Hindu Weddings: Colorful and Rich
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
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
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.
After the ceremonies
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.