Jain Weddings

The Jains are a religious and peace loving community. Marriage to them is a sacred duty towards God. A typical Jain marriage follows traditional religious practices. These are observed with much dedication and fervor. There are several rituals that mark a typical Jain wedding. Similar to other Asian weddings there are customs and practices that are followed to solemnize the marriage.

Laghana Lekhan is the event that starts the wedding proceedings. In this ceremony the marriage alliance is fixed at the girl's house. A puja is performed and the auspicious time of the marriage is fixed. The boy's family is then let known of the time and the date of the wedding. Lagna Patrika Vachan is an event that is conducted at the boy's house wherein the priest reads out the lagan patrika vachan, a sacred letter. Another important ceremony that is held at the boy's house is the sagai. This is the engagement ceremony wherein the couple exchanges rings and a formal announcement is made of their marriage. The groom has to wear a traditional headgear and offer pujas during the sagai. Mada Mandap is another occasion that is held before the wedding day when certain important rituals are observed in both the groom and the bride's family.

On the wedding day the baraati is welcomed at the girls' house with an aarti that is performed by the female members of the house. They also sing the traditional mangala geet. Next is the event of Granthi Bandhan when a corner of the bride's dress is tied to the shawl of the groom and they take seven rounds of the fire. The fire is the most sacred element in a Jain marriage. They then exchange marriage vows and are declared man and wife. This is followed by the Kanyavaran ceremony which signifies the gifting of the bride to the groom by the parents of the bride. After this, havan is performed to the chanting of the mantras of the priest.

The priest and the parents offer their blessings to the newly weds. After all the wedding day celebrations are over a grand feast is laid for the guests. The bride then bids farewell to her family and proceeds towards her husband's home to start a new life.

A Jain wedding is an important event and is celebrated with a lot of joy and merriment. A Jain pundit usually conducts the ceremonies though in certain cases Brahmins too conduct the pujas. The Jains however does not favor spending a lot of money in the wedding. They thus do not prefer very elaborate marriages. The family and the friends present celebrate the beautiful occasion of the marriage with much happiness and rejoicing.

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