In the state of Bengal, marriage ceremonies have different definitions all together. These definitions are what make a Bengali wedding. The wedding ceremonies in Bengal are quite long and elaborate. There are a number of rituals and ceremonies that take place during the wedding. The ceremony also has a number of pre-wedding and post wedding rituals. These rituals provide ample opportunities to the loved ones to enjoy with each other. However, the traditional Bengali rituals are quite meaningful and interesting.
The Bengali wedding ceremony rituals start with the Vridhi Puja. This is a ceremony to remember the ancestors of the bride and the groom. It is followed by the Dodhi Mangal ceremony, wherein ten married women bathe the bride and the groom. Later, they are fed delectable traditional food. Similarly Piris is the ritual where both the families exchange gifts . Don’t you think this the most fascinating ritual of the Bengali Wedding. Who doesn’t like gifts? Next, comes the Gae Halud Tattva ritual. For the Gae Halud Tattva ritual, the in-laws of the brides send her gifts.
These gifts, which are called Tattva has an elaborate process to it wherein every member of the family joins hands to put together the gifts. The gifts include sending items of clothing for the elders of the family. Then comes taking into consideration the next generation. Also each member of the family gets a gift. If there are youngsters in the family, a tray is designed with just chocolates .One can be as creative as they want. Like making a hut or a candy store or any other concept they want to depict.
Finally gifts for the family members are neatly placed onto trays.Trays are decorated with items for the bride. She receives a number of sarees, makeup products, bath products, etc. The sarees are given in form of a rose plant or a peacock. The goal is to be creative.
Next is the Snan ritual, in which married women apply turmeric and oil to the couple.
The bride wears the Sankha Poranas after bathing and wearing new clothes. She is then ornamented with jewellery. Also crowned with a decoration made of sandalwood paste, on the face. After this, she is finally taken to the mandap. The mandap is made using two banana trees and ornamented with fresh flowers . In addition you’ll also witness glowing and sparkling lights. A beautiful rice powder Rangoli is also made.
The Bengali wedding ceremony rituals for the day begin by welcoming the groom. An elderly female relative of the bride’s family welcomes the groom with a baran dala. It is a weaved plate which is first touched to the forehead of the groom, then touched to the ground. And the process is repeated thrice.
The groom is served sweets and sharbat. As he enters the house, a member of the bride’s family sprinkles rose water over him. The next is the Shubho Drishti ritual, wherein the bride and the groom see each other for the first time.
Saat Paak which is one of the most important Bengali wedding ritual is followed. For this ceremony, the bride is seated on a wooden plank and has to hold betel leaves in her palms to cover her face. Brothers of the bride lift her. Thereafter she rotates around the groom seven times. This signifies their union at the end of which she uncovers her face.
At the end of the seventh round, takes place the Mala Badal ceremony, wherein garlands are exchanged. This ceremony has a fun element to it as both sides try to delay the process by pulling the bride and groom back or raising them on their shoulders. Following this comes the Sampradhan ritual the paternal and the maternal uncle of the bride, give her away to the groom. The Saptadi ritual takes place after this.
Post Wedding Rituals
After the wedding, the Basar Ghar ceremony takes place, wherein the newly-wed couple is treated warmly and served delicious food. The Basar Ghar ritual of the Bengali wedding ceremony is mostly an occasion to celebrate with the bride. Before she leaves the house everyone spends time with her for one last time. In addition this ceremony helps make the groom feel comfortable.
The following morning, the Bashi Biye ritual takes place in which the groom applies vermilion on the bride’s forehead. The Bidaai ceremony is heldafter this wherein the bride leaves with the groom for her marital abode. The first ceremony at groom’s place is Bou Baran, which is a welcome ceremony for the bride. A plate containing milk mixed with lac dye is placed at the bride’s feet, she submerges her feet in the milk and enters the house, leaving imprints.
The last of the Bengali wedding ceremony rituals is the Bou Bhat ceremony. This occasion marks the first time the bride cooks in her new home.
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