Marriage is a union of two individuals who start the new journey of their life together. In India where different religions exist, the customs related to marriages differ. Be it Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Jewish, Buddhism, Jain and Christianity every religion has its own norms and practices regarding the concept of marriage. So, although the marriage practices are diverse across different cultures but one thing that remains unchanged is the celebration and the effervescence of the ceremony called wedding. So if you have ever wondered about knowing the different marriage practices in India, this article can be a delight for you.
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In India, where the majority is formed by Hindus, the marriage practices are seen as a sacred duty that entails both social and religious obligations. The Hindu weddings are a big gala affair with various pre-wedding ceremonies like Ganesh Puja, Haldi, Sagan, Sangeet and Sagaai. Both the families of the bride and the groom participate in the ceremonies and enjoy the festivity and union of two souls. And finally on the day of wedding, marquee is laid out and auspicious rituals like Jaimala, Kanyadaan, Sindoor, Mangalphere and Saptapadi are performed. Hindu marriages are a lavish and an extravagant affair.
Though Muslims form the minority in India, but their weddings are a grand affair with the equal solemnity and grandeur. Known as Nikaah, the wedding is held at either bride or the groom's place at any convenient time. There are three phases of weddings which are strictly followed by the Muslims. In the pre-wedding phase, rituals like exchange of sweets and fruits are performed. Mehndi ceremony is their significant function that is accompanied by dance and singing. On the day of wedding, in the presence of the friends and relatives, the Maulvi conducts the ceremony and reads the important verses from Quran. Thereafter, the ritual of acceptance and proposal takes place and with the consent of the bride and groom the wedding is solemnized.
Christian wedding is a subtle and a charming affair. The ceremony is conducted in the church with the best man greeting the bride with a bouquet. The bride is then accompanied by the father to the altar. Then the couple exchange their vows and in the presence of two witnesses from both the sides, they rings are exchanged. The couple then walks down the aisle together.
Popularly known as "Anand Karaj", Sikh wedding is very similar to Hindu marriages. It is a colorful and unique ceremony with big spectacular events, tons of food, music and energetic dancing. In the early morning the wedding takes place in the Gurdwara with the Reht Maryada, which is the official Sikh code of conduct. It specifies certain guidelines that translate that as long as both the boy and girl profess the Sikh faith they will remain in the wedlock.
The above mentioned are the most common wedding practices of different religions in India. There are many other weddings like that of Jain, Jewish, etc. that take place following the rules and customs provided by their respective religion.