Customs and Traditions - Hindu Wedding

♥ Mehndi :

The Mehendi Ceremony is an important ritual and usually takes place one or two days before the actual wedding. The mehendi is the traditional Hindu colour of auspiciousness, joy and celebration. But more than that it is the bridal herb par excellence. It evokes a world of beauty, leisure and sensuous womanhood. It exudes tenderness, softness and a mystery as mysterious as the heart of a woman. The reddish brown color of Mehendi - which stands for the prosperity that a bride is expected to bring to her new family - is considered most auspicious for all wedding-related ceremonies.

As red and saffron are the colours of celebration in the Hindu tradition, mehendi has come to occupy its rightful place in the sixteen processes of beauty techniques known as solah shringars.

♥ The Baraat :

The noisiest procession, but the most vivacious one too, is baraat. The groom arrives mounted on a mare, with his family and the guests and a band of musicians following, who play catchy filmy tunes and the relatives of the groom, and the guests, dance to the tunes being played expressing their pleasure. The baraat is welcomed at the entrance of the wedding hall by the relatives of the bride.
The actual marriage ceremony commences hereafter with the priest chanting the hymns all the time and directing the bride and the groom to perform some rituals like pouring the "havan samagri" into the holy fire with the chanting of the hymns.

♥ Kanya Daan :

Literally meaning gifting the daughter away, this ritual is performed by the father of the bride, by pouring out a pious water, connoting giving her daughter away to her husband. As the tradition has it, the father of the bride asks the groom to promise him that the groom will assist his bride in actualizing the three prime objectives of married life, namely-dharma, artha, and kama. The groom complies by repeating thrice that he would do the same.

♥ The Vivaah :

The ritual connotes the actual marriage, for the very meaning of the word "vivaah" is-marriage. The priest ties the end of the groom's dhoti or the kurta; whichever he is wearing, with that of the bride's saree, the knot signifying the sacred wedlock. The groom and the bride then exchange garlands and then circle the holy fire seven times, making seven promises to be fulfilled in the married life, after which they are considered to be 'married' to each other. This ritual is called "phere" or "saptapadi".

♥ Mangal Sutra and Suhaag :

These rituals are very eminent in a Hindu marriage. The groom clasps a necklace, bearing the signs of Shiva or Vishnu, to the neck of the bride. The suhaag is the smearing of sindoor on the bride's forehead by the groom.

♥ Aashirwaad :

The wedding is concluded with the parents of the groom blessing the newly wed couple.

♥ Grihapravesh :

The bride's first entrance into her new home and the new life is termed "Grihapravesh", meaning- entering the home. The notable thing about this entrance is that the bride crosses the threshold setting in her right foot first, as it is believed to be propitious. Having entered the home, the bride is welcomed by the groom's mother with "aarti".

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