What are various Hindu Marriage Rituals and Ceremonies?

What are various Hindu Marriage Rituals and Ceremonies?

According to Hindu Shastra, a Hindu  wedding  is  not only  the system of exchanging of vows or rings but it includes  number of  religious rites   before and during the  nuptials  which are performed in the presence  of  our family elders. The Hindu marriage represents the importance of the bond made between a girl and a boy. A Hindu marriage is said to be incomplete without the blessings of a spiritual and a divine element. The Hindu marriage is based on many ceremonies as well as some pujas.

In India traditionally, most Hindu marriages are arranged marriages. That is the bride and the groom are matched by the elders, in which the bride and groom are of same caste, community, state and religion. Today, many internet based matrimonial sites are also available to match such horoscopes in order to minimize the faults and errors while matching the horoscope. Many online priests are also available on the various sites in order to match the horoscope and to provide services of other community centers or temples to match horoscopes. If you want to see some Hindu profiles you can see some groom profiles here and some bride profiles here.

Sagai Ceremony

After the selection process is over, generally the family members of both the girl and boy ask the priest to match the horoscope of both the girl and the boy. According  to  the  tradition while matching the horoscope  from the 36 guns at least 18 guns should be match and if the guns get matched the priest suggests the date for engagement which is also known as “MISRI” or  “Ring  Ceremony” or  “Sagai”.

After that the family of the groom put the basket filled with  fruits, clothes, cosmetics or ornaments  into the girl’s lap  representing the welcoming of the girl in their family  and bestowing her  with  happiness and prosperity. In this way the family of the groom promises to the bride’s family about the marriage and feeds them Misri in order to confirm the engagement. As the eating of the sweets is treated as auspicious by the Hindus, misri is tasted by all of them in all of the happy occasions.

Mehendi Ceremony

After the misri ceremony, mehendi ceremony is the beautiful ceremony of the Indian wedding. It is usually celebrated in the late afternoon. The function is basically a ladies function, but now a day’s male relatives are also been welcomed. In this ceremony the hands and the legs of the bride has being painted by the mehendi which takes around four to five hours to complete. Then when the mehendi gets dried away it should be washed off, it represents the   strength of love between the couples to be get marriage. As it is said “The Darker the Mehandi, The stronger the love”

Sangeet and Sagri Ceremony

Music is treated as the soul of Indian wedding. Without music and festivity the wedding is sparkle less. On the sangeet night, folk songs are sung and dances are done.  Now a day’s help of professional singers and dancers are to be taken. There is s Sagri function where the sisters and the female relatives of the groom’s family visit the bride’s house. They bring perfume, cosmetics, and flowers that are strung in the form of ear rings, bangles, hair pieces, and garlands. The main purpose of this ceremony is to create familiarity between the bride and her new family, by creating a fragrant and beautiful atmosphere. There is a Nav Grah Puja (worshipping of the nine planets). Ancient Indian studies indicate that the nine planets of the solar system have a tremendous influence on the destiny of every individual. So in order to please the nine planets, prayer is done at the time of marriage occasions.

Ghari Puja- Swagatham and Hathilao Ceremony

Ghari Puja is the last and the most important puja on the day of wedding.  This puja is carried out in the respective homes of the bride and the groom.  The priest carry out the puja with coconut, betel nuts, turmeric, rice, wheat grains oil, and many other spices. The both mother bride and groom carry an earthen pots filled with water on their heads and walk on the threshold of their homes. Then the son in law of the family cut the water with the knife to rid off evil spirit. The parents are given garlands and money by their friends and relatives.  Then the bride and groom wear old and tear off clothes of their friends and relatives in order to end of their old life and enter into a new and beautiful life. There is a welcome or Swagatam of the groom’s party. After the bride dressed up in her wedding outfit, her sister and friends escort the groom at the bride’s house. At the entrance the groom places his right foot on her bride’s foot representing that he should be the dominating strength in their life together. After the groom enters the house the parents of the bride wash his feet with milk and water. It is believed that because of their prayers they got their son in law.  The groom is treated as an angel of Lord Vishnu on the wedding day. In Hathialo or joining of the hands ceremony is celebrated. The scarf of the groom is tied with the corner of the bride’s sari. The right hand of the couple is tied with a thread which is blessed with religious incantations. Then the couple prays to the God to bless them with union and gives them strength.

In Hindu culture, all ceremonies and pujas are started only by invoking the blessings of Lord Ganesha. In the ring ceremony, a puja is done by both the bride and the groom along with their parents for welcoming the God in different forms and asking of their blessings. Apart from praying to  Lord Ganesha, they also pray to Varun Devta, Lakshami and Narayan , the goddess of the nine planets , and  OM i.e. Bhrama , Vishnu  and, Shiva.

Varmala CeremonyJaymala Ceremony - The fun part. The brothers of the bride try to lift the bride up in air making it difficult for the groom to reach her.

After the puja is over, garlands are exchanged by the bride and the groom in order to welcome each other in their lives, this is known as Varmala Ceremony. After that rings made up of gold are exchanged in order to represents a long happy married life. In groom’s hand the ring is to be wear in his forth finger and in bride’s hand it should be wear in the forth finger of her left hand as it is believed that the forth finger of the hand has  a direct connection with the heart of a person.

Satphere – Kanyadaan and Vidaai Ceremony

Wedding ceremony is performed by the priest, in front of all relatives and friends.  The bride and groom are seated in front of the holy fire.  Then the couple walks around the fire seven times by exchanging vows of duty or love, respect and a fruitful union. Then the bride parents entrusts their daughter in the safe keeping hands of the groom and his family. In Ashirwaad ceremony, the priest explains the couples their responsibilities for one another and finally gives them his blessings. There is a Datar or salt ceremony. After all friends and relatives greeted the couple, the couple went to groom’s house, at the entrance, the bride’s feet are been washed by groom’s parents.  A cover is placed on bride’s head. She sprinkles milk in all the directions of the house.   This represent that she maintain the respect in the family and if any misunderstandings occurs in the family, the she will help to solve them.  Then she pickup the hand full of salt and places it on the hand of her husband , then again the husband passes the salt in the hand of her wife  hand without spilling the salt , this procedure is to be repeated for three times. Similarly the salt is carried out by all the members of the groom’s family. By exchanging the salt, it represents that just as the salt  blends in and gives the taste of the food , similarly the bride would blend  in and thus become the part the new family.

Image Sources – Flickr.com – users – apsaramokashi, architratan, chrissylong