Introduction to Marwari Weddings

Marwari weddings are vibrant and colourful celebrations steeped in tradition and customs that have been passed down for generations. The Marwari community is a predominantly Hindu community native to the Rajasthan region of India, and the weddings are a reflection of their rich cultural heritage. The Marwari marriage rituals are typically conducted in accordance with Hindu customs and traditions and hold religious significance. The wedding rituals are performed to seek blessings from the gods and invoke divine grace for a happy and prosperous life together.

Not only this, but Marwari weddings are a reflection of the social status of the families involved and are an opportunity for the families to showcase their wealth, cultural heritage and status to the community. For more information about wedding rituals and customs, check out our InstaAstro app and website.

Pre-Wedding Marwari Rituals

The pre-wedding ceremonies start with the engagement ceremony, where the bride and groom exchange rings and their families officially agree to the union.

Roka Ceremony or Sagaai

The Roka ceremony is one of the first pre-wedding marwadi shaadi rituals performed. It is a kind of promise between families. Here, two families finalise their children's marriage in front of friends and families. It is an opportunity for both families to meet and formally acknowledge their acceptance of the relationship. This ceremony is done to officiate the relationship and announce the engagement of the bride and the groom.

Ganpati Sthapana And Grih Shanti Ceremony

Lord Ganesha is known as the god of wisdom, knowledge and new beginnings. Therefore, before the actual wedding rituals take place, it is mandatory in the Marwari tradition to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha by doing a small pooja or havan. In addition, some families also perform the Grih Shanti ceremony to bring positive energy and peace to the home and to ward off any negative energies or obstacles that may be present.

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Byaah Hath And Bhaat

Bhaat Notana or Bhaat ceremony is one of the common and important traditions in Hindu culture. This function celebrates seven to 10 days prior to the wedding in which gifts like jewellery, clothes are gifted by the maternal uncle of both bride and groom. And after that the bride's or groom's mother hosts a small function, such as lunch or dinner, for her maternal family.

Ratt jaga And Mudda Tikka

In some Marwari families, the Mudda Tikka ceremony is an occasion to exchange rings between the bride and groom. Instead of conducting two ceremonies, Roka and engagement, differently some families conduct the same say, calling it a Mudda Tikka. On the other hand, the Ratt jaga ceremony is performed with the bride and groom separately. The reason behind this ritual is to ward off all the negative energies from the house.

Pitthi Dastoor

The Pitthi Dastoor ceremony or Haldi ceremony is a pre-wedding ritual in Indian weddings, including the Marwadi wedding. This pre-wedding ceremony is conducted at the bride's and groom's places. The female members of the family apply turmeric paste made from besan and sandalwood to the bride and the groom. The paste or ubtan is believed to have skin-lightening and anti-septic properties and is also thought to enhance the beauty and radiance of the bride and groom on the wedding day.

Janeu Or Janev

Afterwards, the priest conducts the Janeu ceremony at the groom's place. In this ceremony, the priest gives the groom a sacred thread( called Janeu). It is said that when a groom wears a janeu, he enters a new phase called the Grashasthya from the Brahmacharya phase. This sacred thread is worn over the shoulder across the chest. Janev is considered to be a symbol of spiritual purity and represents the boy's commitment to pursuing knowledge and righteousness.

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Telbaan

The Telbaan ceremony is similar to Pitthi Dastoor( haldi ceremony). However, this ceremony takes place separately at the bride's and groom's houses. As the name suggests, the female members of the family apply a paste made of mustard oil and other ingredients such as curd and herbs.

Mehendi

The next Marwari shaadi ritual is the Mehendi ceremony. It is a symbol of good health and prosperity in which hands and feet are designed with henna. The mehendi ceremony is usually accompanied by music, dance and singing and is an occasion for the bride to dress up in traditional attire such as a lehenga or saree.

Mahira Dastoor

In Mahira Dastoor, the main highlight is the bride's uncle and aunty (Mama and Mami). This is the time of the blessings with gifts and sweets offered by the maternal aunt and uncle of the bride.

Palla Dastoor

In Marwari culture, the bride is not supposed to wear a lehenga or jewellery of her choice. Instead, according to the Palla Dastoor ceremony, the groom's family comes to the bride's house and gifts her the wedding attire and jewellery to be worn on the wedding day. In some Marwari families, the Palla Dastoor ceremony takes place a day before the wedding. However, in some Marwari families, the bride receives her lehenga and jewellery on the wedding day.

Mehfil

The mehfil ceremony in Baniya wedding rituals is similar to the sangeet ceremony in Hindu rituals. It is typically a musical evening where families and friends come together to dance, sing and celebrate this joyous occasion. The bride and groom's families usually perform traditional dances and songs.

