No matter where on earth you live, marriages are always special. And India, being a land of various culture and regions, weddings here get much better. Each of these regions and culture follow a religion which has its specific rules and rituals set for couples getting married. It is this diversity which makes India a beautiful amalgamation of traditions, rituals and colours.
Anyone who has witnessed a Bengali marriage will vouch for the fact that these are one of the most beautiful occasions. Be it the magnificent sound of the shanai or the gorgeous red Benarasi saree worn by the brides, anyone who attends a Bengali marriage is bound to be smitten by the beauty of the sacred rituals. An elaborate and classy amalgamation of the tradition and rituals, these can be your perfect, beautiful delight filled with vibrant colours and merriment!
Here in this article, we bring to you some basic rituals which are a part of every traditional Bengali marriage!
7 Beautiful Rituals Of A Traditional Bengali Wedding
- Aashirbaad: Aashirbaad is performed as a mark of acceptance for the groom and his bride by their respective in-laws. The groom’s family visits the bride’s house to shower their blessings on her and vice-versa. Leaves of the trefoil plant and rice husk are sprinkled on the bride and her groom.
- Aai Budo Bhaat: This happens the night before the d-day where the bride and the groom have their last meal before getting married in their respective homes. The Aai budo bhaat consists of a lavish and scrumptious meal which typically includes rice, dal, assorted vegetables, paturi (mustard fish steamed in a banana leaf), papad, mutton curry and payesh (rice pudding).
- Dodhi Mongol: Performed on the dawn of the marriage day, dodhi mongol is held at the houses of both the families separately. The bride and the groom are accompanied by a group of married women to the nearby pond, where they seek blessings from the Goddess Ganges. The groom and the bride then bring a pitcher of pond water along with them.
- Gaye Holud: The Gaye Holud is similar to the ‘Haldi’ ceremony celebrated in North India. A group of 5 or 7 married women apply ‘holud’ or the turmeric paste and oil to both the groom and the bride in their individual houses. Once the ceremony is over, they bathe and wear new clothes.
- Saat Paak And Subho Drishti: One of the most beautiful sites you can witness at a Bengali wedding is the Saat Paak. It is where the bride seats on a wooden plank, known as pidi and is carried to the mandap by her brothers by keeping her face covered with sacred beetle leaves.
As the bride remains seated on the stool, her brothers walk her around the groom seven times. After the completion of this saat paak, when the bride and groom take a look at each other in the presence of their guests, it is known as the Subho Drishti.
- Mala Bodol: As the bride remains seated on the wooden pidi, flower garlands are exchanged between the groom and his bride. These garlands are exchanged three times.
- Sindoor Daan: Once all the rituals are performed in front of the holy fire, the groom applies sindoor on his bride’s hair parting. The sindoor daan marks the completion of their wedding rituals. Soon after the sindoor daan, the new bride covers her head with a new saree gifted to her by her in-laws as a mark of ghomta.
Bengali marriages are indeed a visual treat which is filled with colours, sounds and magnificence. Whether it’s your own marriage or someone else’s marriage, be assured of complete merriment!