bride and groom are usually from the same community as inter-caste marriages are not accepted by the society.A traditional Haryanvi Wedding ceremony comprises of the following rituals which are essential parts of any wedding ceremony in the state.
Sagai also known as “Anguthi Pehnana” is an initiation ritual of a Haryanvi Wedding in which wedding rings are exchanged between the prospective bride and the groom. The ceremony is usually conducted in the bride’s home with close family members and friends of the couple in attendance. The exchange of wedding rings signifies a pact or an undertaking of a future marriage alliance.
Bhat Nutana and Ban Baithana
Bhat Nutana is a ritual which involves the maternal uncles of the bride and the groom. It is usually conducted a month before the wedding. Ban Baithana is another ritual in which Lord Ganesha is worshipped by the families to seek his blessings for the upcoming marriage.
Pithi Lagana and Banori
This is a ritual in which a paste of turmeric, ghee, and grounded barley paste is applied on the bride. The idea is to make the bride look fairer with a glowing appearance on the wedding day. Subsequently, another ritual called Banori is conducted in which the bride and groom have a meal at the wedding priest’s house along with the close relatives.
Mehndi and Ratjika
The night prior to a traditional Haryanvi Wedding is one of pomp and celebration with a singing of folk songs and dancing to their tunes brightening up the atmosphere of marriage. The celebrations continue all through the night, hence the name Ratjika. Another important ritual is applying of mehndi on the bride’s hands and feet by her female relatives and friends amidst song and dance.
The groom departs for the wedding venue on a decorated horse after the ritual tilak is applied on his forehead. This is called Barat Nikasi.
The ritual welcome of the groom and his entourage known as baraat by the parents of the bride at the venue of the wedding ceremony is called Seha.
Varmala and Sat Phere
The core rituals of a Haryanvi Wedding ceremony are Varmala and Sat phere. Varmala is the ritual exchange of garlands between the bride and the groom. Sat phere is a ritual in which the couple encircles the sacred fire seven times to signify seven marriage vows.
Kanyadan is a ritual in which the father of the bride pours sacred water on the joined palms of the bride and the groom amidst recitation of Vedic hymns.
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