Marriage is said to be the most sacred ritual in India. There are different types of communities and as said we are a country of historic past and colourful culture. In our country, the best thing is that every religion people lives together and share. And when it comes to marriage then we can literally see different kinds of rituals happening in different styles, isn’t it awesome!
In today’s day most of the people of every community in India have become increasingly progressive, But when it comes to a wedding, people love to hold on to their traditions. There are some ancient types of marriage in Hindu mythology and Indians still abide by the rituals mentioned in the mythology. They try to be in touch with their roots as they are about to embark upon a vital new journey. The different types of marriages in India uphold various traditions and beliefs. These different types of rituals and unique ideas of the wedding ceremony are fun and full of laughter too.
Progress Within Tradition
It might feel weird that Indian beliefs are so rooted and they still believe in mythology, religion, and ancient traditions even today. But thankfully, most parts of the country are progressive enough to keep those rituals limited to the wedding days only. The usual Indian couple lives life freely just like they want to.
Things are getting better for the Indian youth as far as acceptance in families is concerned. Inter-caste and interstate marriages are becoming more popular. This is why the traditions are also evolving to incorporate rituals and customs from different traditions into a single wedding. Nothing speaks secular like an elaborate Indian wedding. This is so lovable when two religions or two states meet together!
Different Types of Indian Marriages
If we are talking about wedding in India so it has to be different, colourful and you will see a divergent rituals all around the country. Attending or seeing variety of marriages is really a fun and an exploring element. Some of the types we already know but some we don’t !
Let’s have a look in the most amazing list of marriages traditions which are fun to explore and it’s good to know about them gradually.
A Parsi wedding or ‘Lagan’ follow all traditions and customs of the Parsis. These rituals are very different from a typical Hindu wedding. The customs and rituals are simple but interesting because we don’t often get to attend a Parsi wedding. Bollywood too does not throw enough light on Parsi weddings. But that is better because you don’t want to develop misconceptions about something special. The Parsi wedding rituals span about a week. The wedding takes place in an agiary or in a baug. It is the fire temple, the holy temple of the Parsis. The groom goes on to the stage where the bride’s mother performs achumichu. It is a ritual where the bride’s mother circles raw eggs, rice, coconut, dates, and areca nuts and throws it over the groom’s head. She takes water and throws it on both his sides. This is a typical ritual of a Parsi wedding. This ritual follows the rest of the wedding which is unique in itself. The wedding attire of the Parsi bride and the idea of the groom dresses are different along with the unique cuisines to give treat to your taste buds. The feast is lavish and there is a lot of music, dancing, and fun.
Malayali weddings are short and simple. There is a lot of fun and chatting and rendezvous with family and friends. The weddings are fun. But the rituals are simple, which is very different from other Indian weddings. Let’s not mistake all South Indian weddings to be similar. Tamil weddings are probably the most elaborate of all Indian weddings, with the maximum number of short and long rituals to follow.
But the Malayali weddings are simple. The ceremony is called ‘velli’. The wedding takes place in the morning, contrary to most Indian weddings being held in the evenings. The groom ties a ‘thali’ around his new bride’s neck at the end of all the rituals and blessings and that is wrap up of the rituals. The fun and frolic continue.
Buddhism is one of the most accepting religions. It is the religion of peace and simplicity. Of course, not every Buddhist sect realises the purpose of Lord Buddha’s teachings. But the simplicity reflects in a typical Buddhist wedding. This is the least extravagant of all Indian weddings. Yet, the charm of a Buddhist wedding is unparalleled. It is the very simplicity that makes it so special. Just some prayers, simple rituals and vows are enough to tie two lives together if that is their intent.
Not only does a Buddhist wedding not involve a lot of money, or jewellery, and extravagant expenses. It also does not involve elaborate rituals or fixed rules. There are a few rituals like khachang and Nanchang but there is no dictated way to perform them. The bride and groom get married at a monastery. Buddhist temples are licensed to legalise marriages. So, the wedding is done quickly and that is it. There is no dictate on the wedding attires or the reception feast either.
