Features of Bengali Wedding

Bengali weddings are a grand celebration of love and commitment between two people. We know them for their elaborate rituals, vibrant decorations, and rich cultural heritage. People typically spread the wedding celebrations over several days, with each day having significance and customs. Traditions add more fun and make weddings grand. All rituals are small steps taken by couples to stay committed officially forever. Bengali rituals have a lot of positivity and are filled with joy. Below are the Bengali marriage rituals step by step.

The Pre-Wedding Rituals

These all include Bengali wedding or Bengali Biye rituals.

The Bengali engagement ceremony is when the groom and bride exchange rings and seal the marriage.

  • Aashirwad ceremony: In Bengali marriage, here the bride's family visits the groom's house to bless the couple. The Bengali Ashirwad ceremony helps couples to enjoy their married life with positivity. The Ashirwad ceremony in Bengali marriage is all about blessing the couple and instilling a positive start to the marriage.
  • The Haldi ceremony: It is when a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, and other herbs is applied to the bride and groom to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. This ceremony is special for the Bengali bride groom, and their families.
  • Adaan Pradaan (Finalisation of Date): This is when the families meet and decide the wedding date. A Pandit concludes the auspicious date so they can perform the marriage successfully.
  • Aiburo Bhaat: This is the last meal the couple have as an unmarried duo; the ritual takes place in the afternoon at the Bengali bride's and groom's home. Dishes are made according to the taste of the person getting married. Aiburo means not engaged, and bhaat is rice. This ceremony is referred to as the start of the Bengali wedding.
  • Nitro and Nitkone: This custom doesn't have any significance but adds colour to the wedding. Bor is a boy, and Kone is a girl; so the boy from the side of a groom and the little girl from the bride’s side accompanies the bride from Aiburo Bhaat till the wedding.
  • Shankha Pola: This ceremony begins the day before the wedding, when the bride wears conch shell bangles. The bride is blessed by relatives.
  • Ganga Nimantran: They carry betel leaves and nuts as part of a ritual summoning the Ganges. A neighbouring lake or pond might also be used to practise this ritual.

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Wedding Day Rituals

  • Baran Dal Ceremony: The primary Bengali Hindu wedding day starts with the Baran Dala ceremony, where the bride is adorned with new clothes, jewellery, and traditional wedding accessories. The groom then arrives at the bride's house with his family, where the couple is made to sit on a raised platform called the 'Mandap'.
  • Saptapadi: A Hindu priest performs the wedding ceremony, which includes the exchange of wedding vows, tying the holy knot, and seven vows (Saptapadi).
  • Dodhi Mangal: When the bride and groom are required to consume flattened rice that has been soaked and is mixed with Mishti Doi or yoghurt. They are only allowed to take sweets and water until they get married.
  • Nandi Mukh: It is a ceremony where the bride wears cotton saree and pays respects and seeks blessings from the ancestors. This ritual is done with the help of a priest and the elder member of the family.
  • Tatta: The Bengalis exchange gifts as part of a custom at weddings. With Haldi, the bride's family receives presents from the groom's family. The bride's family sends blessings and gifts to the groom.
  • Bengali Bor Boron: It is when the bride's family welcomes the groom; they receive sweets and aarti. Patta Bastra is a Bengali ritual performed when the groom enters the mandap and is asked to change the attire and wear a dhoti instead with a cloth wrapped around the upper part of the body.
  • Subho Drishti: It is when the bride is brought by her brothers around the groom while taking seven circles. During this ritual, the bride covers her face with betel leaves.
  • Mala Badol: The bride and groom are prepared to exchange garlands during this ritual and move one step ahead to be officially married.
  • Sampradan: This is when the bride's father hands over her daughter to the groom while the priest or pandit chants Mantras. This is an emotional moment for the family. Sindoor Daan is the last step, when the groom puts the Sindhoor in the middle of the head with the help of a coin.

The wedding feast, known as the "Bashi Biye", is a grand affair with an elaborate spread of traditional Bengali dishes. Their family members serve the couple food, and the meal is followed by the Saat Paak ceremony, where the bride and groom take seven vows of love, commitment, and respect towards each other.

One of the highlights of Bengali wedding traditions is the cultural music and dance performances. The wedding guests are treated to a mesmerising display of traditional Bengali folk dances, accompanied by the beats of the Dhol, Tabla, and other musical instruments.

Post Wedding Celebration

Following the Bengali wedding, the bride and groom eat Bashor Jaga, a meal shared with other family members.After this, they conclude with the Bidai ceremony, where the bride says goodbye to her family and leaves for her new home with her husband. The bride's family showers her with rice, flowers, and good wishes, symbolising their love and blessings for the couple's future. The Bengali bride and groom's home is where this final dinner as a unmarried is served.When the couple visits the bride's family and stays there for a day or two, the family's eldest members untie the knot, which signifies the end of a marriage; it is usually done on the eighth day of the wedding. Lastly, the Ashtamangala ritual in Bengali marriage is a special post wedding ritual which sees the couple visiting the bride’s family.

Conclusion

Bengali Marriage symbols are a celebration of love, culture, and traditions. The elaborate rituals and customs bring together families and communities to rejoice in the joy of two people starting a new life together. The wedding is a beautiful testament to the rich cultural heritage of Bengal and its deep-rooted traditions. The wedding ceremony includes a lot of joy, but at the back of the mind, it also makes the bride's side emotional. This is because it marks the beginning of new life with a partner that will include love and fights. Therefore, the Bengali wedding is done with a lot of joy, and both the families make a good connection and bless the couple for their new life together.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is a Bengali marriage ritual performed in the mandap when the bride's father hands over his daughter's hand to the groom. It is also known as Kanyadaan.
It is when the couple is served a Bengali feast by family members, followed by after Bengali marriage rituals, Saatpatak ceremony when the couple takes seven vows together.
It is a Bengali martial ritual when the couple is fed flatted milk with rice and is told to eat only sweets and water until they get officially married.
During the Bengali Hindu wedding ceremony, the bride is accompanied by a little girl till marriage, known as Kone, and the groom is accompanied by a Bor or a little boy.
It is when the bride and groom exchange garlands and are all set to get married.
Yes, there is a Bengali ritual called Nandi Mukh. When the bride wears a cotton saree and sits with an elderly family member.Priest recites mantras and asks the bride to pay respect to ancestors.
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