Punjabi marriages are known for their pomp, show and entertainment. They are conducted lavishly and celebrated with extreme gaiety and comprise of traditional folk dances such as Bhangras and Giddas. Punjabi’s are characterized by their generosity to guests with majestic dining and ample entertainment.There are number of rituals, which are performed before and after the wedding.
- Pre Wedding Rituals
- Takha/Rokka ceremony :
The first pre-wedding ceremony in a Punjabi marriage is Takha. The takha also known as Rokka. In this ceremony, the boy and the girl commit to enter a wedlock, and won’t consider any more matrimonial proposals and both the families would stopped searching for a marital partner for their children. Ardaas is done, followed by exchange of gifts, sweets to the boy by the girl’s family and to the girl by the boy’s family. The girl’s mama ji gives her the nose ring which she would wear on her wedding.The ceremony usually takes place at the girls place. The wedding date is fixed after rokka.
- Sagan :
The next is Sagan ceremony which usually takes at the groom’s house or may be at hotel or club. In this ceremony,the girl’s father applies the “tikka” on the boy’s forehead who takes the blessing from the girl’s family members. Each of the relatives and friends present from the girl’s side then offers sweets to the boy and gives gift.
- Chunni Chadana :
The Sagan is followed by Chunni Chadana ceremony in which the groom’s family visits the bride’s house. The groom’s sister or sister-in-law presents the girl a red sari. After this, the mother-in-law places a red chunni on her head and gives her jewellery. The boy and the girl exchange rings and the girl
- Sangeet and Mehendi Ceremony :
Few days before the marriage, the relatives and friends get together for singing sessions both at the boy’s as well as the girl’s house every night. One day is fixed for special sangeet session which is attended and celebrated by both the sides together.
In Mehendi ceremony, the sister and brother-in-law of the groom take mehendi to bride’s place. This mehendi is applied to the bride’s hands and feet.
- Wedding Rituals at bride’s place
The first ritual on the wedding day at the girl’s home begins with the Chuda ceremony. The maternal uncle and auntthose performing this ceremonykeep a fast till chuda. Chudais a set of red and cream ivory bangles that is touched by all present in the ceremony which is gifted by girl’s Mamma and the girl does not see the chuda until she is ready for the marriage. After the puja, everybody present touch the chuda, in a manner of offering their good wishes to the girlfor her future married life.After that, the relatives tiekaliras to a bangle worn by the girl.
Four lamps are lit and the bride is made to sit in front of lamps. Oil is constantly added to the diyas so that the glow is reflected on the bride’s face. A paste of turmeric powder and mustard oil is applied to her body her female friends and relatives.After this ritual the bride is made to stay at home in her old clothes for a couple of days and bride and groom are not allowed to meet before her wedding.In Ghara Ghardoli, the bride and the groom bathe with the water brought from the Gurudwara.As per the tradition, their wedding dress is presented to them by their respective maternal uncles.
- Wedding Rituals at groom’s place
Like the bride’s home, the Vatna and Ghara Gharoli are followed by the dressing up of groom in his wedding attire.The groom is also applied with a paste of turmeric and mustard oil and is bathed by water brought by his sister in law from the temple and his maternal uncle presents the wedding attire. The boy’s father or an elderly relative ties “sehra” on his head. A pink colour turban is first touched by all the relatives present before it is tied on the boy’s head. The groom’s bhabi applies surma on his eyes. The Ghori Chadna is the final ceremony at the groom’s place.The boy climbs the horse and leaves his home for the wedding venue.
- Rituals at the wedding venue
The Ardas is performed by the priest followed by the formal introductions of the male members of both the families. In the Milni ceremony, the girl’s relatives give shagun to the groom’s close relatives. After Milni ceremony, the bride and groom exchange the garland made of flowers- varmalato each other.Asmahurat approaches, the boy is led to the “vedi” where the pundit performs puja for the boy. There after the girl is led to the “vedi”. Then the “kanyadaan” takes place where bride’s father puts a ring on the boy’s finger and then he gives his daughter to the boy. Thereafter the couple takes the phera’s round the holy fire. After this the groom applies sindoor on the girl’s hair and ties Mangalsutra to the girl’s neck.After completion of all wedding rituals , the couple touch the feet of all the elder members in the family and seek their blessings for a happily married life.
- Post Wedding Rituals
After wedding, the bride leaves for her marital home and throws back handful of rice towards her parental house. This is known as Vidaai ceremony. The ritual conveys her good wishes for her parents.A sad ritual as bride says goodbye to her parents, siblings and rest of her family. Her brothers take her to her husband and her relatives throw coins in the wake of this procession.
The mother-in-law or sister-in-law circles 3 times a glass of water around her bahu and then offers her to drink the same water, as a symbol of her acceptance and gives blessing. She also performs the traditional aarti and asks the newlywed couple to come inside and seek the blessings of the God.Then the bride kick the mustard oil by her right foot that is put on the sides of the entrance door before she enters the house. After this couple touch the feet of the elders in a ceremony called ‘mathatekna’