Punjabi Wedding

The Punjabis are well known for their vivaciousness and zest of life. Needless to say they pull out all the stops when it is comes to celebrating a wedding. A typical Punjabi wedding is a riot of colors and celebrations.

As soon as the wedding is finalized the roka ceremony is held. This is a formal announcement that the girl and the boy have found their life partner and are to wed each other. In the ceremony the couple is engaged to one another. The marriage celebrations commence with the tikka ceremony. This is conducted almost a week prior to the wedding day. The family of the girl visits the family of the boy carrying gifts and the material for tikka. The girls' father applies tikka on the forehead of the boy and blesses him with money and gifts. The family of the girl too is given gifts by the boy's family. There is an exchange of rings between the boy and the girl and everyone present blesses the couple.

Next in line is the ceremony of sangeet. This is the fun part of the wedding celebrations wherein there is much singing and dancing. The sangeet is hosted by the girl's family where the family and friends of the boy's family come. The ladies of the girl's family sing traditional wedding songs where they tease the boy. It is next the turn of the boy's family to host the sangeet where they give a fitting reply to the teasing of the girl's family. All is done in jest and amidst much merriment. These days there are also live bands and DJs who are invited to enliven the sangeet function.

Another of the major functions that is performed before the wedding is the mehendi. Henna is applied on the palms and feet of the girl and on the palms of the ladies in the house of both groom and bride. Three days before the wedding the maaiyan of the bride starts. It means that she cannot leave the house till the marriage day. These three days are meant for total relaxation. On the morning of the wedding day a paste of turmeric is applied on the hands, legs and face of the girl. After the bath she offers prayers. She then starts to get dressed for the wedding with help from other female members of the house.

The wedding day celebration starts with welcoming the groom at the entrance of the house of the girl. The baraatis reach the house of the bride amidst much fun and merriment. There are the family and friends of the bride who wait to receive them at the gate of the house. The groom and the bride exchange garlands amidst much teasing and laughter. The couple then takes seven rounds of the sacred fire and exchange vows of marriage. The parents of the bride then give her hand to the groom and this event is known as kanyadaan.

After the wedding day celebration are over the bride bids a tearful adieu to her family and sets forth for her new home. She is welcomed in her new home with much fanfare and there are several rituals that are observed there. The couple then gets ready to begin a happy and peaceful married life.

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