Marriage, a union celebrated across the globe, takes on a unique character in every region, influenced by local traditions and historical practices. Dive into a journey across different states and experience the beauty, charm, and uniqueness of their wedding customs. From vibrant rituals to symbolic gestures, here's a list of five distinctive wedding traditions that beautifully capture the essence of their origin.
5 Unique Wedding Customs from Different Indian States
Kerala – The Mala Ceremony
Located in the southwestern region of India, Kerala boasts a serene landscape punctuated by backwaters and coconut trees. A prominent custom in Malayali weddings is the "Mala Ceremony" or the exchange of garlands. In this ritual, the bride and groom stand on either side of a curtain, specifically placed to keep them separated. They are each handed a garland. Once the curtain is dropped, the couple exchanges the garlands, symbolizing their union. It's a moment filled with joy, teasing, and laughter, as they try to outdo each other in placing the garland first.
Punjab – The Vatna Ceremony
Punjab, a northern state in India known for its vivacious culture, has a pre-wedding ritual called the "Vatna Ceremony". Here, a paste made of turmeric, sandalwood, and rose water is applied to both the bride and the groom. This is done by the female members of the family, marking the purification of the bodies before the union. It's believed that turmeric brightens and evens out the skin tone, blessing the couple with a radiant glow for the big day.
Rajasthan – The Ghoomar Dance
Renowned for its majestic forts and deserts, Rajasthan stands out for its colourful and royal traditions. One such tradition is the "Ghoomar Dance", a vital part of Rajasthani weddings. Performed by the bride along with her female relatives and friends, Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance showcasing the rich culture of the state. The bride, adorned in a beautiful ghagra (long skirt), swirls gracefully, her face covered by a veil, expressing joy and excitement for the new journey she's about to embark on.
Assam – The Juron Ceremony
Tucked away in the northeastern part of India, Assam is a state adorned with tea gardens and the majestic Brahmaputra River. Assamese weddings have a unique pre-wedding ritual called the "Juron Ceremony". Here, the groom's mother and a few female relatives visit the bride's home bearing gifts. They ceremonially bless the bride by applying sindoor (vermillion) on her forehead and gift her traditional Assamese attire, jewellery, and cosmetics. It's a heartwarming ritual signifying the bride's welcome into her new family.
West Bengal – The Shubho Drishti Ritual
The culturally rich state of West Bengal in eastern India, with its legacy of art and literature, has a wedding ritual that captures many hearts. It's called "Shubho Drishti". After the bride is brought to the wedding mandap (altar) by her male relatives who carry her on a wooden plank, she keeps her eyes covered with betel leaves. As the leaves are slowly lowered, she and the groom lock eyes in a poignant and emotional moment. This eye contact termed the auspicious glance, is believed to bond the couple, warding off any evil eye.
As we traverse through these states, we realize that each wedding custom, though diverse, resonates with a common theme of love, joy, and the coming together of two families. They not only bind the bride and groom but also paint a vivid canvas of the region's cultural heritage. No matter where you go, the essence of a wedding remains the same – celebrating the union of two souls. Yet, these regional flavours add a unique charm, making each ceremony a cherished memory and a story to tell.
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