Gujarati Wedding Rituals : Traditional & Colorful!
Gujarat is known for its great culture, and delicious vegetarian food. Gujarati people are warm and hospitable, and this hospitality is evident in their wedding functions also. The festive nature of the Gujarati people reflects in their wedding rituals and practices as their weddings are filled with fun and joy. The Gujarati Wedding functions are quirky, special and warm. In Gujarati Wedding Rituals, it has a meaning and a story behind it. Gujarat is also known for its beautiful fabrics and textiles so the women are always impeccably dressed. Gujarati people in particular are very lively and colourful in almost everything that they do. The sounds of Dhol, Nagada, Turi, Taturi and Murli are the first that you would hear when you attend a Gujarati Wedding. The sights are equally beautiful. Wedding guests who are decked to the nines in colourful Bandhej, whirl along to the Garba music. The unique combination of traditions and simplicity is something which makes Gujarati weddings a sheer delight. Gujarati Matrimony is famous for the entertaining events like music, beautiful dance, traditional garba, colorful clothing, and traditional cuisine.
Confused about everything that happens at a Gujarati Wedding? We break the details by pre-wedding rituals and wedding day rituals.
Let’s take a look at some of the typical Gujarati Wedding Rituals –
Pre - Wedding Rituals
1.) Chandlo Maatli – Acceptance of the marriage
Chandlo Maatli is considered the first ceremony of the wedding where the formal announcement is made. During this ceremony, the father of the bride along with four male relatives visit the groom’s place with a steel container or maatli full of sweets and gifts for the groom and his family. He then applies chandlo or a red circle at the center of the groom’s forehead and gives him the maatli and some money. The marriage date also fixed at this ceremony.
2.) Gol Dhana – Sagaai (Engagement)
The engagement ceremony in a Gujarati Wedding Rituals is known as gol dhana, which means coriander seeds and jaggery. So basically, on the engagement ceremony, both these things are distributed amongst the guests. The bride-to-be and her family pay a visit to the groom-to-be’s house with sweets and a few gifts. The rings are exchanged in the presence of their respective families, and the couple seeks the blessings from five married women from each side of the family.
3.) Mandap Mahurat
This ritual is observed to officially kick-of the wedding. This is observed in both the bride’s and the groom’s places but separately. The priest performs a puja at the house especially praying to Lord Ganesha and seeking his blessings to remove all obstacles from the couple’s paths before their impending union.
4.) Ganesh Maatli / Ganesha Sthapan – Lord Ganesha Pooja
Ganesha Sthapan or Ganesha Maatli is said to be the beginning of the wedding ceremonies and rituals. In this ceremony, both the families conduct Ganesh Pooja at their home few days prior to the wedding. Couple and their families pray for their happy and successful married life.
5.) Mehendi/ Sangeet Sandhya or Sanji/Garba
This is an informal ceremony which takes place two or three days before the day of the wedding. It is a ceremony of mirth and lighthearted banter. Mehendi, henna dye is applied on the hands and feet of the bride and other ladies of the house. Mehendi is considered auspicious and an inextricable part of any Indian wedding ritual. This is followed by singing and dancing (the traditional Garba or Dandiya Raas), all through the evening till late night and ladies crack jokes and try to make the bride loosen up. A similar ceremony resembling a bachelor’ party also takes place at the residence of the groom.
6.) Pithi - Sandalwood Paste
Pithi (haldi ceremony) in Gujarati weddings has its own touch as along with haldi (turmeric) a dash of sandalwood powder is also added. The mixture also includes rose water and perfume to keep the bride and groom’s skin soft and glowing.
7.) Mameru or Mosalu
This ceremony explains the role of the maternal uncle or mama of the bride in the whole wedding. He arrives at bride’s home and showers the bride with gifts like clothes, jewelry etc.
Wedding Day Rituals
1.) Baraat or Varghoda and Ponkhana
In a Gujarati wedding, the groom’s sister waives coins wrapped in a cloth over his head before he sets out of his house. This is a way to ward off the “evil eye” around her brother. The groom usually leaves for his baraat on a horse.
This is when the bride and groom exchange garlands while their relatives try to play games by picking them up on the shoulders to make it hard for them to exchange the garlands.
Antarpaat is when a piece of cloth is held between the bride and groom while the pandit chants the mantras. The cloth is lowered slowly during the ceremony as directed by the pandit.
4.) Kanyadaan, Hasta Milap and Varmala
Kanyadaan is the moment when the bride’s father gives his daughter’s hand in the hands of the groom. After this, the bride’s saree is tied to the groom’s shawl in a ritual known as the hasta milap. After that, a cord is tied around the couple’s necks by the elders in the family to ward off evil, which is known as varmala.
5.) Hasta Milap
The priest then unites the two by knotting the groom’s shawl with one end of the bride’s saree while chanting verses from sacred scriptures.
Commonly known as the saat phere, the saptapadi is the taking of seven steps (rounds) around the holy agni which marks the final ritual of the marriage. Following the saat pheras, the pandit announces the bride and groom to be man and wife.
The Final Say!
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