Marriage defines the eternal vows and beautifully binds two souls forever. There are different religions following different marriage styles. This article will give you a glimpse of various wedding customs in northern segment of the nation, especially focusing on the Vedic Rituals performed.
India is widely known for its rich culture and diversity. Far and wide it is famous for its ethnic wear, rich food and warm rituals. Any occasion, Indians enjoy it with great enthusiasm and when it comes to marriages, it calls for huge preparation and gala time. The truest of all these rituals remains embedded in its tradition. With North, South, East, West geographical segregation, various ritual patterns are followed. Different religions and regions have their own style of bringing this auspicious relation to start. In sync with various regions, North India too has several wedding rituals to follow.
General customs practiced in Northern India
Several customs are performed from the start to the completion of marriage. Talking about the northern land, then yes the rituals highly vary to those practiced in the others areas. There are many ceremonies to be executed pre-marriage and post-marriage and all are to be practiced with traditional touch. Mostly the important rituals are performed on the day before marriage and on the grand day.
Across the northern region more or less the following customs are followed.
An evening before the marriage day is planned for the Sangeet celebration which is organized at both brides’ and groom’s place. The occasion is celebrated with various traditional songs sung called “Barni” (bride) and “Barna” (groom). Next morning on final day of wedding, boy is applied with turmeric paste which is then send to girl’s house. Family members at bride’s place apply the same turmeric paste to her body. It is basically done to beautify her for wedding day. This ceremony is called Haldi. Numerous such small customs are being planned for the grand day. In the evening bride and groom are brought to the wedding venue and exchange garlands in front of the gathering, this proceeding is called JaiMaala. Later in the evening unfolds with lavish dinner with all pomp and show in the wedding hall. The venue is decked with impressive themes.
After dinner, couple is taken to the Mandap where pair ties knots before the sacred fire and proceed with Phere, important ceremony involving seven rounds around the fire. In each round the couple vows to protect, care, respect and stay together forever till the last breathe. Magnificent spell of holy mantras being vocal by the pundit in the background affirms the bonds in the heaven. Next morningit’s “Vidaai” when the girl is given to the groom and goes to groom’s house.
Northern India experiences huge religion collaboration. It shelters Muslims, Hindus, Sikh, Christians all sharing the equal footage. Each has its own style like Muslims perform Nikaah, in Hindus its Vivah; Christians call it wedding, and Anand Karaj, with varied names all these are accompanied with great pomp and show.
Contrary to Northern India, Southern India too practices several marriage rituals. Various castes in down south have different customs to practice. Vedic Marriage rituals are prominent one amid those practiced in southern states. Below are the highlights of the customs practiced in Vedic Marriage.
Vedic Rituals Practiced
Vedic marriage rituals are practiced by followers of Vedas since ages. These customs are deeply rooted in Holy Scriptures. Rapid modernization did change the society a lot but pure remained the marriage proceedings. Vedas have plenty of customs to practice but few are discussed below.
Vedic customs involves steps
When the girl and boy attain the right age of marriage, elders in the family seek a marriage partner for him/her. This ritual performed is called Nandi
- Both the parties (girl and boy family) meet and if agree to tie knots, it is referred as Nischitarth.
- A thread ceremony is arranged for the boy. This is basically done when the boy reaches the age of marriage. It involves boy wearing a white thread around the upper part of the body. The entire process is called Upanayam
- Done by the father of the bride, involves giving away the daughter to the groom chosen referred as KanyaDanam is one of the sacred custom performed by the father.
- Veekshanam is the magnificent moment when the duo- bride and the groom look at each other during act of marriage.
- Seven auspicious steps “SapthaPadhi” are taken by the twosome around the Agni, where the sacred fire is the witness of two tying the eternal vow
- Mangalasuthra Dharana is the next important step which is performed by the groom. He ties a black thread around the bride’s neck with marks of lord Shiva in it.
- The ceremony ends with Appaginthalu where daughter goes to the groom’s house forever, leaving her home of birth and starts a new life at her husband’s place.
Once the marriage is completed bride’s parent go for Ganga Snaan and return home after completing rest of the customs.
Characterized by great splendor, weddings are important functions performed with high spirits and rituals make these ceremonies livelier with several memories to relish lifelong.
Subhadra Bhadauria is a thorough writer on match making site JeevanSaathi.com. She entertains her readers with updates on matrimony rituals on various communities like Punjabi.