Gujarati Marriage/ Wedding – Customs and Rituals
Usually, Gujarati matrimony wedding ceremony observes very traditional ritualistic pattern which is very interesting to watch. Like traditional Indian marriages, Gujarati marriage is solemnized with Jaimala, Varmala followed by Kanya Daan and Mangal Phera. Apart from these ceremonies, madhuparka, hastamilaap and saubhagyavati bhava are the rituals exclusively celebrated in Gujarati marriage.
On the day of the wedding celebration begins with Jaimala wherein groom arrives at the wedding place. The bride mother welcomes him with the Jaimala and aarti. This is also known as Pokhvu.After Jaimala, usually gujarati bride arrives at the threshold of the wedding venue and place Varmala to the gujarati groom. Madhuparka is the custom wherein the father of the bride wash the groom’s feet. At this time, the sister-in-law steals away his shoes for which the gujarati groom has to offer money by the demand of the ladies to get back his shoes. This is one of the most fun loving events on the wedding day.
According to Gujarati tradition, the maternal uncle of the bride takes her to the mandaap to exchange the garlands. After exchanging the garlands, the bride’s hand is placed to the groom’s hand which is known as hasta milap. After hasta milap, the ritual called Kanyadaan is performed. In this ritual, the father of the bride gives her daughter hand in the groom’s hand. This is followed by mangal phera wherein the couple takes four rounds around the holy fire to solemnize the marriage. Mangalsutra is tied by the groom to the bride’s neck. Saubhagyavati Bhava is the ritual in which all the elder family members give their blessings to the newly wedded couple. In few castes, the elder married ladies of the bride’s family whisper their blessings into the right ear of the bride. Post wedding ceremony are celebrated with also very interesting which includes Vidai, Gharni Laxmi and Aiki Beki.
Vidai is having lot of emotional values where in bride leaves her parents house taking all the memories along with her. With this ceremony, she marks the beginning of a new life with her husband. Gharni Laxmi is the welcome ceremony of the bride to the groom’s home. Aiki Beki is strange but interesting and fun loving game played in the groom’s house. In this game, several coins and a ring are placed in a tray of water covered by milk. The game is played by bride and groom with the belief that one who finds ring for four times first would rule the house.
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