Hindu Weddings: Colorful and Rich

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Hindu wedding
Our wedding ceremony
Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world and it is rich in traditions and ceremonies. Hindu weddings are among the most detailed ceremonies that combine tradition and culture. With such rich and colorful rituals, the Hindu wedding is an interesting sight to witness.

The Wedding

Hindu celebration
Traditional Hindu Wedding
The wedding ceremony is mostly conducted in Sanskrit because it is considered the language for religious ceremonies. However, since most Hindus don’t understand Sanskrit, the local language of the participants is also used. The rituals that were used traditionally have evolved but still differ from the common and modern Western weddings. The wedding ceremony also differs depending on the families own traditions, region the couple is based in, and caste. Iyer weddings and Rajput weddings are primary examples of these.

Since the wedding ceremony is very important to Hindus, this is celebrated in a superbly colorful way. It can go on for several days as opposed to the normal one-day wedding.

The beginning of the wedding starts with removing the curtain held between the bride and groom. The priest or brahmin removes the garlands (made out of sandlewood chips) that are hung around the couple’s neck. The father of the bride hands her over to the groom and they perform the uplifting of the Dharma. These are the three Purusharthas: Karma, Artha, and Dharma. The definition of Dharma is right conduct; Artha means prosperity; and Karma means enjoying gratification.

The Marriage Symbols and Vows

Wedding ritual
Wedding ritual
Sandlewood paste for the groom and a red mark for the bride are placed on their foreheads and should be seen for as long as the couple is married. Purified butter and puffed rice from the couple’s hands are thrown to a fire. The priest starts chanting mantras, which are blessings to cast away the darkness.

The marriage vows are made before a fire. After the groom vows to always include his wife in important aspects and to consult her when making decisions that involve them, the couple then walks around the fire and they take the seven step journey in life, or the sapta padi. They both promise to bear children that they will take responsibility for and love and to enjoy friendship and happiness with each other in their lives, among the many promises they make to each other

The Attire

Topor – This is traditionally worn by the groom. It is part of the Bengali Hindu ceremony and it is a fragile, paper mache headgear that is white in color.

Chunri – This can be worn in various ways. The chunri is more popularly used as a drape or as a veil. Some people use this to cover the bridal bed where the groom sits after the ceremony. It is used as a veil by the bride afterwards. Others use this with a ghaghra choli, tucked in at one end of the waist, wrapped around the body, and then draped over one shoulder.

Safa – This is a turban worn by the groom that has a brooch pinned on it. The safa is available in different styles, colors, and is rich in variety.

Sweet couple
After the ceremonies
Perfect match
Perfect match
Happily Married
Happily Married

Dhoti – The dhoti is worn by the groom and is an unstitched garment worn with a shirt.

Ghunghat – This is what the brides wear and is the equivalent of the veils worn by Christian brides.

If you plan to have a Hindu wedding, prepare yourself for not only a fantastic time full of abundant culture but also for a colorful and beautiful traditional Hindu experience.

For more information on Hindu Weddings, read The Guide to Hindu Wedding Programs.

Witness the traditional Hindu wedding below.

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What Other People Thought

Kayra said on,

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handofgod78 said on, October 06, 2008
I'm studying Asian cultures, and I can definitely say that Hindu weddings are one of the most colorful weddings in the world; too bad I can't attend one myself, though I've watched a couple of videos of it being done. I hope weddings here in my country were as rich and colorful.

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