Gujrati wedding rituals

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Published: 02nd June 2010
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Indian weddings are characterised by ostentatious celebrations and grandiose. A grand affair for the individuals involved, marriage in Indian culture is an appropriate occasion to uphold familial as well as cultural traditions, epitomising the union of the bride and the groom.

The state of Gujarat boasts of a land of vibrancy and liveliness, which exemplifies the vivacity and sprit of life. The Gujarati culture is an epitome of gaiety and fervour, instilling in its people vigour and exhilaration towards life. This attitude of the community spills to the matrimonial rituals that the Gujaratis follow. The Gujarati weddings are a magnificent example of extreme pomp and show, elaborate festivities and scrumptious cuisines. The wedding ceremonies comprise of vibrant and colourful clothing, beautiful dances, picturesque and grand ambience.

Amidst other cultural wedding practices, Gujarati marriages display the performance of various poojas, and other interesting and diverse traditional practices.

A typical Gujarati wedding begins with a sagai or an engagement, which refers to the formal approval of the union between the Guajarati bride and the groom. The other ceremonies prior to the wedding are Pithi, Mehndi and Mandap Muharat. A Grihshanti Pooja for domestic peace and prosperity is also performed prior to wedding. A night before wedding, the graceful Garba dance is performed which fills the atmosphere of the marriage venue with vibrancy and enthusiasm.

The Gujarati wedding rituals also comprise of the traditional practices of Jaimala, Varmala, Kanya Daan and Mangal Phera that are celebrated apart from the exclusive Gujarati matrimonial customs of Madhuparka, Hastamilaap, Saubhagyavati Bhava and Chero Pakaryo.

The Madhuparka ceremony comprises of the custom of the washing of the groom's feet, along with serving him honey and milk as a token of love. This is accompanied with the ritual of the bride's sisters stealing away the groom's shoes, which is known as 'Juta Churai'.

This ceremony is followed by the practices of Kanya Agamana and Kanya Daan, which are followed by a ritual called 'Hasta Milap'. This ritual holds a lot of significance as it symbolises the ultimate union of the bride and the groom with the tying of the knot and the subsequent chanting of mantras by the priest who solemnises the wedding. This is followed by 'Mangal Pheras', which are the rounds taken by the couple around the sacred fire. The marriage finally comes to culmination with the practices of Saubhagyavati Bhava and Chero Pakaryo, after which the wedded couple seeks 'Shubha Ashirwad' or the gracious blessings of the elders of their families.

Ethnicity is the key for Gujarati marriage rituals. Beginning from their attire, their cuisines, to their wedding ambience, the wedding practices emblematize the richness of Gujarati culture and heritage. Extremely rooted to their traditional ethics, the Gujaratis adorn the matrimonial celebrations with typical Gujarati fancies, elaborating the vivacity and exhilaration prevalent in their community.

Replete with gaiety and frolic, the Gujarati wedding rituals are enriched with exuberance and enthusiasm. The culture that itself stands an epitome of cheerfulness and vitality symbolises the vigour in its wedding customs which are an event of great celebration and grandeur for the community.

The unique blend of traditions and ingenuousness is something which makes Gujarati weddings a sheer delight.

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