Gujarati Weddings :: OccAsianZ

Gujarati Weddings

The Gujarati community is deeply immersed in cultural ethics and they take great pride in celebrating their religious and cultural ceremonies with much devotion. It is therefore not surprising that when it comes to marriages, the Gujaratis eagerly participate in all the rituals and ceremonies that are associated with it. A typical Gujarati marriage is a pious occasion that is marked by prayers, rituals and entertaining customs.

The bridal wear at a Gujarati wedding is the sari. The sari is however worn in a different style than is worn by the rest of the Indian women. The bride is usually clad in a red coloured sari. These days lehenga cholis are also becoming popular choices among the girls. The bridegroom on the other hand is attired in the traditional dhoti kurta. There are also many men who wear designer kurta pyjamas or western suits on the big day.

Gujarati wedding is characterised by a number of pre wedding, wedding day and post wedding ceremonies. There are many pre wedding rituals that are performed before the wedding day. Ghari puja is conducted on the eve of the marriage day in the house of the bride and the groom. The priest offers prayers and invokes his blessings on the groom and the bride. Sangeet is another event wherein professional singers or DJs are called to entertain the guests. The family and friends of the bride and the groom eat, drink and make merry through the entire night.

The wedding day celebration begins with the arrival of the groom. He is welcomed by the mother of the bride who performs the aarti. There is the event of madhuparka which involves washing the feet of the groom. At this time the sisters-in-law of the groom steals his shoes and the groom has to offer money, as demanded by the ladies to get his shoes back. This is the most fun filled event on the marriage day.

According to the Gujarati tradition the maternal uncle of the girl escorts the bride to the mandap where the couple exchanges garlands. The bride’s hand is then placed over the hand of the groom and this ceremony is known as hasta milap. Hathialo is another event when the groom’s scarf is tied to the end of the sari of the bride. This symbolises the eternal bond that will keep the bride and the groom together forever. This is followed by the varmala ceremony in which a cord is tied around the neck of the couple to ward off any evil influences. The father of the bride then gives away the hand of his daughter to the groom and this event is known as kanyadaan. This is followed by "magal phera" wherein the couple takes four rounds of the holy fire and the marriage is solemnized.

After the wedding day rituals there are post wedding rituals that are followed. There is the Saubhagyavati Bhava wherein the elderly ladies of the bride's family bless the girl for a happy married life. The vidaai is when the girl departs from her house to start a new life with her husband.
It is a well known fact that the Gujaratis are a fun loving community and nowhere is it more manifest than in their entertaining wedding ceremonies. The family and the friends of the bride and the groom come together, to mark the very special occasion of the joyful union of two souls.

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