Jain weddings have the typical Indian wedding structure in its rituals. There is a lagan lekhan, a lagna patrika vachan, and a sagai. For the wedding, there is baraati, phere, granthi bandhan, and there is kanya daan. The wedding follows ashirvaad and swah graham agaman. All these terms are self-explanatory because other Indian weddings also have them. But what sets the Jain wedding apart from everything else is the ritual of Jina Grahe Dhan Arpana. This is a custom where the families of the bride and groom offer donations to the poor after a prayer at the temple. Many people offer food and clothing to the needy on special occasions, but it is because they decide to. But a Jain wedding is incomplete without it’s after wedding rituals and the generosity and philanthropy is a part of the Jain wedding ritual.
Oriya weddings are simple and have common rituals. But there are some distinctive rituals like the pre wedding ceremony of Jayee Anukulo. This is simply the ceremony of distributing invitation cards for the wedding. Most Indian weddings don’t involve the invitations as part of the wedding rituals. Then there is the Baadua Pani Gadhua ritual where the bride takes a holy bath before the wedding. The rest is mostly all similar. Oriya weddings are quiet and simple.
Assamese weddings begin with the bride and groom’s mothers fetching holy water on the morning of the wedding day for the bride and groom to take a holy bath. The Assamese wedding too is simple. Traditionally, the feast used is as simple as a meal of rice, curd, and jaggery. But now, a lavish and elaborate feast is served. In a typical Assamese wedding, the feast comes before the wedding.
The unique ritual of Kannada weddings comes when the bride is accompanied to the mandap by her sisters. Her face is covered by a peacock feather fan. This is typical to a Kannada wedding as the betel leaf is typical to a Bengali wedding. The rituals of Dhare Herdu and Satapadi are important wedding rituals. Kannada weddings are lavish or simple, depending upon what the families involved chose to have.
Kashmiri weddings are elaborate and the rituals are pretty unique. The Kasamdry or engagement ritual follows Livun, which is a ceremonial cleaning of both, the groom’s and the bride’s houses. Other pre-wedding rituals include krool khanoon, wanvun, thaal, maenziraat, snazaroo, kanishran, and some more. The wedding involves a lavish welcome to the groom, followed by lagan and posh puza. Post wedding rituals include the bride’s vidaai followed by a warm welcome for her into her new home. Other post-wedding rituals typical to a Kashmiri wedding include phirlath, roth khabar, and ghar atchum.
Marwari weddings are extravagant throughout. The pre-wedding ceremonies, the wedding, the post-wedding ceremonies are all elaborate events in themselves.The Pithi Dastoor ritual sets the Marwari wedding apart from other Indian weddings. It is a pre-wedding ritual that continues till the wedding day itself. The usual sagaai, phere, kanya daan, are all there. In addition to those, there are mehfils and paanigrahan. Marwari weddings are marked by extravagant jewellery covering both, the bride and the groom.
Gujarati’s are always a fun loving people, with huge families they tend to celebrate each and every festivals and ritual according to the traditions. The Gujarati wedding is really grand and lengthy with a lot of rituals in it. Starting with the pre-wedding rituals, the first ritual is ‘Chandlo Mathi’ in this four male men goes to groom’s house and gifts token to him and put some vermilion on the forehead which is known as “Chandlo”. The next is ‘Gol Dhana’, it is like the engagement ceremony, it is made of coriander seeds and jaggery that signifies that the couple is hitched. With the sweets, the groom’s family visits brides house and then the rings are exchanged. Then comes the ‘Griha Shanti’ pooja and after that the mehndi ceremony, ‘sanjhi’ i.e sangeet ceremony. After that “Pithi” i.e Haldi ceremony. Next is the “Mosalu and Mameru” in which the Groom’s maternal uncle visits the brides family and gives her the gifts regarding the wedding lehengas and all the stuff. After this, the wedding starts with the ‘Ponkru’ in this the bride’s mother tries to pull the nose of the groom and he tries to evade. Followed by Madhuparkha, Antarpaat and Hasta Milap.
