A splendid affair, marriages in Kashmir is one of the most flamboyant and ostentatious ones practiced in India. Having its own charm and luster, the huge list of rituals observed before and after the Kashmiri marriage makes it a prolonged affair. Similar to the Hindu marriage, in Kashmiri wedding, a purohit plays a major role in the wedding ceremony. He performs the rituals in front of a sacred fire. Apart from the traditional rituals, ceremonies and customs, the marriage offer a time of family union for the Kashmiri’s. To get detail information about the traditional wedding ceremonies and rituals performed on the D-Day, browse through the following lines.
Kashmiri Wedding Rituals
The friends and close relatives help the bride and groom in getting ready for their special day. The paternal uncle of the groom assists the boy in draping the gordastar (turban). Peacock feather is tied to the gordastar using gold thread. Before the groom's marriage procession leave for the bride's house, the groom is made to stand on a vyog (a beautiful pattern made from rice flour and colors). The boy is fed nabad (sugar lumps). To declare the announcement of the boy's departure, a conch shell is blown. Two rice pots are taken in which some money is kept. These are distributed among the poor people.
Receiving The Marriage Procession
When the marriage procession reaches the doorsteps of the bride's house, the guests are given a warm welcome by the bride's family and close relatives. The arrival of the marriage procession is declared by blowing a conch shell. The bride's maternal uncle leads the bride and groom to the vyog. The eldest female family member gives nabad to the couple. Two rice pots are given as alms to the poor. Thereafter, the purohit takes the couple to the door, where dwar puja is performed. The to-be wedded couple is then taken to the lagan mandap.
The Wedding Ceremony
The purohit conducts the wedding ceremony rituals in front of the sacred fire. An important ritual is aathwas, in which the bride and groom are asked to cross their arms and hold each other's hands. A cloth is used to cover their hands. As per the Kashmiri folklore, the one who is able to take out the engagement ring of the other first will rule the household. Thereafter, a golden thread is taken and tied to their foreheads. The couple is asked to place their right foot on a kajwat or grinding stone. Thereafter, the couple takes their first phera by stepping on seven one-rupee coins. In totality there are seven pheras. At the end of the wedding ceremony, the newly weds feed some rice to each other.
The newly wedded couple is made to stand on the beautifully decorated vyog. Then the eldest female member of the family comes forward and offers nabad to the couple three times. Thereafter, she kisses them on the forehead. The bride is then seated in the doli or palanquin. The friends and relatives of the bride bid her tearful good bye, as she leaves to start a new journey with her life partner.
Welcoming The Newly-Weds
The groom's eldest aunt refuses to let the couple make an entry into the house, until she gets cash or jewelry. The couple is then taken to the vyog, where they are offered nabad by the groom's eldest aunt. Also, she kisses them on the forehead. To welcome the newly weds, a pair of pigeons is set free. The next part of ceremony involves the exchange of mananmal tied on the forehead. Thereafter, the groom's aunt leads the couple to the kitchen, where they are made to sit on the mud stove. Delicious food is served to them by the aunt. After they've had their food, the bride wears the clothes presented to her by her in-laws.