Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Himachal Pradesh Pre-Wedding rituals

Brahm form of marriage is very popular in the region. It is an elaborate procedure and involves a series of rites and rituals. It is also known as Vedic marriage. Here is a detailed description of pre-wedding rituals performed in a Brahm form of marriage.


In this rituals the prohits of two sides meet and decide the whole schedule of the marriage. They choose the appropriate dates for the further rituals. Two copies of the schedule are prepared. The copies are then handed over to the each side. These copies are called laganotri. It is a custom to pay a certain fees to the priest. This laganotri has a great significance as it prescribes the time when first ornament or cloth is to be prepared. In addition to that it also contains the suitable time for the collection of food. This is also known as sarvarambha muhurat.


This ritual is performed seven, five or three days before the marriage.  It occurs at both the sides. In this ritual both sides invite their close relatives and one person from each house of the village. The list is prepared by the village prohit, barber and some people from the village. Next invitations are sent to these people. It is a custom to send invitation in odd numbers.  On the other hand ladies from the village assemble at the bride’s home and sing songs and dance.

Drub Ceremony

This is a most important ritual which occurs on the day or two days before the marriage. In this ritual the groom’s sister or sister in law offers arti. Tilak is applied on the forehead of the bridegroom.  At the bride’s side maternal uncle is called. He is a special invitee. The bride’s mother receives him. He also shares some of the financial status which is called as ‘dharm dan’.


It occurs three, five or seven days before the marriage. Batna is applied to the bride and groom at the respective home. It is a paste made from barley flour, turmeric, orange and mustard oil. According to the tradition the special paste batna is applied by relatives turn by turn. Mehndi is also applied on the hand and feet. The mustard oil remaining is applied on the hair of the groom. This custom is known as chhota tel.


It is performed during the night time a day before the marriage. The suitable time is calculated by the priest. The priest conducts a haven. The planets, Lord Ganesh and kalash are also worshipped. They are worshipped to invoke their blessing for a hassle free termination of the marriage. This ritual is performed by the both the parties at their respective home.  

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Chhattisgarhi Pre-Wedding Rituals

A Chhattisgarhi wedding is a 4 to 5 day affair. The rituals followed in the marriage represent the belief of the people of the state. Various gods and goddesses are worshiped on the day of the marriage in the house of the groom and the bride. The bridegroom should always be older than the bride. Marriages are always celebrated during the months of Magh and Phagun.

Marriage proposal

The boy's parents and relatives go to the girl’s house with their proposal. The girl's parent serves them a delicious meal. After that they get seated and start talking about marriage proposal in the best possible or ideal way. In Chhattisgarh it is a tradition to speak neither too slow, nor in too hurry. It is called 'Saga-Neti talk'. The boy’s parents keep the proposal in a calm and polite manner.

Sagai or Faldan

If the girl’s parents accept the proposal then a date is fixed for engagement. It is also called 'Panch Piye Pindhan'.The wedding clothes and jewellery are given to the girl. It is a custom that the girl has to wear the dress presented to her by their in-laws and come to the hall where the guests are seated. It is done to show that the girl is now in very good condition physically & mentally. After that a date of marriage is fixed. The boy’s party has to give the pre estimated amount of rice to the girl party.

Haldi Ceremony

This ceremony is conducted separately in the house of the groom and the bride. A paste of rice and urad daal is prepared. It is applied on the bodies of boy and girl. Next they are made to take a bath. After the bath a paste made of boiled turmeric is applied. Due to application of the paste the skin of the bride and groom becomes more vibrant & radiant. In addition to that a 'paan leaf ' is tied up on the bride’s leg. A 'kakan maur' is ties on the groom's forehead. It is made of bamboo flakes & colored papers.

Fertilising action of rain

The bridegroom’s father sends a present of a bracelet and seven small earthen cups to the bride. She is seated in the open, and seven women hold the cups over her head one above the other. Water is then poured from above from one cup into the other, each being filled in turn and the whole finally falling on the bride’s head. This probably symbolises the fertilising action of rain.

Erection of Mandap

A four pillar mandap is erected which is made up of bamboo and it is covered by fabric at the top. It is the place where all rituals of marriage take place.

Feeding the Groom

On the wedding day before the barat proceeds to the bride's house the groom's mother feed him with gur and water. It is a ritual that the groom can't take a meal during the wedding day.

