In many parts of Bihar, after the wedding, the mother-in-law places an earthen pot on the newly wedded bride’s head. After this, more earthen pots are added to make a pile. The bride is expected to balance them and touch the feet of the elders in the house simultaneously. The balancing of pots symbolises how well a bride can adjust to her new family and the responsibilities of the new life.
Gujarati weddings have a ceremony called Ponkvu or Ponkhana where the groom is welcomed by his mother-in-law, who first performs an aarti and then playfully pulls the groom's nose. This is a playful way for the bride’s family to remind the groom that he has come to their door to marry their daughter and he has to learn to be humble and grateful.
On the day of the wedding, all the married women from the bride’s family rise at dawn and perform a Ganga aarti to invite the Goddess to the wedding. They believe that the holy river will bless the bride and keep her happy always. Also, in many of the Bengali weddings, the mother of the bride is not allowed to see the wedding ceremony.
In Sarsaul, a small town near Kanpur, instead of being welcomed with an aarti and flowers, the bridegroom and his baarat is greeted with tomatoes and potatoes. These are thrown on the groom’s family and friends along with a string of swear words. People believe that a relationship that begins on a bad note ends with love.
Before the wedding, the Sindhis perform a ritual called saanth. An anklet is tied around the right foot of the bride and the groom (in their respective homes), by the priest. After this, seven married women pour oil on the bride and the groom’s head. Then both of them have to wear a new shoe on their right foot and break an earthen lamp with it. This considered as a good omen. To end the ceremony, the groom’s relatives tear off his clothes to ward off evil eye.
The Tamil Brahmin (Iyer) weddings recite an age old story during the ceremony, where the groom has a change of heart before entering the mandap, in the process deciding to live life as an ascetic. The ritual requires the bride’s father to reach out to the groom and convince him to change his decision. Bhagwat Gita, umbrella, sandals and hand fan are the props that the father uses to bring the groom back.
Hindus follow their set of wedding rituals which they call aeki beki or jua. The tradition requires use of a silver dish comprising the rings which is filled with milk, rose petals and vermillion. The bride and the groom have to dip their hand in the mixture in search of the ring. It is the 'best of seven' series and the one, who finds the ring four times, is predicted as the person to ‘wear the pants’ in the family.
Arguably, the simplest form of Indian wedding ritual is of the Rabha tribe in Assam, where the marriage is performed just with the exchange of garlands by both parties. There are no pheras or lavish parties; the exchange of garlands is followed by a feast. The couple, however, is expected to play a big role on the first day at the groom’s home, where they not only cook the food for the male members and the elders, but also serve them personally.
After the couple reaches the groom's house and the initial welcome ceremony is over they are separated for the night, probably to get a refreshing sleep and prepare for the next day's final wedding ceremony.
In the Maharashtrians they have a custom where the brother of the bride twists the groom’s ear to warn him to take care of his sister. May be they're just warning the groom to take good care of their sister, else the punishment could get bigger! I really like it. :)
Marathi people use a silk shawl, which is known as Antrapat to separate the bride and the groom at wedding ceremony. When the mangalshaktas are recited, then the shawl removed in between the bride and groom sees each other for the first time and exchange flower wreaths. Afterwards, couple asks their respective parents for permission to get married, which is known as Sankalp ceremony.
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