Proud of their cultural heritage, the Bengalis in India organize their wedding in a unique way and mark the culmination of the ceremony in their own impressive style. The rituals conducted post-wedding is divided into three broad phases, wherein the bride departs her maternal home and joins her groom, to settle down in the latter's home and start a new life there. The Bengali post-marriage ceremonies are very charming to look at. At times, they fill the spectator's eyes with tears, especially when the bride bids goodbye to her maternal home. If you want to know more about the Bengali post-wedding rituals, then go through the following lines.
Bengali Post-Wedding Customs
Bidaai, the highly emotional ceremony, is conducted soon after the nuptial knot is tied. As the bride steps out of her maternal home, she throws a handful of rice over her head, into her mother's aanchal. This gesture indicates that the bride has repaid all the debts to her mother and that she wishes prosperity to her maternal home, as she departs to prosper her man's life.
After bidaai, it is the time to bid a warm welcome to the newly wed, at the groom's place. The bride enters the groom's house after dipping her feet in a thali containing alta (red color) and milk. After the feet of the bride are imprinted on the floor of the house, her sister-in-law takes her into her new house. She is then presented with the traditional red and ivory bangles, which symbolizes that by now, she is a married woman. She is also presented with a metal bangle called loha, which she should wear for the rest of her life.
On the next morning after wedding, the groom applies vermilion on his wife’s forehead. Thereafter, the newly wed couple visits the mandap, where they worship the Sun God. The purohit is also present at this time.
Bou Baran ritual is performed to give a warm welcome to the newly wed in the groom’s house. The female members of the house pour water under the vehicle, when the couple boards it. The groom's elder brother's wife takes a plate containing lac dye and milk and places it under the bride's feet. After the bride's feet are imprinted on the floor of the house, she is lead to the house. The elders of the house shower blessings on the newly wed couple.
Bharan Poshan & Bahubhaat
The bou baran ritual is followed by a welcome meal at the groom's house, when he offers a plate containing sweets and a sari to the bride, to symbolize that hereafter; he would take care and satisfy all her needs. The bride then prepares a rice dish, the ceremony that is known as bahubhaat, in order to serve the family. This custom symbolizes that she has finally entered into the family, as one of its member.
An interesting Bengali post-wedding ritual is the kaal ratri, which is conducted on the second night after the wedding. According to the tradition, the bride and the groom are not allowed even to look at each other, during kaal ratri.
Dira gaman is a ritual wherein the newly wed couple visits the bride's house, for the first time after the wedding. It is this time, when the thread, which was tied on the wrist of the bride by the purohit during the wedding, is formally cut. This auspicious occasion is marked by the blowing of conch shells, accompanied by ululation.
Phool Shojja and Suhaag Raat
The culmination of the wedding is marked by phool shojja and the suhaag raat. Phool shojja means the decoration of the bride and groom's bedroom with flowers.