India has always left the western world in awe with its amazing wedding rituals uncommon in the modern world. Indian ceremonies are guaranteed memory makers as bride and groom, as well as their guests are granted hours of endless fun and merry-making.
Indian rituals depend on the bride and groom's culture and caste. The one-week weddings of the Punjabis differ a lot from Christian weddings which only last for a few hours including the ceremony and the reception. But no matter the difference in the rituals, all of these are aimed at providing a happy life for the married couple.
Here are some Indian wedding rituals that have been passed on from one generation to another. Somewhere along the way, you will recognize that even the western world has some of these traditions albeit with a different twist.
Construction of pandal
Pandals are mini guest houses that are creatively made from wooden planks, bamboo poles and cloth. The pandal, which is built only after the muhurtakal ritual planting, is decorated with flowers and leaves.
Seeking the deity's protection
The couple seeks the aid and protection of Lord Ganesha. In the meantime, the home is filled with merrymaking and the smell of sweets. The bride gets a beauty treatment courtesy of ground haldi and chandan.
Chanting of Vedic hymns
Along with the chanting of Vedic hymns, the week-long (sometimes 10 days) wedding ceremony is characterized by the groom's prayers to the Indian gods Indra, Varuna and Brihaspati. Included in the prayers is the hope for a harmonious family life as well as fertility for the wife.
Pani-Grahana, Asmarohana and Lajahoma
This Pani-Grahana tradition involves the groom grasping the hand of the bride as the bride faces west and the groom faces the east. Asmarahona or the treading of the stone is that part when the groom invokes that his wife be as firm as a rock. On the other hand, the groom pours rice in the hands of his bride during the Lajahoma. They both offer the grains to Lord Agni.
This is a unification ritual where the bride and groom circles around the fire, asking Lord Agni to unite them. They then proceed with the seven circumambulations to complete the ritual.
This practice is similar to the wearing of the wedding ring. In an Indian wedding, the groom ties the thread to his wife, who then wears it through her life. This is done after the circumambulation of the fire. The auspiciousness thread vary, some wear it with diamond pendants while others wear it on black beads with deity representations.
This is a custom which symbolizes the bride's entry to her new home. The bride carries a pot with the wedding fire inside.
These wedding traditions have been known all over the world to be sacred and the really devoted Indians follow them. These customs and more make Indian weddings exotic and a sight to behold.