Marriage Day Marwari Wedding Rituals

After the pre-wedding rituals, it is time to perform the wedding day rituals. Then, finally, the wedding day itself starts with customs like the Jaimala ceremony, where the bride and groom exchange flower garlands. This is followed by the Saat Phere ceremony, where the couple takes seven vows, and the bride's father gives her hand in marriage to the groom.

Thamb Pooja

In royal Marwari wedding traditions, the wedding day customs start with a havan at the bride and groom's house, Thamb Pooja. The number 11 is said to be an auspicious number in Hindu traditions. It is mandatory to feed brahmins after the havan. As per the mythological belief, without feeding the brahmins, a havan or pooja is said to be incomplete. This is why the bride's and groom's side of the family feeds eleven priests or brahmins.

Korath Ceremony and Ganpati Pujan

The Korath ceremony invites the groom to the venue by the bride's father or brother. When the groom reaches the mandap, the priest performs Ganpati pujan to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha.

Nikasi Ceremony And Baraat

Baraat is the ceremony in which the groom prepares to go to the bride's house for the wedding. In Nikaasi, he gets dressed by donning a sherwani and a sehera. Then, the groom's brother-in-law helps him to get ready. After that, the groom's married or unmarried sister applies kajal( kohl) in her brother's eyes to ward off all the negative energies around him.

Jaimala And Gathbandhan

In a Marwadi marriage, the Jaimala ceremony is usually one of the first events of the wedding day. The bride and the groom, seated facing each other, exchange garlands to symbolise their acceptance of each other as partners in life.

Kanyadaan

A traditional Marwari wedding ceremony known as kanyadaan involves the bride's father giving his daughter away to her husband. The word 'Kanyadaan' consists of two Sanskrit words, Kanya and Daan. A father's roles as protector and provider are officially transferred to the bride's husband during this ceremony.

Panigrahan

The next Marwari marriage ritual is Panigrahan. This ritual is a part of the Kanyadaan process. While transferring his duties as a protector and provider, the bride's father puts his daughter's hand in the groom's hands. During this ritual, the priest will chant mantras and pour water on the couple's hands. This whole process is known as Panigrahan.

Four/Saat Phere And Asharoham

The wedding is then sealed with a sacred dire, and the couple ties a holy thread around each other's wrists. Saat Phere, also known as Saptapdi, is one of the most important wedding rituals of the Marwari wedding. Both bride and groom take seven pheras around the sacred fire taking seven vows with each other. However, in some Marwari families, the bride and groom take four pheras instead of seven.

Asharoham, also known as Ashwahrohan, is the ceremony that teaches the bride about the challenges of married life coming her way. In this ceremony, she has to move forward with a grinding stone seven times. This shows that despite all the obstacles and challenges she will overcome, she will learn to move forward just like this ceremony.

Vamang Sthapana

This ritual takes place after the bride and groom complete seven pheras. After the pheras, the bride officially becomes a part of the groom's family and his wife. In Hindu traditions, a wife always sits on the left side of her husband. According to some beliefs, just like a human body needs the heart to survive, similarly, a husband cannot survive without his wife.

Sindoor Daan or Sumangalika

In this ritual, the groom applies sindoor, a red powder, on the bride's forehead in the shape of a dot or a line. This act symbolises the bride's married status, commitment to her husband, and marital bond.

Aanjhala Bharai

This ceremony is performed either by the bride's mother-in-law or father-in-law. Now the newly-wedded bride will take responsibility for the whole house. For this, either the mother-in-law or father-in-law will place some cash in their daughter-in-law's lap, indicating she should come home and take responsibility.

Joota Chupai

Here comes one of the most joyful and fun wedding ceremonies in a Marwari marriage. In this ceremony, the bride's sister tried to hide the groom's shoes. In return, they demand some cash and will only return the shoes to the groom. As a ritual, the groom gives the money to his sister-in-law.

Sir Gutthi and Sajjan Goth

Sir Gutthi is the last ritual that takes place on the wedding day. As the name suggests, a female member close to the bride combs her hair. This process is known as Sir Gutthi. In some families, the same process is done by elderly female family members. This ritual is followed by a dinner hosted by the bride's father.

Post-Wedding Marwari Rituals

In Marwari traditions, post-wedding rituals serve to celebrate and strengthen the newly formed bond between the bride, groom and their families. It includes ceremonies such as Bidaai, Grahpravesh and many more.

Bidaai

Bidaai, also known as Vidai, is a traditional and emotional ceremony at Marwari weddings. It is a farewell ritual in which the bride says goodbye to her parents and family as she sets off to start her new life with her husband and his family. During the bidaai ceremony, the bride is escorted by her father to the threshold of the wedding venue. After that, she takes blessings from her parents and family members, steps into the car, and takes her to her in-laws. