10 Interesting Facts About an Indian Wedding
India is a land steeped in culture and rituals. From birth to death and everything in between is replete with rituals and suffused with deep symbolism. Marriage in Indian philosophy is understood as a union of two souls – a bond that brings together two individuals for eternity.
But more importantly, marriage in India also brings two families together. Each family has its own set of wedding rituals. Here we look at different marriage customs in India and various practices associated with Indian wedding rituals.
What are Wedding Rituals?
Rituals are activities involving actions, gestures and words that are meant to solemnize a certain rite. Sociologists say that since modern societies have evolved from tribal communities, such rituals play an important role in strengthening social bonds and defining communitarian identity.
An Indian wedding ceremony, in particular, has several interesting wedding rituals, which are not only entertaining but are also deeply consequential. Let us look at some fascinating Indian wedding facts.
Here are the 10 Interesting & Fun Indian Wedding Facts
1. Getting Engaged
One of the most common Indian wedding rasams (rituals) is the engagement ceremony. This acts as a part of pre-wedding rituals and, through this ceremony, the would-be couple’s families announce their official betrothal. There is no official rule as to when this ceremony should be performed but couples often conduct this ritual as per the auspicious hours depending upon the movement of heavenly bodies.
2. Deeper the Color
A ladies-special ceremony, Mehndi is a common feature of the northern wedding traditions. The bride’s family applies henna on the hand of the bride. It is considered that the deeper the color, the more is the affection of the groom for the bride. Furthermore, the bride is not supposed to do any household work of the groom’s family as long as the henna stays on the hand, making this ceremony all the more desirable for her.
3. Say It With Music
Different marriage customs in India incorporate music in some form or the other, so much so that we have an entire genre of wedding songs. These tongue-in-cheek numbers are often laced with bawdy innuendoes, which are both fun and sarcastic. Women usually gather with the bride’s family and sing aloud these numbers, accompanied by dance.
4. Yellow is the Purest Color
Turmeric in Ayurveda holds a special place. It is known for its cleansing and medicinal properties. On the morning of the marriage, both the bride and groom’s family apply Haldi or turmeric, along with oil and water on the couple, thereby symbolically blessing the couple.
5. Couple Under Veil
Indian marriage culture and customs require both the bride and groom to be veiled until the wedding ceremony starts. The groom usually wears a floral veil (sehra) that is lifted by the members of the bride’s family. The bride, on her part, covers her forehead with a drape that is lifted by the groom while applying vermillion.
6. Shoe Ransom
Probably the most fun of all the different marriage customs in India, shoe ransom is a light-hearted way the brides’ family has fun with the groom. Family members hide the shoes of the groom and demand money in return. Hectic negotiations follow before an amount is settled.
7. Circles around the fire
Probably the holiest ritual in wedding functions, saptapadi (literally meaning taking seven circles around the fire) is deeply meaningful. This is how couples commit to their wedding vows, with each walk representing a specific promise that the couple must uphold.
8. Saying Goodbye
Vidai is a poignant ritual in which the bride not only bids adieu to her family but also throws rice kernels over her shoulder in a symbolic gesture, which signifies that she is paying back her debts to her family for bringing her up with love and honor.
9. Right Foot First
As the bride enters her in-law’s house, she is given a vessel filled to the brim with rice. She is supposed to knock the vessel over with her right foot and enter the house. This ritual is purportedly meant to bring good luck and prosperity to the groom’s family.
10. Finding a Ring in Milk
In this ritual the rings of the bride and the groom are placed in a vessel and filled with milk. The couple is then asked to find the ring for seven times. Whoever finds the ring the most is supposed to rule the household.
The Indian wedding ceremony is unlike any other. Filled with rituals and steeped in tradition, the symbolic gestures associated with Indian marriage events list may at first seem overwhelming for the uninitiated, but if one tries to comprehend them for what they stand for rather than what they tend to appear at first, one would realize that they encompass the whole circle of life, in all its bewitching complexities.
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