Punjabi marriages – The wedding day
The Wedding day!!
On the wedding day, the sehra-bandi ritual takes place which is most important one in Punjabi matrimony. Traditionally, the sehra is tied over the turban of the groom by his father or some elder family member just before the groom leaves for the bride’s house. According to the Punjabi customs, the groom come riding on the horse along with his family, friends and relatives to the wedding venue. This procession is normally known as baraat and all who participate in the baraat is known as baraati. The groom along with baraati arrives at the bride’s house or the wedding venue with abandon gay performing traditional bhangra all the way. As the procession comes to the wedding venue, the ladies and girls who are assembled sings songs full of wit and sarcasm. Traditionally, the bride puts the garland around the groom’s neck. This ceremony is known as varmala ceremony.
Usually, the wedding time of Punjabi marriages comes in the late evening. According to their wedding ritual, the bride and groom sit in front of the holy Guru Granth Sahib which is the religious book of Sikhs. This is a brief ceremony in which the ardas are read from the Guru Granth Sahib. After reading of ardas, the circumambulation of the Granth Sahib ends with a rousing salutation to the ten Sikhs gurus. Then the father of the bride puts a ring on the groom’s finger and then he gives his daughter to him. This is ritual is called kanyadaan that is little different than kanyadaan ritual observed in any other Indian marriages. After kanyadaan, the mangalpheras around the holy fire begins. Before taking pheras the groom’s sister ties the bride sari to the groom’s turban. The bride’s chunni has a small knot at one of its end that contains chuara, meva, mishri, badam and silver coin. There is joyful custom observed at this time. When the bride and groom are involved in taking pheras, the groom sister-in law take and hideaway the groom shoes which is known as Juta Chepai ritual. The groom sister-in law asks money from the groom to take it back. This is merriment event which involves the both the family members.
The post wedding rituals are doli and reception ceremony organized after arrival of the newly wedded couple at the groom’s place.
Doli is the marks the farewell to the bride from her parents place. This is the emotional moment where the bride and her relatives cry on her farewell. But of course, there lies happiness in their heart as the bride is going to start a married life. Before the departure of the doli, there is a custom in which bride is supposed to hit with her kaliras which is tied at the time of churha ceremony to one of the brother or sister who stands bidding tearful at the time of farewell. It is said that the one to be hit is supposed to get wedded next. According to customs, normally bride and groom comes to the bride’s house on the next day. There is a feast to honor the newly wedded couple; bride parent’s offers gifts and sweets to them. When the couple goes back to their home at the groom’s place, a reception party is arranged to introduce and welcome their new family member.
Punjabi’s are known as food lovers. The popular wedding menu comprises of channa bhatura, panner dishes, tandoori chicken, vegetable pulao, sweets and deserts like Rasagulla, Gulab Jamun, ice-cream. The menu also includes Papri Chaat, Dahi Valle and other famous dishes on the wedding or reception occasion.
Hence overall Punjabi Wedding is very vibrant, colorful and celebrated like a big carnival with their traditional folk songs, dholki and bhangra exhibiting splendid grandeur.