10 Top Gujarati Wedding Rituals
Gujaratis form one of the richest communities around the world. Where ever they go, they take their rich and vibrant culture along with them. Meeting a Gujrati will always leave you warm and happy, and their joyful nature is reflected deeply in the festivals they celebrate.
This fondness can be seen in their weddings also. From decorations of the wedding venue to ingeniously designed wedding invitation cards and expensive wedding clothes, one can see a classic blend of modernization with traditional values at every step. Here are some of the typical rituals that are followed in every Gujrati wedding
Chandlo: Approval of the alliance
‘Chandlo' is the application of vermilion mark on the forehead of the bride and groom. It is done to formally approve the relationship by both the families. Usually, the priest officiates the ceremony and blesses the couple. Later, the family members of both the sides give gifts to bride and groom who also exchange garlands at the occasion.
Ganesh Sthapan: Worshipping the Lord Ganesha
Every Indian wedding gives special importance to Lord Ganesha. Families seek His blessings even before the formal preparations begin for the wedding so that everything goes on well. Ganpati is worshipped at wedding venue also to get rid of any obstacle that may come.
Garba : The famous dance of Gujratis
Who can imagine a Gujrati wedding without their typical Garba dance. The importance of Garba can be known from this fact its schedule is even published in the wedding invitation cards. Performed a night before the wedding, it is a joyful way for both the families to know more about each other. One of the most interesting parts of this dance is Raas, when guests have to dance with dadiya sticks in pairs.
Pithi: The ritual for beautification
Pithi is done on morning of the day of wedding. A very common ritual in all the north Indian weddings, Pithi is when bride and groom are cleansed with the turmeric paste (mixed with mustard oil) and is a very auspicious ceremony. According to the Indian Ayurveda, turmeric paste brightens and softens the skin and gives a healthy glow to anyone who rubs it on his or her body.
Jaan: Blessings from Mother in law
Jaan is a very interesting ritual is performed to ward off any evil spirit. The groom visits the place where bride and her family are staying for the marriage and touches the feet of mother in law. While he's doing that, she tries to hold his nose and he has to escape from that.
Griha Shanti: For peaceful marriage
Through the pooja, both the families seek the blessings of a peaceful and happy married life for the couple. Performed before the actual wedding, every family member is required to be present at the wedding venue during the course of this pooja.
Mandva Mahurat: Constructing the canopy for the wedding rites at wedding venue
Bearing a deep religious significance, here the parents of bride and groom seek blessings from Mother Earth and ask for the permission to begin digging soil to erect ‘mandap'. A ‘mandap' is the platform erected for the wedding rites.
Mosaalu: Maternal uncle of bride gives her gifts.
This ceremony is observed one day before the wedding at the bride's home. The maternal uncle of bride (mama) brings ‘mosaalu' consisting of wedding clothes, ‘choodo' (red and white colored plastic bangles) and jewelry.
Varghodo: The groom's procession
The bridegroom dressed in wedding clothes and accompanied by his cousins, close friends and other family members proceeds to the wedding venue on a mare or in a decorated car. The groom's sister keeps jingling the 'looni' which is a small steel bowl filled with betel nuts, all throughout the procession to keep him alert about whatever is happening around him. At the wedding venue, bride's family greets groom and his family members through the traditional ‘aarti'.
Lagna: The main wedding ceremony
The Lagna ceremony consists of four other ceremonies including Varmala(when bride and groom put garlands in each other's neck), Mangalastak(singing of verses in praise of Lord Ganesha), Kanyadaan (giving away of the bride) and Hasthamilap (Tying of the marital knot).
With the rise in cost and reduction in availability of time with everyone, the reception ceremony is slowing fading away from the Indian wedding scenario. Given in the honor of the newlyweds, reception is given by the groom's family.
Gujrati weddings are also marked by games that are played within the bride and groom to lighten up the atmosphere. One of such games, Aeki Beki consists of filling a vessel with water and sindoor and the newlyweds are asked to find out a ring from that vessel. Whosoever wins this game is deemed to rule the household.
Labels: Wedding Dresses