Welcoming the Groom

In Chhattisgarh the groom gets a warm welcome and the famous welcome song 'Baratiya padharin' is sung to show the respect to the groom. The groom is worshiped by the priest at the welcome gate.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Wedding Traditions Followed in Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nichobar Islands

Polygamy is practised in all islands. Marriages between certain castes are not permissible. A higher caste male can marry a woman of higher caste. Inter caste marriage is not permissible sometimes.

The husband is bound to pay an annual payment the upkeep of his wife which is one of the important marriage settlement clauses. Unlike many societies, a divorce in Lakshadweep is not considered a social stigma. On marriage a man goes to his wife’s house and takes his wife’s family name. A wife can demand divorce on grounds of non-payment of customary due. Adultery provide a ground for divorce. A man always sleeps in his wife's house (Vidu), takes tea or Kunjee there in the early morning and then goes to his own house (Pusa). All his meals he takes in his own house. While the man continues to be the bread winner of the family, the entire affairs of the family are managed by the female of the house. This is because of long absence of male members of the family as seamen. The engagement ceremony is called Mudi (literally the ring), it is same for Hindus and Christians.

In some tribes a boy has to pay the bride price in the form of cloths, pig and coconuts. It is given at the time of wedding. Upon marriage, for which the boy pays court to the girl and as to win her consent before the family decide to take up the mater formally. The decision as to where the couple will live is taken according to the circumstance of the families concerned and in consultation with the boy and girl. The girl will move to boys house- as often as not they decide to live with the girls family, especially when the house hold is short of male hands to help with the work.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Nepali Pre-wedding Rituals

The wedding ceremony is a very important affair not only between two people but their family too. It is a big celebration. Wedding in Nepal is multiday occasion which spread over the whole village.

The First Meeting

Nepal follows the tradition of arranged marriage. The parents search a girl for their son. If they have found one they would keep the proposal in front of the girl’s family. For this purpose they would appoints one his relatives as a mediator. In Nepal he is known as Lami. He will initiate a talk with the girl's family and do all the negotiations. The girl’s parents would consider certain factors for match making like caste, religions, ages, economic status, education profession of bride and groom and same first language, following the same culture and traditions. Caste or tribe is considered as the main factor for selecting the matches. The parents of both the parities would go to a matchmaker who would go through the horoscopes of the boy and girl. If he shows a green signal a confirmation ceremony is organized else the negotiations gets cancelled. The confirmation ceremony starts with several presentations of gifts, sweets, areca nut supari and fruits which are sent to the Girl’s parents from the boy’s parents. In addition to that the date for wedding is fixed in consultation with the Astrologer. If her family agrees a meeting between both families is arranged, so the proposed couple have a chance to see each other.

Kura Chhinne or engagement ceremony

When both the families meet at the decided date the couple is engaged. In the engagement ceremony rings are exchanged. In addition to that gifts are also exchanged between both the parties. Lastly the bride’s father accepts the proposal made on groom’s behalf and offers paan and supari(betal and areca nuts) by way of invitation.


Just before the weeding Lakhamari sweets are sent to the bride's family. In addition to that there is a custom to invite the girl to the relative’s family. The relatives show great hospitality to the girls. They offer her delicious food and sweets with blessings. Lastly she is called by the maternal uncle. A grand feast is organised for the girl. After feast the girl is given a farewell.

Procession to the bride's home

On the wedding day the groom along with his family members, relatives and friends go to the bride’s home. The procession resembles a festive celebration. The procession is accompanied by a musical band which play musical tune. The entire people dance which represents their happiness for the couple. The procession stops several times for a few hundred yards.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Bangladeshi Pre-Wedding Rituals

Bangladeshi marriage ceremonies spread over several days and included many rituals. A traditional Bangladeshi marriage used to last for seven days. These days it expands to duration of four days. The favourite season for weddings in Bangladesh is winter. A Bangladeshi marriage is mostly an arranged affair.

Panchini (Engagement)

This is the first formal event. Family members of both the parities take part into this event. Most important things is that the couple is not allowed to take part in each other engagement function. First engagement ceremony is held at the bride's house where father of the groom presents a ring to the bride. The engagement ring is usually put on the fourth finger of the right hand by either her future husband’s mother or grandmother. This is followed by a feast. A similar event is held for the groom at his family home, where the bride is represented by members of her family and friends. After this formal engagement, the couple are allowed to meet and socialize. They can take on the phone or they can go for shopping.

Mehendi Sondha or henna ceremony

This ritual takes place two days before the wedding. The hands and feet of the bride are decorated with henna. It is believe that turmeric paste makes the skin soft and make bride more beautiful for the wedding day. On this auspicious day everybody in the bride's party wear yellow dress. A ladies’ only get together party is also organised which consists of close relatives and friends.

