Bengali weddings in India: Know about one of the most vibrant cultures and their wedding
India is a land of various cultures and religions with each of them following their different rites and rituals of weddings. Bengali weddings come in colours, companionship and charm. It is a perfect amalgamation of rituals which are a visual delight filled with colours and liveliness. Here are some primary rituals and traditions that are a part of a Bengali wedding.
After the couple approves each other as life partners, their families arrange a get-together where a priest is called. The priest matches their horoscope and decides the wedding day. Once the date is finalised, gifts are exchanged between the two families.
This ritual is a sign of acceptance of the groom and bride by their in-laws. The bride’s family goes to the groom’s house to shower their blessings and vice versa. Rice is then sprinkled over the would-be couple.
This is an important ritual as it is the last meal of a wedding at her parental house. She is fed rice, fish and number of fresh vegetables. Close relatives and friends gather at the bride’s home and shower her with gifts. Guests sing and dance out of joy. On the other hand, the groom takes his last meal at his place as a bachelor.
In this ritual, the groom’s family visits the bride where she is gifted with a lot of things as it is a part of the routine. The gifts include new saree, fish, beauty products and many more traditionally essential items.
Bride and groom eat a mixture of curd, rice flakes, banana and sweets. They are fed before sunrise because that is the last day of the meal as they will be having a fast until the wedding rituals are over.
Bride and Groom, along with few married women, go to the nearby pond to get the blessing of Goddess Ganga. The bride and groom bring home a pitcher of water from the lake.
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Similar to the Haldi ceremony, turmeric paste and oil is applied to the groom’s body by his mother and close relatives. The remaining haldi is kept in a silver bowl and sent to the bride’s house, and the same ritual is repeated at her place. They are supposed to bathe and get ready for the wedding ceremony.
In this, seven married women make the bride wear white bangles followed by red. The white bracelets are called Sankha and red is Pola. After this, the bride gets ready for the wedding.
The groom starts from his house and seeking the blessings for his mother, sits in a decorated car. A few friends and family accompany the groom. The people with the groom are called Bor Jatri. The Groom and Bor jatri are welcomed by the bride’s family and are greeted by an aarti.
In this ritual, the groom receives gifts from the bride’s uncle after he sits in the mandap. This mandap is also known as Chadnatolla. The awards include new clothes which can be worn during wedding rituals. These clothes are also known as Potto Bostro.
This is a beautiful ceremony that can be seen only in a Bengali wedding. While entering the mandap, the bride is not allowed to see the groom, so her eyes are covered with beetle leaves. She is carried to the mandap on a small stool called pidi by her brothers. Her brothers walk around the groom 7 times. This is called Saat Paak. After these seven rounds, the bride and groom can see each other. This is called Shubho Drishti.
In this ritual, the groom and bride exchange their garlands. A fun element is added when relatives carry them up, making it difficult for them to reach each other to exchange garlands. This ritual symbolises that they accept each other as life partners.
The couple sits in the mandap while the person who performed potto bostro ties the groom and bride’s hand with a holy thread as the priest delivers Vedic mantras.
The place where the priest delivers the Vedic mantras is called ‘Yantra’. The priest ties a knot between the bride’s saree and groom’s shawl. Then they are supposed to revolve around the holy fire seven times while uttering seven sacred vows, which is called Saptapadi. The bride also needs to touch seven soparis kept on seven pan leaves with her toes.
The puffed rice, which is offered to the bride and groom by the bride’s brother, is being provided to the holy fire.
The Groom applies sindoor at bride’s hair parting and covers the bride’s head with Ghomta (new cloth). This ritual states the end of the marriage ceremony.
This ritual refers to the departure of the couple from the bride’s place. The bride throws a handful of rice without turning. This is usually an emotional event. Daughters are considered as a resemblance of Goddess Laxmi so by throwing the rice; daughter prays for the prosperity of her parental house.
The bride enters the in law’s house. The vehicle which carried the newlyweds to the house is appropriately washed with water. The bride needs to step on a plate which contains red lac dye and milk. She enters the house by leaving her footprints on white fabric cloth.
This is the first night of the bride in her new house where she is not allowed to sleep with the groom. They have to sleep in different rooms.
This is the first morning of the bride in her new house. The groom presents the bride with a new saree and other gifts and promises her that he will take care of her whole life. The bride makes food for the groom and family. This first meal prepared by the bride is called Bau Bhaat.
This is the first night of the bride and groom as husband and wife. The room is decorated with flowers, and the bride wears new saree and flower ornaments.
Bengali wedding is truly a visual treat. With its ancient charms still around, do not miss a chance to witness a Bengali wedding up and close. Who knows, you might want your dulha in a perfect Bengali Babu!
Updated On30 June, 2020
Updated On30 June, 2020
Updated On30 June, 2020
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