India is a land that is composed of varied vivid rich cultures, dialects, food and dress habits, customs and traditions.
The rituals and ceremonies surrounding weddings too here are as diverse as the geographical terrain of the land.
Weddings in India are celebrated with lots of fervor and zeal. Let’s explore four such Indian classic wedding styles from the North, East, South and Western regions the country.
The Kashmiri wedding starts with the Kasamdry ceremony where the bride and the groom are formally engaged. The highlight of the ceremony is the traditional rice pudding that is prepared by the aunts from both sides. During the Livun ceremony the houses are cleaned and the Wuvi – a brick-and-mud oven – is made where the wedding food is cooked. The Mehendi ceremony, music-and-dance sessions and the 51 thaalis of dry fruits and sweets sent to the groom’s family are the other highlights. Another traditional aspect is the phoolon ka gehna that the groom’s family sends to the bride to wear on the wedding day. For the main marriage function the groom wears the traditional Pheran with the Gordstar on the head and Paazar on the foot. Brides wear a conventional glitzy salwar-kameez with Tarang, headgear and a dupatta. The typical wedding vows are exchanged in the presence of a priest with the seven pheras followed by the posh puza.
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The Odissi wedding from Odisha also called Bahaghara in the local language, is characterized by a morning wedding for Brahmins and evening wedding for other castes. It starts with the Nirbandh, the formal engagement where the elders commit to getting their children married. The first invitee to the wedding is Lord Jagannath and then the maternal uncles from both sides. Wedding cards are accompanied by betel leaf and nut. For the wedding, men wear the traditional dhoti-kurta while the bride wears a yellow sari with a red border and covers her head with a dupatta. During the wedding, the bride’s right hand is placed over that of the groom and covered with mango leaves. The sindoor dhan and the seven rounds of the fire are key highlights.
Malayali weddings are characterized by simple rituals. A typical wedding takes place in the morning – there is no loud music and dancing routine. The bride and the groom arrive at the venue accompanied by their aunts and sisters carrying lamps in their hands. There is no fire – rather a copper and brass vessel filled with rice grains is placed. Grooms wear lungi and shirt while brides wear conventional kasavu settu sari with lots of gold. The highlight is the tying of the thali around the bride’s neck by the groom followed by customary feasting.
Maharashtrian weddings are again well-known for their simplicity. The first invitation is given to Lord Ganesha. Grooms wear white color kurta with dhoti, a decorated colored cloth on shoulders with a turban on the head. Brides wear bright silk saris with gold borders with green-colored bangles, mangalsutra, and armlets. The moon-shaped bindi on the bride’s forehead and the Mundavalya headband for both bride and groom are the highlights. The priest chants the holy vows with the Antarpat – a cloth placed in front of the groom and the bride.
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