How Are Gujarati Marriage Rituals Celebrated?

How Are Gujarati Marriage Rituals Celebrated?

Stages of Gujarati Wedding Rituals – These rituals involved in Gujarati matrimony basically grouped into three stages – the pre-wedding rituals, the actual wedding rituals, and the post-wedding rituals.

How Are Gujarati Marriage Rituals Celebrated?
How Are Gujarati Marriage Rituals Celebrated?

The pre-wedding rituals include

  • Sagai – This is the engagement ceremony where the two proposing families come together to make promises of a cordial relationship. The bride visits the groom’s family with a matli which is a container filled with sweets and other gifts.
  • Mandap Muhurat – This Hindu ceremony is usually performed by a priest a few days before the actual wedding ceremony. A small pooja is done and there are blessings for everyone.
  • Griha Shanti – This is another ritual performed by a priest. A small pooja is performed and the zodiac readings of the bride and groom determine the date of the actual wedding.
  • Garba – It is a rite of matrimony which creates an avenue for both families to meet, interact, and acquaint with each other. It usually involves plenty of dance using hands and sticks.
  • Pithi – This ritual is held a day before the actual marriage. The faces of both the bride and groom are painted with yellow turmeric powder by the women of both families to bring a healthy glow to their faces.

The post-wedding rituals include

Vidaai – This is the departure of the couple. Ghar Nu Laxmi – Welcoming the bride to her new home by her mother-in-law. She touches a vessel filled with rice with her right foot. The Gujarati wedding rituals end with some games called Aki and prayer for good health and prosperity.

The actual wedding rituals include

  1. Barat – This happens on the actual wedding day. The groom arrives riding a colourfully dressed horse as all family members dance to traditional music.
  2. Ponkhana – This is the welcoming of the groom by the family. The bride’s mother does aarti and playfully pulls the groom’s nose. The groom then starts crushing some earthen pots into pieces as a sign that he has power to overcome any potential marriage problems. 
  3. Ganesh Pooja – When the groom has been welcomed to the mandap. Prayers are said to lord ganesh for happiness, peace, and prosperity. 
  4. Madhuparka – The groom’s feet is washed by the bride’s father with yogurt, honey, and ghee. The cousins and sisters of the groom steal shoes which the groom gives money to recover.
  5. Kanya Agman – This is the arrival of the bride with her uncle from her mother’s side.
  6. Jaimala – This ritual is performed by the priest when the bride arrives. It involves the exchange of garlands by the couple.
  7. Kanya dan – This is the giving of the bride to the groom by her parents by placing her hand on the own.
  8. Varmala – The family elders tie a cord is around the couple’s necks and loop it 24 times to symbolize safety from all evil energy.
  9. Hasta Milap – The scarves of the couple are tied together signifying the meeting of their souls. Rice grains and flower petals are also showered on them.
  10. Mangal Pheres – Rice grains are put on the hand of the couple by the bride’s brother. They then pour it into hawan (fire). They then take four turns around the fire as a sign that they will be together no matter what. The priest makes some incantations and the couple run to a chair, it is believed that whomever sits first, will be the house ruler forever.
  11. Saptapadi – Bride touches 7 betel nuts with her toes on her right leg, the groom does mantra to seek her support in life.
  12. Sindoor Daan – The groom powders the head with red powder showing she belongs to him.
  13. Kansar – Feeding of sweets to each other by the couple.
  14. Akhanda Saubhagyavati Bhava – Seven women bless the couple.
  15. Ashirwad – The couple touch the elders’ feet for blessings.