Indian weddings have been made popular around the world because of cinema and bollywood which appropriately portray them with all the grandeur and festivities. Besides that, with all the different casts and creeds that reside within the country, there are a number of different methods and ceremonies that are followed by people from different backgrounds.
Kayasthas are considered to be a sub-sect of the Brahmin cast and are commonly found in the northern parts of India. They are referred to the writing caste and worship Lord Chitragupta, whose temples incidentally are found in down south especially in Kanchipuram.
This cast mainly follows the same system of marriage irrespective of where they reside, with a small influence of the local traditions and rituals. Like other Brahmin sub-castes, they too prefer to marry within their own sect.
A Kayastha wedding ceremony is typically consists of the following events.
1. The Bariksha is a ceremony that represents that the girl and the boy accept each other’s proposal of marriage. This ritual is completed with the girls family presents the boy with a silver bowl of rice, supari, turmeric powder and money as blessings.
2. The Sagai, which is the engagement ceremony, involves the exchange of the engagement rings between the bride and the groom to be. Here, it is the family of the groom visits the home of the girl with gifts, dresses and jewellery for the bride.
3. The Haldi ceremony takes place in both houses for the girl and the boy. This event signifies the purification of the soul and a blissful beginning of a new life.
4. The Tilak ceremony is a lot like the Sagai but it is the bride’s family presenting all the gifts to the groom.
5. The Mehendi is an event celebrated much closer to the day to the wedding, where henna is applied in beautiful design forms on the bride, close family, relatives and friends. What is unique about a Kayastha matrimonial is that henna is applied on the hands of the groom also.
These events are followed by the primary events of the wedding, bidai and reception which is a modern take on presenting the newly wedded couple to family, friends and loved ones.