Punjabi wedding traditions and ceremonies are a strong reflection of Punjabi culture. The Sikh marriage ceremony is also known as "Anand Karaj" which means "Ceremony of Bliss." Most Sikh wedding takes place in the morning and are ended before noon. Sikhs take marriage very seriously, and weddings are important and joyful affairs for Punjabis. It is not merely a physical and legal relationship but is a holy union between two souls where physically they appear as two individual bodies but in fact, they are united as one.
Beauty of Sikh Weddings
- According to Sikhism, one should get married to the one, on the basis of his/her belief in Sikhism, is willing to earn his/her bread with honesty and should be humble by nature.
- During a wedding ceremony, the relatives and friends enter the premises of the ceremony with bare foot and head covered. One is not allowed to wear short skirts.
- Anand Karaj consists of the couple revolving around Guru Granth Sahib four times, as the marriage hymns are being recited, where revolving is the sign of making commitment with the Guru as a witness. During the marriage ceremony, Guru Granth Sahib represents the core while the congregation represents the support.
- As soon as the bride, groom and the two families are assembled; Milnee is performed, which involves the meeting of parents and close relatives of bride and groom with exchange of gifts.
- The groom is first seated before Guru Granth Sahib and then the bride takes the seat on his left. A prayer is then conducted invoking god's blessings for the proposed marriage and asking his grace for the union of the couple.Furthermore, marriage in Sikhism is regarded as a sacred bond in attaining worldly and spiritual joy. Sikh Gurus define marriage as, "They are not husband and wife who only have physical contact; rather they are wife and husband who have one spirit in two bodies." Many families organize parties before or after the wedding including reception. However, both the parties that are conducted before or after the wedding are cultural and are not part of religious.