Weddings are once in a lifetime affair for us. We all eagerly wait to be a part of a wedding ceremony now and then. The Garhwali wedding ceremony is full of enthusiasm and joy. Here we are presenting you the 15 well-known rituals or customs that exclusively happen in Garhwal (Region of Uttarakhand).

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List of Garhwali Pre-Wedding Rituals

  1. Arsa Making
  2. Keertan
  3. Baand Snaan Or Haldi Haath
  4. Bhiksha
  5. Dal Pakodi Making
  6. The Mehandi Night
  7. Sehrah Bandhayi
  8. Shehrah Bhenth

List of Garhwali Post-Wedding Rituals

  1. Dan
  2. Bidai
  3. Dehli Adna
  4. Sasu Bhenth
  5. The Reception
  6. Dhara Pujan
  7. Dunroj

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Garhwali Pre and Post Wedding Rituals

Garhwali Pre-Wedding Ceremony Rituals

Garhwali (Kumaoni) Bride Groom Traditional Wedding Dress
Garhwali (Kumaoni) Bride Groom Traditional Wedding Dress | IMAGE SOURCE: Facebook

1. Arsa Making

Arsha is a local sweet dish that is compulsory to make. Locals and relatives play a crucial part in the arsa making process. One has to decide the day when the arsa making procedure will take place. With the help of villagers and guests, the whole ceremony takes place.

Additionally, the master in the art of arsa making is the ones who predominantly gets the invitation. The arsa making procedure starts from a day before. From soaking rice to grinding it, melting jaggery, frying, the whole process is a mesmerizing feeling to watch.

2. Keertan

Keertan is the Garhwali pre-wedding affair that is inclusively about women doing bhajans of ma Durga. It is totally up to them when they want keertan to happen.

It generally takes place during the day or evening where the people remember God and pray for the healthy going wedding. Also, the women give their blessings to the bride/groom for their better-married life ahead.

3. Baand Snaan Or Haldi Haath

Before the band snaan ritual, the homemade Haldi is crush and crumped in a fine texture. Close relatives come and do their part in the Haldi making process. The whole scenario takes place with all customs and the involvement of panditji.

The band snan is the official ceremony that indicates the initiation of the Garhwal wedding ceremony. Everyone gives the band to the bride/groom and applies the Haldi, followed by the bath or snaan. Puja takes place afterward, having a mother, aunties, and close relatives in it.

Once the puja is complete, the maternal uncle picks up the bride in arms and take her to the puja room. This ritual especially takes place in the presence of the maternal uncle.

4. Bhiksha

Only the groom does the bhiksha ceremony where he put on the dhoti and a laathi just like a monk. He moves door to door and asks for ration as a bhiksha. The close family members offer rice or wheat along with shagun.

5. Dal Pakodi Making

Dal pakodi making is the mandatory ritual that takes place before the Mehandi night, in the evening. Urad dal is the main ingredient that is soaked in water a few days before.

All the villagers are considering to be an integral part of the ceremony. Sweet puris are cook along with the dal pakodi. Pakodi and arsa are then sent to the in-law’s house and distributed among the villagers as a prasad.

6. The Mehandi Night

It might be called a cocktail but, for us, it’s a Mehandi night, where the bride and groom apply Mehandi. A feast takes place for the guests and the villagers. Along with the food and clicking several pictures, dancing to garhwali songs is something we enjoy a lot.

7. Sehrah Bandhayi

The next morning, on the wedding day, the pandit put the sehrah on the groom with all due customs and rituals. For the bride, there is no such ritual on the initiation of the wedding.

8. Shehrah Bhenth

Shehrah bhenth is the custom, especially for the groom. All the guests put the currency note mala on the groom as a token of love and congratulation. After that, the Barat gets ready to reach the venue.

Garhwali Post-Wedding Ceremony Rituals

9. Dan

Just after the Jai mala and the pheras, dan takes place where the couple sits, and guests offer gifts, shagun, and especially gold accessories to the bride. The dan is predominantly for the bride’s side.

10. Bidai

After the busy wedding day, the Barat comes back to the groom’s place, and the bride gets bidai from her home.

11. Dehli Adna

After the Barat arrives home, the sister blocks the entry gate where all the puja will take place. The sisters ask for a shagun from the bride to facilitate their entry. Hence, Dehli adna is one of the fun rituals of Garhwal.

12. Sasu Bhenth

In this particular ceremony, the bride is to introduced to the elderly family members and close relatives. The family and relatives offer gold ornaments to the bride as a muh dikhayi, and in turn, the bride gives clothes to them as a bhenth or a gift.

13. The Reception

The ceremony where all the guests come together has food, dance, and whatnot. The bride officially gets a chance to introduce herself to the family and guests. Additionally, a feast is arranged for the villagers as well.

14. Dhara Pujan

Lastly, the next day, the bride goes for the dhara pujan. Dhara is the place where the family takes to water. The pandit recites mantras followed by prasad distribution.
Just after it, the bride makes the entry in the kitchen by making a sweet dish as a token of new beginnings in the house. Elderly members bless her with money as shagun.

15. Dunroj

2 or 3 days after the wedding, the bride is supposed to go back to her maternal home as a ritual. She, along with her partner, visit there and come back a few days later.

Under the same ritual, the bride comes along with her dearest and nearest family men, who receive top-notch hospitality at her in-law’s place. Hence, the post Garhwali wedding comes to an end.

Conclusion

Wedding being an internal affair, people seem to gaga when it comes to garhwali wedding. Garhwali wedding ceremony is a joyful and full of rituals affair to attend. From having numerous guests and a three-day big feast, everyone feels the wedding close to their heart.

Being born in Devbhoomi (Uttarakhand), no one can imagine a dull custom less wedding. After all, Garhwalis do everything with full dedication and love. One can see the reflection of brotherhood among the people and ease of doing a task with a big smile.