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India is a diverse country with a lot of traditions and culture. Each state has its own beauty and elegance in performing the rituals with zeal and enthusiasm. Likewise, a wedding is a holy and auspicious ceremony in Indian culture because an Indian wedding is not just a celebration. Furthermore, it's an emotion where the bride and groom tie the knot with each other and bind the two families together. As you might have noticed, Indian weddings come with a lot of significance, ceremonies, holy rituals, authentic food, traditional dress for different functions and many more.
Here we'll specifically be looking into the marathi wedding. As we know, Maharashtra is famous for its culture and beauty, and so are Maharashtrian weddings. Marathi traditional weddings are very simple and elegant as compared to other Indian weddings. The marriage ceremonies of the Marathi people only reflect the fundamental principles of Maharashtrian tradition, and there aren't any unnecessary activities that have no religious importance.
With that being said, let's learn more about the marathi marriage and all the rituals and ceremonies. Anyways, before we put our hands on the main ceremonies of the wedding day, let's know about the pre-marathi wedding rituals performed before the big day. The ceremonial practices are performed at homes with all the religious rituals and prayers.
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Lagnaach Bedior is one of the most important rituals before the wedding. Not only the Maharashtrian wedding but all Indian weddings include this ritual as a part of the ceremony. This is a very common practice at the Indian wedding where every house has its priests from whom they take all the consultations and advice.
Furthermore, the priest is called to look into the kundli and horoscope of both bride and groom so that the priest can predict if there's any fault or dosh in the birth chart. So to avoid such shortcomings in the marriage, the priest suggests an auspicious date and time for the marriage so that the ceremonies could be done without any chaos and the marriage would be fruitful.
SakharPuda is the first official ceremony where the family gathers and performs an official marriage announcement. It's actually an engagement ceremony (Roka) where the groom's mother offers a saree, jewellery and sweets to the bride to notify her family and all the guests that she has accepted her as a daughter-in-law. The bride's mother follows exactly the same ritual, and both the couple exchange the ring and so the official announcement is made about the marriage.
This ritual is performed after the priest of the family finalises the date and time of the wedding. That's when the preparation of a wedding ceremony begins with Muhurat Karane, where the bride's mother invites the five Suvasini (married women) to perform the rituals at least one month before the wedding.
The ritual is performed with the grinding of haldi to be used during the Halad Chadhavane ( where turmeric is applied to the bride). The haldi is ground using a Moosal (metallic pestle) wrapped with mango leaves.
Pulses are also ground and soaked in the water. They make the small balls out of the wet dal(pulses) and dried in the sun, which is called the Sandage and also includes the ceremony of rolling the papads.
After some of these rituals have been performed, now comes the printing of wedding invitations a few or two before the big day. Then, according to the discussion between both families, the invitation cards are printed. The first invitation card is offered to Lord Ganesh with the belief that he blesses the bride and groom for a promising and successful wedding.
Two or three days ahead of the wedding, both families gather for the Kelvan religious ritual, during which they bow to their respective family gods (Kuldevta). The main purpose of this ceremony is to strengthen the bond between the two families, along with the bride and groom.
In Hindu culture, the Kuldevta is believed to be a very important and powerful deity. Therefore, the family deity graces the couples for a successful marriage and a great life ahead.
After the puja or the ritual is over, both the family get together to have a meal, and the food cooked on the day of Kelvan is all vegetarian.
In simple words, the Halad Chadavane is a haldi ceremony where the turmeric is grinded on the day of Muharat Karane and is applied to the bride. The haldi is applied by the same five Suhasanie (married women). The haldi is applied to the head, shoulder, hands and feet to purify the bride and groom before the rituals and marriage.
It's the fact that weddings are just one of the biggest moments of our lives and we want to look the best. It's the desire of all couples to find out the best attire for themselves so that they can get decked up in the best possible way.
Marathi weddings are the most glamorous yet graceful and energetic, as you may have seen from what we said in the first paragraph. The ritual and ceremonies add extra grace to the ceremonies. The marriage marathi wedding dress for couple is designed in a way that the couple looks the most beautiful and charming on their wedding day.
First, let's look into the groom's attire which looks very simple and aesthetic.
A Maharashtrian groom is typically dressed in an off-white, creamy, or beige kurta and a white Kanche or dhoti with a slim edge. Thus, the groom flaunts a crimson or golden shawl around his shoulders, which is worn with a Nehru-style cap or Pheta (a type of headwear).
The Maharashtrian bride is known for flaunting simple yet vibrant silk sarees with gold-coloured borders. The bride's accessories include a traditional gold necklace (Thusi), marathi sleeves, a moon-shaped bindi, and the Mangalsutra, which is worn only after the marriage.
The marathi bride only wears green glass bangles, typically with pearl or gold Kangans.
