North Indian Wedding Traditions
Indian Weddings are all about grandeur, splendor, opulence and magnificence. But there is yet another aspect to Indian weddings that cannot simply be undermined or negated. It is its religious adherence to customs and traditions. In keeping with Wedding Traditions in India, North Indian Weddings have also preserved their allegiance and loyalty to customs and traditions. North Indian Wedding Traditions include the solemn observation of innumerable customs.
All Indian weddings, no matter in which part of the country it is being celebrated is characterized by the observance of a number of rites and rituals. In North India too weddings are celebrated grandly. Wedding Traditions in North India are also marked by the ceremonious observance of rites and rituals.
The main wedding ceremony always takes place at the brides’ home. A mandap is set up and it is beautifully adorned with flowers and other decorative items. Friends and relations from near and far are invited to attend the wedding ceremony and they are treated to a grand dinner.
North Indian Wedding Traditions include certain religious rites which are not observed on the day of the wedding but before and after like Sagai, Sangeet, Tilak and Mehendi. The grooms’ place is sometimes the center of many of these customs. North Indian Wedding Traditions include the following
• Mangni or Sagai: It is what is better known as the Engagement ceremony.
• Madhupak: On the day of the wedding, the bride’s father extends a warm welcome to his would be son-in-law by treating him to yoghurt and honey.
• Jaimala: The bride and the groom exchange garlands as a mark of accepting each other. This is an important custom in North Indian Weddings.
• Kanyadaan: The bride’s hand is given away by her father to the groom. He asks him to accept her as his wife.
• Havan: The sacred fire is lit. It is believed that the fire will be a witness to the loyalty and the dedication that the two pledge towards each other. The priest offers sandalwood, ghee and herbs to the fire to keep it alight.
• Rajaham: It is offering of sacrifice to the ceremonial fire that has been kindled. Both the bride and the groom offer rice to the fire.
• Gath Bandhan: A part of the sari of the bride is tied to a part of the scarf around the groom as a symbol of their everlasting bond. It signifies that they are now one and the same and will be beside each other throughout life.
• Mangalaphera: Now for what is perhaps the most important part of North Indian Wedding Traditions. The couple encircles the fire seven times and each time they take a new vow, the highlight of which is that they will love, respect and appreciate each other, share joys, sorrows and responsibilities along the walk of life with each other.
• Jalastnchana: A rose is dipped in water and sprinkled on the bride and the groom by both set of parents.
• This is followed by putting of sindhoor or vermilion by the groom on the hair parting of the bride.
• The groom then ties the Mangalsutra, a particular type of necklace around the brides’ neck.
• Aashirvad: Before starting their walk along life’s pathway, they seek the blessings of the elders of the family.
This marks the end of the North Indian Wedding Ceremony. The celebrations though continue for long after this. All these North Indian Wedding Traditions have a peculiar charm which attracts each and every one.
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