Indian weddings are recognized across the world to be among the most vibrant and colorful celebrations. This is an occasions that bring together every member of the family (even the extended ones), friends, colleagues and even neighbors. Filled with rituals and fun activities, the days of the wedding are lively and energetic. Everyone is literally on their feet and dressed to look the best. Here are 10 interesting facts worth mentioning about Indian weddings.
More than a day of celebrations
Unlike other cultures, most of the Indian wedding traditions last more than a day and might sometimes run into weeks. There are elaborate rituals of preparing the bride and groom before the wedding, praying for blessings, the wedding day rituals and long enough post-wedding ceremonies to make the newlywed sulk!
Sixteen beauty steps
According to traditional Hindu rituals, a bride is pampered to sixteen elaborate steps of beautification before the wedding. Called the “Solah Sringar”, it involves bathing, hair styling, makeup, dressing, accessorizing the bride with gold and diamond ornaments, and much more. All the pampering is taken care of by the ladies in the bride’s family. The process really proves that an Indian bride is the luckiest one!
Passing the sweets
Just like a birthday boy/girl passes on the cake to his/her closest relation after blowing off the candles, Indian weddings require bride and the groom to share the same sweet and any other food and drink item during the wedding. Many believe that eating from each other’s plates will enhance the love between the couple.
Seven vows to get wed
If you have heard the term “saath fere”, it’s about seven vows that the bride and the groom take to be tied in the bond of everlasting love. The seven vows also include prayers to the deities for their blessings and this is done by encircling a spiritual fire seven times (each circle for each vow).
Stealing the shoe
Now, this is the fun part. Sister(s) of the bride steal the grooms shoe and will only return it back after he has paid money for it! Bargaining takes place and this makes the ritual even more interesting.
Fishing for the ring
Popular in the Gujrati and Bengali communities, the engagement rings of both the bride and groom are drowned into a pot of milk, water and vermillion. To make the activity a little more complicated, coins are drowned along with the rings. The bride and the groom are given 7 chances to fish out their rings and it is believed that the person who finds the ring most number of times will dominate the marriage!
Stepping in with a spill
Across most Hindu wedding traditions, the bride is supposed to enter the house after knowing over a vessel containing rice on the doorway. This ensures that “anna” or food had been brought into the house and the family will prosper in this relationship.
Shaking the Kaleree
Popular in Punjabi weddings, the Kaleree is a gold/silver plated ornament that has small gold balls loosely hanging from it. After the wedding ceremony, the bride will shake this Kaleree over her unmarried friend’s heads. The first girl to be lucky enough to get the Kaleree will also assumed to be the next in line to marry.
Hiding behind betel leaves
Common to Bengali weddings, the bride will cover up her eyes with two betel leaves and hold it in place till she gets to the marriage podium. No one is supposed to see the bride in her final makeup before the groom himself.
Looking for your name
Mehendi or Heena decoration is common to all Hindu weddings. However, what’s fascinating is that the artist will weave the name in the design and it is the task of the spouse to find it out in the elaborate design.
These are just a few of the interesting traditions that take place in a Hindu wedding. For someone looking, there is so much more to be witness amidst fun, frolic and celebrations.