People’s trust in the institution of marriage is unbreakable irrespective of the country they live in, the religion they follow, and the community they belong to even in the 21st century.
Hindu weddings and a number of ceremonies that took place before, during, and post-wedding represent the exuberance of people celebrating culture-rich festivities. Hindu weddings are intricately planned events that last for days. Relatives play vital roles not just in adding fun and vibrancy to the environment but also in performing rituals.
List of Hindu Pre and Post Wedding Ceremonies
|Sr.||Hindu Pre Wedding Ceremonies||Hindu Post Wedding Ceremonies|
|1||Roka/Shagun Ceremony||Vidaai Ceremony|
|2||Engagement Ceremony||Dwar Rokai Ceremony|
|3||Mehandi Ceremony||Griha Pravesh Ceremony|
|4||Sangeet Ceremony||Mooh Dikhai Ceremony|
|5||Tilak Or Shagun Ceremony||Reception Ceremony|
|6||Haldi Ceremony||Pag Phera Ceremony|
That’s why Indian weddings, especially Hindu wedding ceremonies, are called intimate events. There is a lot to talk about and enjoy in Indian weddings, however, there is so much more to know about typical Hindu marriage ceremonies. Let’s jump into the depth of Hindu pre and post-wedding ceremonies.
Hindu Pre-Wedding Ceremonies
1. Roka/Shagun Ceremony
Roka or Shagun is a process of exchanging sweets, fruits, dry fruits, and clothes between a couple’s families. This event marks the consent of both families and the couple about their decision to get married. This ritual is also considered the first official step towards the new beginnings of life. In some parts of India, a small puja also takes place with the help of a priest. This ceremony usually takes place in front of close-knit family members.
2. Engagement Or Ring Exchange Ceremony
Unlike western culture, an engagement ceremony in India, especially in Hindu families, is like a public announcement that the two souls have decided to marry each other. With the acceptance of marriage proposals, the exchange of rings between the couple usually happens in a private event amid close family members of both families.
However, the engagement ring is worn on the index finger just like western culture, but people from the community still practice old traditions of celebrating the event such as presenting gifts to ‘the would-be bride and groom,’ sweets, and other gifts, including return gifts to all the guests. A feast is also thrown with delicious cuisines and sweets. These days, dance performances and couple dances have become highly popular among many families.
3. Mehandi Ceremony
Mehandi or Henna represents growth, harmony, and freshness. It is the reason, the mehndi ceremony is held the night before the wedding and is beautifully applied to the hands and legs of the bride. In some families, the groom’s hands are also beautifully filled with henna designs. The purpose behind the ceremony is to wish the couple good health and prosperity.
Not only this, females of the house also apply henna designs on their hands. Earlier, the girls of the family took the responsibility of prep for the ceremony. These days, henna artists are called for the ceremony. One of the interesting things is that henna artists hide the groom’s name in henna design applied over the bride’s hands that the groom has to figure out later.
4. Sangeet Ceremony
Sangeet ceremony takes place before or after the Mehandi according to the rituals of different parts of India. Sangeet was initially a part of the engagement, but it is taking place separately nowadays.
All the relatives and guests dance with joy, and every one blesses the groom and bride for their bright married life. The sangeet function is commonly happening in a few parts of north India, but it is slowly expanding its legs over South Indian weddings. Those having a wedding planner will have a perfect sangeet function. The planners arrange dance performances having everyone a part of it.
5. Tilak Or Shagun Ceremony
Tilak or shagun ceremony is the first step of bond making between the two families. This auspicious ceremony generally takes place at the groom’s house, and the elderly male members from the bride side visit the groom’s residence.
Then the bride’s father put kumkum or vermilion on the groom’s head. Also, there are different variations in the tilak ceremony across the country. However, this is the most commonly witnessed. Apart from this, music and dance also takes place across the country.
6. Haldi Ceremony
Haldi function is the most fun-oriented ceremony in an Indian wedding. One can find different rituals that happen in various parts of the country in the Haldi ceremony. The thick turmeric paste of Haldi is applied to the bride in the morning before the wedding. In north India and few other parts of India, the Haldi ceremony happens after the Mehandi night.
Applying haldi brightens the skin by detoxifying the skin of the bride and groom for the big day, and the yellow color indicates purity and glowing health. In some parts of the nation, the bride and groom with all the relatives wear yellow colored dresses on that day. As per the beliefs, yellow color stands for prosperity and goodwill and invites happiness in newlyweds’ lives.
Hindu Post-Wedding Ceremonies
7. Vidaai Ceremony
Vidai is an emotional moment for the bride and her family. It indicates the end of the wedding function. The bride throws five handfuls of rice grains back to their family to show that she has paid whatever she got from her maternal home. The throwing back of rice doesn’t take place in every part of India.
As the bride leaves her house, father and brothers push the vehicle in which the bride sits to move to be welcomed in a new home, symbolizes a helping gesture of love towards the bride. The post-wedding functions are renowned with different names across the country with the same feelings.
8. Dwar Rokai Ceremony
The dwar rokai ceremony is commonly happening in northern parts of India. It takes place when the bride comes to the groom’s home after vidai. The sisters block the entry of a newlywed couple to enter into the house and confront the wish of getting gifts from the groom in exchange of allowing him to enter the house with his wife. There is a little light-hearted argument that takes place, and everyone enjoys the moment.
9. Griha Pravesh Ceremony
After the dwar rokai, the bridal griha pravesh ceremony takes place. The bride is allowed in the house with all respect and joyful hearts. A small arti also takes place. The bride then pushes the jar/kalash full of rice with the right toe and then enters the house. This moment specifies that the family has not only allowed her in, but also accepted her as a family member.
10. Mooh Dikhai Ceremony
Mooh Dikhayi ceremony is the crucial post-wedding affair. The relatives get to see the bride and offer gifts like gold or silver ornaments to her. Especially the groom’s mother offers gold or presents as a token of love and welcome.
11. Reception Ceremony
The reception function is the official introduction of the bride to the groom’s family. A feast is thrown by the groom’s family that welcomes the family of the bride as well as all significant people from the community and neighborhood. These days, music and dance have become a common part of the reception ceremony.
12. Pag Phera Ceremony
The pag phera takes place after the wedding chaos ends. The bride is taken to her maternal home by her brothers, where she stays there for a few days. After that, the groom visits her at her maternal home to take her wife back to his home. The couple receives gifts from the bride’s father as shagun. This marks the end of the three-day-long auspicious wedding ceremonies and a new beginning for the couple as married people.
Hindu weddings and their ceremonies are full of rituals, fun, and emotions. It’s a moment where two families form a strong bond. The above-mentioned post and pre-wedding ceremonies in Hindu families may differ from region to region but the joy of celebration and feelings remain the same.