Nanimukh ceremony

In this ritual the eldest male member of the family pays tribute to the deceased male ancestors. An elaborate puja is conducted in which all the family members request their holy spirits to bless the couple to-be.

Gaye Holud

It is one of the most interesting parts of a Bangladeshi wedding. The atmosphere is similar to a grand celebration. This ceremony takes place at the bride's house and grooms house turn by turn. The groom’s family visits the house of the bride and present her gifts which includes trays with sweets, outfits for the bride, including bridal saris, shoes or sandals, jewellery, and make-up, and gifts for her family. The bride shows respect by touching the feet of the elders. The bride sits on an elevated place. On this occasion there is a custom to wear yellow clothes. In the end a feast organised for the guests. The same function is conducted at the groom’s house also where the guests will wear green, red, orange and yellow costumes.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Tibet Pre-Wedding Rituals

In Tibet free love is common between young men and women and the most interesting thing is that the parents don't interfere in their child's will. The girl and the boy start dating secretly. Public gatherings are considered appropriate occasions for boys to meet girls. After a certain point of time the boys takes the initiative and tell his decision to his parents.


Before communicating his decision for marriage the boys would collect all the information about the girl like mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, chicken, dog or pig. Now he would approach an astrologer to check if her attributes are compatible with his. If the astrologer shows a green signal he would go to his parents and tell them about the girl. If the parents are ready they would approach the girl’s family with gifts which includes Khatag, chang, Yak Butter Tea. If the girl's parents have no objection they proceed to the engagement. 


Both the parties would sit together and decide a day for the engagement. This ceremony is held at the bride's house. On this pleasant day the boy has to send Khatag and other gifts to every member of the bride's family. Parents of the couple are present on the occasion. They would also exchange gifts. Next they would read the duplicate betrothal contracts and the other will check them after that. They will then sign the contracts with the seals of the two families and pass them to both sides. Both the parties would proceed to a banquet organised by the bride's parents. When the guests leave they would be presented with Khatag.   

Dowry & Wedding costumes

 Before the wedding, the lady's family will choose an auspicious day to send dowry to the man. A small steel statue of Bodhisattva, a roll of sutra along with a stupa is send to the groom’s house. The man's family, on the other hand, has to send a set of costumes to the lady for her wedding on the wedding eve.

Fetching the bride

A person with good reputation is chosen. He along with a group of riders are designated the task of fetching the bride.

Gate Decoration

Before the arrival of the bride, the groom would have the gate decorated and a cushion of barleys laid in front of his house.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Punjabi Pre-Wedding Rituals

A Punjabi wedding is a strong reflection of Punjabi culture. The Punjabi wedding has many rituals which includes many famous Punjabi dances. A Punjabi wedding is also known as Anand Karaj. The religious ceremony has to take place in the Gurdwara or in presence of Guru Granth Sahib, where both sides of the family and friends are heavily involved. The wedding rituals go on for a period of three days.

Pre-Wedding Rituals


In this ceremony the couple commit that they are ready for the alliance. A form of prayer known as Ardaas is also offered. Finally gifts are exchanged.

Mangni / Shagun

In this ritual the groom's family ask for the bride's hand before marriage. This is known as magni. The groom side gives gifts and jewellery to the bride's side. This is known as shagun. The shagun is an indication that the groom's parents are ready for the alliance.


It is the unofficial engagement ceremony. The main purpose behind the ceremony is that the parents want to send the message of alliance to the whole society. The parents of both the sides are present there with present, money. The girl's uncle(mamu) present her the nose ring which she has to wear on the wedding day. They also give blessings to the couple. After Rokka the wedding preparations start.


This ceremony starts with tikka ceremony which is conducted a week to ten days prior to the wedding. In it the girl's parents visits the boys house with beautifully wrapped gifts and the tikka material. The tikka material consists of a silver tray with a few grains of rice and saffron in a tiny silver bowl, 14 chuharey (dried dates) covered with silver foil and a coconut wrapped in a gold leaf. The father of the girl applies 'tikka' on his son-in-law's forehead and gives him his blessings and some money. This process is reprocicated by the boy's side. They  girl is draped with a chunni (stole). She is also presented with jewellery. Everyone present congratulates the couple by feeding them sweet.


The sangeet is another popular custom where family and friends from both the sides dance and sing to catchy tunes and indulge in a lot of eating and probably even drinking. The Sangeet is combined with a party held at night, with celebrations continuing for the whole night. Sometimes it finishes in the morning.


