Weddings have come out of the old fashioned customs of the past to include more contemporary elements. A Wedding is a very important affair for a family. Moreover Indian families give a lot of importance for many wedding ceremonies. Indian weddings are very popular for their lavish and colorful ceremonies which add to the glamour of the ceremony. Most of the Hindu religions regard the marriage as tradition than a legal affair. The marriages in India are the appropriate mixture of celebration, tradition ad sentiments. The reason being, it is merging of two different families and souls at the same time. In spite of diverse religions and different kind of rituals and traditions, the common aspects among the weddings are commitment, sentiments, mixed emotions & gatherings.
The Indian weddings have modernized to a large extent according to the generation. But they still remain a grand family affair. The Bengali weddings also have changed accordingly as per the generations. The Bengali bride and Bengali groom are treated very royally like prince or princess. The couple is showered with gifts and presents throughout the wedding during various ceremonies. Earlier, the groom would arrive at bride’s place or the place where the wedding takes place, mounted on a horse. Nowadays most of them come in decorated cars. The Bengali bride on the other hand is dressed in traditional attire, with heavy embroidery and authentic traditional jewellery. The jewellery is given to her by her family.
The mantap is decorated with pretty things. More of red color is used as it is considered to be auspicious. Brides’ generally hire a henna artist to apply mehendi on their hands. It is generally done two to three days before the wedding.
Bengalis are known for their rich culture and they boast of interesting rituals for their marriages. Every Hindu wedding is made very special. Similarly Bengali wedding have their own unique customs during and after the ceremony. Whether it is a simple or a lavish Bengali wedding, one can witness the rituals followed appropriately and strictly. The Bengalis make sure that most of the rituals are covered in the contemporary weddings also.
A Bengali marriage can be divided in three phases basically. They have pre-wedding rituals, wedding rituals and post wedding rituals. During pre wedding rituals the pandit starts certain pooja, couple of days before the wedding. This takes place in both bride and grooms place. During these days, both the families exchange gifts for Bengali bride and Bengali groom. They also exchange assortments like sweets, fish and sarees etc. This is then followed by the haldi function where the bride is adorned with turmeric paste. It is believed that this ritual brigs glow to the bride’s skin.
The families get together around the mantap. The couple then ties knots during the recital of vedic mantras. They move in circle for seven times around the sacred fire. They are then seated in their respective seats. The groom puts vermilion in the Bengali brides’ hair parting.
This is then followed by post marriage rituals, where the bride bid adieu to her parents and family and joins her husband family. The next day the bride cooks a traditional meal for all the family members.