Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pre Wedding Indian Ceremonies

Indian marriages are known for their many rituals. In fact, the beauty of Indian weddings comes forth in the numerous traditions that are associated with the special celebration. Indian weddings are incomplete without dance, music and lots of laughter. Furthermore, Indian weddings are not a one day ceremony. Pre-wedding ceremonies begin before the wedding and can sometimes be a week long celebration.

  • Engagement:

Months before wedding an engagement ceremony, known as Mangni (in North India) or Nischitartham (in South India), is held.  The two families meet to perform rituals to make the engagement official. A muhurat (muhoortham), the auspicious date and time for the wedding is decided based on horoscopes or beliefs associated with respective religions.

  • Haldi :

Haldi is a ritual holy bath during which Turmeric (haldi) powder is mixed with milk or with oil along with sandal wood powder and applied to bride and bridegroom during this ceremony. The objective behind this ceremony is to make the person look beautiful and protect him or her from evil spirits.

  • Mehndi :

This is the most colorful event of your wedding. This is the day when mehndi design is applied on the hands and feet of the bride by her relatives or professional henna artist. These intricate designs symbolize joy, beauty, spiritual awakening and offering. Guests create a festive atmosphere by dressing in bright colors, singing traditional wedding songs, and dancing to popular music. Every female member of family gets mehndi done on her hands and feet. The entire mood of a mehndi ceremony is extremely festive. 

  • Sangeet and Tilak

Sangeet means music. As the name suggests, this function is an evening of musical entertainment and merriment hosted by the bride’s family. The main significance of this ceremony is that the bride is introduced to all the members of her new family. 

As a part of the Tilak ceremony, vermillion or kumkum is placed on the forehead of the groom by all the male members of the bride’s family. Kumkum is a sign of auspiciousness. Presents are given to the groom and his family, requesting them to take care of the bride.


  • Janavasam :

It is a predominantly south Indian tradition, where the groom is paraded around the town on a chariot (or nowadays a open car!), the evening before the wedding. In small towns and villages this event serves to show the groom to the people, so that if they knew anything about the groom that had to be brought to the notice of the bride’s family, they could do so. This is similar to the Christian tradition of the priest asking those present, if anyone had any objection to the wedding.

  • Mehndi Night :

The Mehndi night event is a colorful celebration held the night before the wedding. It is a ritual in Asian weddings to bless the bride and groom with a very blissful, gratifying and prosperous beginning of the most beautiful companionship in the world. While the bride has a very elaborate pattern done on her hands and feet on the day before(mehndi function) , the families just put a shape or letter or any design on the betel (Vethila in Malayalam). Even some families apply to the groom as well.

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