Hindu marriages signify customs, rituals and elaborate celebrations and are full of fun and frolic. Indian weddings speak volumes of the rich culture, heritage and ethnicity of the country. Every region follows its own traditions customs and rituals for the wedding. A wedding is an important religious ceremony in the Hindu religion and one of the most important of the sixteen Hindu sanskars or sacraments. It is not only establishing the bond between two people, but also the bond between two families. Hindu weddings are usually hosted by the bride's parents and take place at a common place, decided by both the bride and groom's family. Generally, the marriage ceremonies take place at an open space, under a decorated canopy called mandap.
Hindu Marriage Ceremony
Talking about the varied customs and rituals followed, Hindu weddings extend up to four to five days. The ceremonies practiced are essentially divided into three parts - pre wedding customs, wedding day ceremony and post wedding rituals. The rituals and customs performed in each of the three phases have a deep significance and meaning. The pre wedding celebrations mainly includes engagement, sangeet, mehendi, haldi and tilak. Coming to the wedding day ceremonies, it involves different traditional rituals, each having its own meaning and role. One of the most important rituals of Hindu wedding is the seven rounds or sapta padi taken together, around the sacred fire, by the bride and the groom, while the seven vows or promise are read by the priest or purohit.
The bride and the bride groom take the vows before God, symbolized by fire and light. These seven promises taken together by the bride and groom build's the foundation of their relationship and marriage. It speaks of the loyalty, love, and commitment they would eventually share in their married life. Thereafter, post wedding ceremonies are performed, which mostly include vidaai and reception. This is the most emotional moment of the wedding, when the bride takes leave from her parents and other family members and takes her first step towards her new life in her husband's house. On reaching the new home, there are a number of ceremonies that are performed, right from welcoming the new bride to playing games and making merry.
Hindu Marriage Rituals
According to Hindu Sastra there are four stages of life, of which Grahastha Ashram or married life signifies the second stage. It begins, when a man and a woman come together and marry. In India, marriage is treated as an institution, which teaches the actual values of life.
A Hindu marriage symbolizes not just coming together of two individuals, but also the bonding of understanding, commitment, mutual love, oneness and spiritual growth. Traditionally, Hindu marriage is much more than just celebration and fun. It demands sacrifice, companionship, dedication, and devotion from both the partners.
For an Indian bride, the wedding day is the most important day of her life. Most of the girls in our country have lots of dreams for this day, since it marks the beginning of their journey into womanhood. Different kinds of beauty rituals are associated with the wedding day, as her female friends and relatives gather together to prepare her for the most special occasion of her life.