It is a ladies affair. Mehendi is then applied on the palms of the bride after which she reaches back and leaves the impressions of her palms on the wall behind her. This is quickly washed off. Again the Mehendi is applied on the palms and feet of the bride.


A young nephew or cousin also wears a similar clothing as the groom. He is called the sarbala/shabbala (caretaker of the groom) and accompanies him.


When the groom wears the wedding dress a puja is conducted after which the grooms father ties the sehra on the groom’s head.


It is conducted to keep away the bad omen's. The groom bhabhi lines his eyes with surma.

Ghodi Chadna

It is the final pre-wedding ritual in which the groom climbs the horse and leaves his home for the wedding venue.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Meghalaya wedding Rituals

Marriage within a clan is prohibited in Meghalaya. Second the girls propose marriage to boys. Third the woman is considered the mistress of the household and the sole custodian of wealth and not just a proprietress. The woman has rights over the house. The institution of bride price does not apply. The child bears mother’s surname.

Rings or betel-nut bags are exchanged between the bride and the bridegroom to complete the union. There is no dowry system. Both sexes are free to choose their own partners. Often there is no formal marriage ceremony with the relationship merely sealed by the man moving into a woman's joint family ancestral home.

Mizoram wedding Rituals

India's northeast is a mixture of tradition, ethnicity and cultural heritage. Popularly known as the Seven Sisters, the states Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh is a mix of race and rituals. Mizo is a grouping of people which consists of several ethnic groups. These have a common culture, tradition, language, custom, mode of cultivation, form of government, etc. Marriage is generally settled through negotiations by both parties. It consists of three steps.

Pattam Pur (First Step)

The boy's parent and relatives goes to visit the girl's house. In addition to that they have to take Pulbareng which is a special carrier made by bamboo, Midejogora (wine which made by sticky-rice), Sanny pedya, Vini pedya,Hoga pedya (which is biscuits made by sticky-rice, normal rice mixed with coconuts, sugar cane juice, etc.).The girl’s parents have keep a big jar with full of water in front of the house. When the boy's party arrives a little boy washes their feet and then they are allowed to enter the house. A waiter is kept for welcome the boy's party when they enter inside the house. The waiter welcome's them by joining hands and touching their feet. The girl’s parents are at the main gate also welcome the guests. If the girl be chosen by the parents of the boy, the guardian of the daughter demand dowry of an amount of money, rice, pig for weeding ceremony and ornaments etc. for the girl. After that a final date of marriage is fixed. After a couple of days guests leave.

Di Pur(Second Step)

The girl’s parents demand and negotiate for the bride price. If both party agreed, they fixed, the date, day and month for final weeding ceremony. The boy’s parent must fulfil the demand of the girl's parents otherwise the girl's parents have a full right to cancel the wedding.

Thin Pur (Final Step)

The house of the bride is well decorated with lights and banana plants, a big jar with full of water at front gate. An assistant is kept to look after the arrangements. When the bride's party arrived in the girl house the waiter receive them by washing their feet and respect and take blessing from them. Now they enter the guest house where they receive a warm welcome from the girl's side. Next Day they start preparation for weeding ceremony.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Sikkim Wedding practices

Sikkim is an Indian state located in the Himalayan Mountains. Sikkim mostly has a Nepalese population. People belonging to Bhutia and Limbu can be found in small numbers. Due to different caste of people residing there different wedding cultures are followed there. Marriage outside the community is allowed.

Limbus Wedding

The marriages are mostly arranged by parents or result when a boy elopes with a girl. Asking for a girl's hand, that is the most important ceremony. In that system, the girl can ask for anything and an unlimited amount of gold, silver, etc. This confirms to the girl's family that the boy is financially secure enough to keep their daughter happy. Few days after the wedding, the boy's family members have to visit the girl's house with a piglet and some alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks depending upon the financial standard of his house. The key ceremonies of a Limbu wedding take place in the groom's house rather than that of the bride's because girl has to stay with her husband.

The Nepalese Wedding

The Nepalese appeared in Sikkim after Bhutias. Weddings generally take place in tender age in Nepal. The wedding procedure usually begins with an arrangement of a boy and a girl with suitable backgrounds. A priest is called for matchmaking. The meeting takes place between the parents of the two families. In an arranged marriage, it is the parents who choose their children's partners. Even though the parents choose the individuals, the children are commonly given a right to accept or reject the match. This process is followed for arranged marriage. After the initial marriage arrangement takes place, the wedding begins with a gathering of the traveling party at the groom's house.