Punjabi weddings are full of dance and beer, Punjabis are always very energetic people. They really enjoy in the wedding season. Punjabi weddings are always full of life and food. They are the events which are never-ending ones. So starting the ritual is from the Roka and Thaka, in this bride’s family visits groom’ family and gives them gifts and the reciprocate of this gesture where groom’s family gives back the gifts, that is called Thaka. Then sagai or engagement after that the Chunni Chadai and sagun is given and then the sangeet and mehndi celebration takes place. The Wedding ceremony starts with the ‘Jago’ in which families woke up till late night and a brass and copper Khada is decorated with clay lamps and the maternal aunts take the vessel on their head and another lady will try to shake or drop it with the long stick in which bells are attached. Gana bandhana, a sacred thread is tied on the wrists of the bride and groom in their respective houses after the puja. Then Chooda Chadhna and then Haldi ceremony is taken place. And then the proper wedding happens at last.
Another wedding in India is really amazing to watch. Maharashtrian wedding has one of the unique and different rituals to perform and are so sweet and cute just like there first ceremony of Sakhar Puda, in this the bride’s family and groom’s family apply haldi on the forehead of the respective and give them sweets and savoury and gifts and then the engagement ceremony takes place. The kelvan is performed after this ritual and the wedding date announcement. It’s the puja of kuldevta which is taken place before the wedding. After that, the haldi ceremony is performed, in both the families. Then on the wedding day, the rituals start from Ganapati puja and the Punyavachan, in this the bride’s parents take her to the wedding venue and asks all the people to bless their daughter. Then Antarpaat, where a cloth is put in between the couple before the varmala. Then the Sankalp and then the wedding rituals as per Maharashtrian tradition is done one by one.
Another wedding is Bengali wedding, the beauty of Bong girls and the amazing and sweet rituals which are performed. Starting from the ritual of placing the ‘Mangal Ghat’ or clay vessels which are decorated very spiritually. Then there is one Ai Buro Bhat, where bride and groom are given the traditional Bengali thali at the midnight, which remarks as the last night of unmarried people in their respective family. Then the haldi ceremony and the Aalta for the bride. On the day of the wedding, the bride is brought on the small seating table carried by her brothers and she covers her face with the Pan leaves and she removes it when she comes in front of the groom. Then the midnight ceremony of keeping the couple awake after marriage in the room full of cousins, after that in the morning ‘Bidai’. After this, the post marriage on the groom’s place begins for a while.
The Christian wedding is really elegant and simple. Starting from the roce ceremony where instead of Haldi, coconut paste is applied and then everyone just celebrates the whole moment. Followed by the Bachelor party. After this, there is a wedding where bride wear white gown with veil covering her face and walking through the aisle with her father. It is really amazing and then the father of a church resides the prayers and vows on which couple repeat it and then the engagement takes place and they get married. After the marriage, the reception party takes place.
Muslim weddings are really unique and fun to watch. There are many rituals in it which are really interesting to know. The wedding starts with the pre-wedding celebrations and the first one is ‘The Mangni’ i.e engagement. After the rings are exchanged, the groom family gifts the bride many things. Next ritual is like the Haldi ceremony but it is called ‘Manjha Ceremony’, the bride wears yellow attire and the turmeric is applied to her followed by celebrations. Traditionally after this ritual, the bride and groom are not allowed to step out. Then Mehndi and after that ‘Sanchaq’ where grooms family sends the dress and jewellery and many more gifts to the bride. And Final is the Wedding Night where the ‘Qazi’ asks both the parties for a Yes or No and the word is “Qubool hai”. After this, the bride and groom are covered together under a veil and they see each other in the mirror. The last ritual is Reception which is organised by the family.
These are the 15 most divergent marriages in India. They uphold the Indian marriage traditions but each of these weddings has a unique touch to their own rituals. Amazing ceremonies and different styles, this is what which brings is a country more diverse. There is a lot more to know about each of these types of Indian weddings. There are lesser-known facts about each tradition. They make these traditions interesting and worthy of carrying forward. So anytime you found any situation of attending a marriage with different culture, so just enjoy the rituals and experience the different traditions.
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