However, as per traditional marathi wedding, yellow and green are suitable colour pairings used to wrap the saree in the Marathi Dhoti style. The bride gets decked up in a saree with either a six-yard Paithani or a nine-yard Navari saree.
The most common ornament seen in the Marathi bride and groom is known as Mundavalya, which is made of small threads of blossoms, beads, or jewels.
The Mundavalya is the one element that genuinely differentiates the Marathi wedding from other Indian weddings.
In addition, the bride and groom put on a customary headband across their foreheads which falls down the sides of their faces, which is not seen in any other brides and grooms.
Talking about footwear, the bride usually wears Kolhapuri sandals which are open towards the toe, and it's very comfortable yet matches the attire. It comes in various vibrant colours, which completes the whole look of a bride.
Now that we have explored the pre-wedding rituals and the attire of the Marathi wedding. We'll look into the rituals performed on the main day of the wedding ceremony. There are a lot of rituals that are performed by couples and families. Hence, we'll mention each and every ritual that is performed on the main day to make the wedding a prosperous and memorable one.
Every wedding starts with offering sweets, flowers and prayers to God so that the almighty bless the couple and the family with his blessings.
As we know, in Indian culture, the first offering is provided to Lord Ganesha as a symbol of a new beginning. The puja is performed so that the couples are blessed with a successful journey in their present and future endeavours.
The statues of the family deity (Kuldevta) are placed at the wedding site and offered with prayers once again so that the Kuldevta graces his holy blessings upon the couples.
The bride offers the prayers with rice in her hand to Goddess Parvati for a prosperous marriage, and in Indian culture, it's believed that the married woman or a woman during her marriage should worship Goddess Parvati.
One thing to remember about a Marathi wedding is that the Pathani green saree worn by the bride is given by the maternal uncle (mama) to the bride as a present and blessing.
In a Punyavachan ceremony, the parents of the bride ask the members of the family and wedding guests to take a moment to bless their daughter as she embarks on a new adventure in her life.
The Seeman puja is performed to welcome the groom in the Mandap (the site where all the rituals are performed). The mother of the bride cleanses her son-in-law’s feet and applies a tilak on his forehead as a gratitude for son-in-law.
For this ritual, the groom arrives at the Mandap and puts a Mundavalya (small threads of blossoms, beads, or jewels) on his forehead. The groom is now all set to perform all the wedding rituals, but before that, there is a sheet of cloth called the Antarpat to prevent the groom from seeing the bride before marriage.
The bride approaches the Mandap, and she is brought to the marriage site by her maternal uncle. As soon as the bride arrives, the sheet of cloth 'Antarpat' is removed, and that's the moment when the bride and groom look at each other. This ritual of Sankalp creates a sense of emotional moment for both couples.However, after all this, the couples exchange the garland made of flowers, and the couples are showered with the 'Akshatas' (the yellow-coloured rice) by all the families and relatives.
Kanyadaan is one of the most common practices at Indian weddings. The bride's father gives his daughter to the groom and blesses the couple for a prosperous life ahead. The groom accepts the bride and performs the rituals by promising to respect and give her all the love and affection in life.
The bride offers rice to the holy fire(Havan) while the groom chants the three holy mantras, and after that, the fourth mantra is softly chanted by the bride. However, the bride and groom thereafter tie holy threads on each other's hands after the bride's parents venerate the couple as the existences of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. Finally comes the most important ceremony of every Indian wedding, where the groom places the sindoor on the bride's head, and the mangalsutra is tied around the neck of the bride.
Saptapadi is the most significant part of the wedding, where the end of the cloth of both the couples are tied to one another and moves around the agni (holy fire) chanting the pledge and commitment towards the wedding.
Samapti in Hindi itself means the end, so the last ritual is performed to bring the ceremony to an end by offering blessings and prayers to Goddess Laxmi and chanting the Laxmi mantra till the holy fire goes off.
However, after the fire goes off, the groom provides the bride with a new name while accepting her as his life partner.
After all, the rituals are performed by the couples, and now comes the time for the bride to leave her house and start a new life with her husband. Varat is one of the emotional moments for the bride and the family as the family bids goodbye to her daughter with blessings for a flourishing life in her new home.
The groom's mother welcomes the newlyweds at the entrance of the house. Later, the groom's mother washes the feet of the couple with milk and water. She offers an aarti to bid away all the evils, and the bride knocks the kalash(a pot filled with rice) with her right foot.
This is how the newlyweds are welcomed into the house by their relatives and family.
Reception is an official announcement to all the society, relatives and friends. The bride must get decked up in a saree that was presented to her by the groom's family, and the groom must wear the outfit that the bride's family handed over to him. That's how the wedding of a Maharashtrian bride and groom concludes with a very official party and fun.