Interesting facts about Weddings in India
Indian weddings are recognized across the world to be among the most vibrant and colourful celebrations. It is an occasion that brings together family (even the extended and far-residing members), friends, colleagues and the neighbours. Filled with interesting rituals and fun activities, the days of the wedding are lively and energetic. Everyone is on their feet and dressed to look the best.
Here are 10 interesting facts worth mentioning about Indian weddings.
- More Than a Day of Celebrations: Unlike other cultures, most of the Indian wedding traditions last more than a day and might sometimes run into weeks. There are elaborate rituals of preparing the bride and groom before the wedding including praying for blessings from the Almighty. The wedding day celebrations and long post-wedding customs can be quite tedious especially for the newlyweds.
- Sixteen Beauty Steps: According to traditional Hindu rituals, a bride is pampered to sixteen elaborate steps of beautification before the wedding. Known as the Solah Shringar, it involves bathing, hair styling, makeup, dressing, accessorizing the bride with gold and diamond ornaments, and much more. All the pampering is taken care of by the womenfolk in the brides family. The process really proves that an Indian bride is the luckiest one.
- Passing the Sweets: It is customary for the birthday boy/girl to offer a slice of the cake to his/her closest relation after blowing off the candles. On similar lines, Indian weddings require bride and the groom to share with each other the sweet and any other food and drink item during the wedding. Many believe that eating from each others plates will fortify the love between the couple.
- Seven Vows to Get Wed: You must have heard of the term Saat Phere; it is regarding the seven vows that the bride and the groom take to be tied in the sacred bond of marriage. The seven vows also include prayers to the deities for their blessings and involve the circling of a spiritual fire seven times (each circle for each vow).
- Stealing the Shoes: Now, this is the fun part. The brides sister or sisters steal the grooms shoes and promise to return them back after he has paid them for it. Bargaining takes place and this makes the ritual even more interesting.
- Fishing for the Ring: Popular in Gujarati and Bengali communities, the engagement rings of both the bride and groom are drowned into a pot of milk, water and rose petals. To make the activity a little more complicated, coins are drowned along with the rings. The bride and the groom are each given seven chances to fish out their rings and it is believed that the person who finds the ring most number of times will rule the roost.
- Stepping In With a Spill: In Hindu wedding traditions, the bride is supposed to enter the house after knocking over a vessel containing rice on the doorway. This ensures that anna or food has been brought into the house and the family will prosper in this relationship.
- Shaking the Kaleree: Popular in Punjabi weddings, the Kaleree is a gold/silver plated ornament that has small gold balls loosely hanging from it. After the wedding ceremony, the bride will shake the Kaleree over her unmarried friends heads. The first lucky girl to get the Kaleree is assumedly the next in line to marry.
- Hiding behind Betel Leaves: Common to Bengali weddings, the bride will cover up her eyes with two betel leaves and hold it in place until she gets to the marriage podium. No one is supposed to see the bride in her final makeup before the groom himself.
- Looking For Your Name: Mehendi or Heena decoration is common to all Hindu weddings. However, what is fascinating is that the artist will weave the name in the design and it is the task of the spouse to find it out in the elaborate design.
These are just a few of the interesting traditions that take place in a Hindu wedding. For someone looking for more, there is so much more to be witnessed amidst fun, frolic and celebrations.