The tying of nuptial knot in the traditional Bengali style entails an elaborate and long affair, with series of colorful and charming rituals. Since wedding is a significant occasion in one's life, the day is organized in one of the most elegant ways, which makes a Bengali wedding a very special one to look forward to. The rituals truly mesmerize the spectator and leave him/her with only one thought in mind - Bengali wedding is truly amazing! In this article, we have described the Bengali wedding rituals observed by the Bengali people all over India.
Bengali Wedding Customs
Welcoming The Groom
When the marriage procession of the groom (with ringing of bells, blowing of conch shells and ululation) arrives at the doorsteps of the bride’s residence, they are greeted with fresh flowers. An elderly female relative of the bride holds the baran dala. The plate is first touched to the groom's forehead, then to the ground. Thereafter, it is touched back again to his forehead. The groom is then given sweets and sherbet. As the groom enters the bride’s house, rosewater is sprinkled on him.
Shubho Drishti Ritual
After the groom is welcomed by the bride's family, he is brought to the mandap, where the wedding is conducted. Meanwhile, the bride is carried to the mandap in a piri, accompanied by four of her friends. When all these are done, the bride keeps her eyes hidden with a beetle leaf that she holds in her palm. She is then rotated seven times around the groom and then placed in front of him. Now, the bride and the groom face each other for the first time during the wedding. It is wonderful to see bride blushing, when she peeps through the beetle leaf, which she holds in her palm, to have a glimpse of her significant half. This is called the shubho drishti ritual of Bengali wedding.
Mala Badal Ceremony
The shubho drishti ritual is followed by the mala badal ceremony, wherein the bride and the groom exchange flower garlands for three times, while the purohit chants the mantras (to conduct the wedding).
Saat Paak & Sampradhan
As a part of Saat Paak ritual, the bride is made to sit on a low wooden stool called pidi that is lifted by her brothers. Thereafter, the paternal or maternal uncle of the bride gives her away, which is known as 'sampradhan'. Now, the groom chants the mantra along with the priest. The girl is taken around the groom in circles seven times. It signifies their union.