Weddings, especially in India are ceremonial feasts laden with symbolic rites and rituals. Despite India’s diversities in language, culture, food and lifestyle, one can observe common threads in many weddings across the nation. Indian weddings are also a huge emotional affair. Throbbing with diversity, people from different caste and languages practice different sets of customs on their wedding function.
Every bride and groom have to go through these unusual wedding traditions to make their married life last longer and to seek happiness in their lives. But some wedding traditions are carried out without anyone having the slightest clue as to why such a tradition exists. Some are outright weird. But each tradition is beautiful to the one who follows it. For everyone’s ease, we break down traditions according to the kind of wedding they are performed in.
- Punjabi weddings.
‘Ghada Gharoli’ is a very amazing ritual practiced by the bride on her wedding day before she wears her bridal dress called “shagun ka joda” by Punjabis. The bride’s mother and her sister-in-law go to a nearby temple and bring a pitcher full of water, considered to be sacred. The bride has to bathe with this holy water before she wears the wedding outfit.
- Bengali weddings.
In Bengali wedding tradition, the grooms’ mother is not allowed to watch his son’s wedding. It is said that if she watches it her son will not have a happy married life. Also, a decorated aarti plate called “guddies” is sent by all married women from the bride’s family to river Ganga to welcome Goddess Durga to the marriage. This plate is drowned in the Ganges and it is believed that the holy river will shower her blessings on the bride.
- Tamil Brahmin wedding.
In some Tamil Brahmin marriages, the groom has to act as he has changed his mind from marrying, a few minutes before he sits at the altar. He has to associate himself to a ‘sanyasi’ and then the father of the bride will make him understand the importance of marriage and role of a husband, thus bringing him back to his ‘senses’.
- Tribal wedding in UP.
At the tribal Wedding in Sarsaul, a small town of Uttar Pradesh, an unusual and strange ritual happens, where the groom’s family is not welcomed with rose petals, Gulab Jal or paan but by tomatoes. The belief behind hurling tomatoes is that a relationship started with such unfortunate and strange note will surely end in deep love between the groom and the bride.
- Bihari wedding.
Imagine how the bride would feel when her skills are tested, the moment she steps into the home of her in-laws. Yes, this happens in Bihari weddings! The new bride has to keep earthen pots one over the other, which is given to her by her mother-in-law. Now, the bride has to seek blessings from all the elderly members present in the family without breaking any of the earthen pots.
- Malayalee wedding.
While in all Hindu marriages people take 7 pheras (go around fire seven times) but in a Malayalee wedding, the bride and the groom go around the mandap (the parasol under which the marriage takes place) only for three times and then the groom ties a yellow thread around the bride’s neck.
- Gujarati weddings.
Before the groom enters the mandap he needs to go through this extremely weird tradition called Madhuparka. Under this ritual, the bride’s parents welcome the groom by washing his feet with a mixture of milk and honey, and then he is asked to drink “panchamrut”, a liquid made up of milk, honey, sugar, ghee, and yogurt.
- Maharashtrian wedding.
When the groom and the bride sit in the mandapa silk shawl called “Antrapat” is used in between, to separate them. They are only allowed to see each other only when the antrapat is removed, that is when the Magalsutra is to be tied to the bride.
- Manipuri wedding.
People from Manipur believe in releasing the evil spirit first before the wedding and for that, the fish plays an important role. The groom and the bride have to release two fishes in some nearby pond. It is believed that if the fishes move side by side in the pond, the marriage will run successfully.
- Kumaoni wedding.
Kumaoni wedding uses a unique prop in the wedding: flags. The white flag represents the groom and the red flag represents the bride. The white flag leads the baraat and the red flag runs around the beautiful bride.
- Tribal weddings.
Only a few Adivasi communities follow this tradition. After the man and the woman get married, the woman is kept in some hidden place for one year and is not allowed to interact with people. Exactly after one year has passed, the marriage is approved by senior members and then there is a huge function held in the community and they celebrate the wedding.
- Getting married to a tree.
This is the most unusual and weird marrying process which is carried out only in India. If the bride is Manglik she has to marry the Peepal tree first and only then she can actually get married to a human. It is a superstitious belief that either the bride or the groom will die after marriage if the bride does not get married to the tree first.
- Assamese wedding.
There is a ritual called ‘Tel diya’ performed at the wedding day in Assam. According to the practice, the groom’s mother puts a ring and beetle leaf on her daughter-in-law’s hair. She applies oil thrice on the bride, after which she supplies the sindoor and gives her the wedding outfit which is known as “mekhla chadar” in Assam.
- Konkani wedding
In Konkani people at the time of marriage, the bride and the groom seek blessings from their respective parents and are anointed with a mixture of coconut milk and oil, while a cross is made on the groom’s forehead. The bride is adorned with the “Sado” (wedding sari) and “Pirduk” (wedding necklace). Also, Hymns are sung during the marriage.
India is a place with multi-language, multi-religion culture followed by multiple traditions and rituals in the great Indian weddings. Every wedding is different in its own way but are similar too in a peculiar way. In the end, two people from different families get married and both the families are attached with a bond. The bond called “Love”.
If you have some strange rituals to tell that happened to your or somebody else wedding, do share in the comment box below.