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Sunday, 22 April 2012

Best India Marriage Blog




Wedding Traditions

An Indian Hindu wedding is strictly observed according to the ancient cultural norms laid down in the Vedas. In the Indian society a wedding is not just the coming together of two people rather two souls. In fact, a wedding also brings two families closer, which thereafter share a bond of respect and affection. As a result, there are a number of traditions and customs associated with the Indian Hindu wedding ceremony. These traditions are the essence of the marital institution, thereby strengthening the significance, chastity and faith in the same.

Kanyadaan
The complexity of an Indian Hindu marriage is owing to the fact that there are many rituals performed according to Vedic practices and hymns. Kanyadaan is also such a ritual, which apart from being vital to the ceremony, tugs at the emotional cord of the bride's parents.

Mangalsutra
In Hindu weddings, one of the most sacred customs is of tying mangalsutra. It is basically a black and gold beaded necklace with a gold or diamond pendant. Mangalsutra carries immense importance in Hindu weddings as well as in the lives of Hindu married women.



Seven Vows
An Indian marriage is one of the most serious and scared affair in the society. This is visible from the austerity with which it is performed. A Hindu marriage in particular is all about rituals and customs. There are a number of them which are followed before and after wedding, making it an elaborate ceremony.

Solah Shringar
Solah shringar are the sixteen adornments of an Indian Hindu bride, which contribute to her complete beautification. Wedding has always been a fantasy for every girl. It is a dream, she is born with and wishes to realize with utmost care and precision.


Wedding Barat
Barat is one of the most fun filled traditions in the entire wedding ceremony. It is basically the procession, which proceeds from the house of the groom, towards the wedding venue. The procession is attended by the all the relatives and friends from the groom's side.

Significance of Indian Marriages


Ceremony

India is diverse in its cultural and religious structure, and each culture have their peculiar nuance within the large framework of the wedding ceremony. Fire and the vows are the basic of all weddings. The change lies in the method of performance of the ceremony.

From its initial simplicity, the wedding ceremony became complicated and long drawn affair. Today, a marriage is perhaps the most important social occasion for any family, reflecting the regional color that overlays the basic Vedic rites.

The customs during the wedding ceremony in India are varied and reflect the vast diversity of cultures of the land. The cultures have influenced each other with mutual borrowing of practices.

The Preparation

On the wedding morn the bride and groom are prepared for the final plunge, amids joy and festivities by the many members of the family.

Their bodies are anointed with turmeric, sandalwood paste and oils, which cleanse the body, soften the skin, and make it aromatic. They are then bathed to the chanting of Vedic mantras. Today this is done symbolically, if at all, with a token application of turmeric, sandal wood, and oil on the face and arms, this is fallowed by the holy bath.

The bride and groom are now bedecked in all their finery un-rivelled in daily life.


The Mandapam

An altar or mandapa is erected at the marriage venue within which the ceremonial rites are conducted. The wedding ceremony comprises of a series rituals that are presided over and conducted by the ordained priests.


Symbol of Marriage

In the north and east India, the ritual of applying vermilion powder, to the parting of the bride's hair signifies the culmination of the wedding. The groom uses his wedding ring dipped in vermilion powder to trace a line from the start of his brides hairline to the crown of her head.

The ceremony end with the couple seeking the blessing of the elders and are greeted by all present. The bride is than ritually sent off to her new family, in certain customs at this point the brides undergoes a name change as a symbol of shedding her old ties and adorning her new family.

When the bride arrives at her new home, she is ritually welcomed by her mother-in-law and she is ceremonially ushered into the house. She takes care to enter with the auspicious right foot first, gently kicking over a strategically placed measure of paddy as an augury of plenty for her new family.

In modern times post the ritual rig-ma-role the couple through all relationships out the window and head out to the joy of honey-mooning.

The Wedding Ensambelage

She is on this day not just a princess but as goddess, goddess Lakshmi – the harbinger of prosperity and happiness.

Each region of the country has reserved the finest for this day. Radiant in splendor and finery from the head to foot, adorned in ancestral and modern jewelry, the bride is beauty personified.

The groom is the prince of the occasion dressed in the richest traditional attire or the finest in western designs, he is the master of the occasion and figure of power and strength.


The Rituals

The traditional meaning of the varmala (mutual garlanding by the couple) is a proposal made by the bride and thence the acceptance of the proposal. This custom has become a very important part of the wedding ceremony now but is not mentioned in the Vedas. It probably originates from the Svayamvara practice prevalent in early centuries of the Christian era in India. A classic case in history is the famous story of Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Sanyukta.

After this, the bride and groom sit in the mandapa next to each other before a sacred pyre or havan kunda. The ritual of Kanyadana now takes place. The bride is given to the groom by her father, or by her grandfather or brother in the absence of her father. The bride's father first symbolically gives her to God, invoked by the priest with the mantras. The bride's guardian takes her hands and places them in the groom's, transferring his responsibility for her to the groom. The groom assures her father that he will not be false to her in dharma, artha, or kama. After this, the groom ties a tali (a.k.a. Mangalasutra) around the bride's neck.

The marriage ceremony then enters its most important phase, the saptapadi (seven steps), in which the couple take seven steps together, facing the north. With the fire (Agni) as the witness, they exchange the wedding vows. Legally, the marriage is now final and binding. The bride is then sprinkled with holy water, believed to purify her from any previous sins and cleanse her, in preparation for her new life ahead.

The Legends

Legend goes that during the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati, Shiva asked Parvati to come to his left after the agni pradakshina, symbolizing that they had been married. Parvati said she would not accept this as a marriage until Shiva granted her seven wishes. Shiva did so, and then made seven stipulations, which Parvati accepted, and the seven steps are supposed to have derived from this.

The Gandharva Vivaha (the marriage of the celestials) involves simple exchange of garlands upon with the marriage is confirmed. We find references of this type of wedding in Hindu mythologies and epics. This is equivalent of eloping in today's world, and couples whose union is not blessed by families seek refuge in this custom.

It is said that the thought of another woman as a wife never occurred to Ramachandra (see Lord Ramachandra of Ayodhya) who is considered the perfect man, and widely worshiped in India, and the devotees (most notably Mahatma Gandhi) try to emulate him. The strong tradition of monogamy in India perhaps has roots in the Hindu epic of Ramayana.


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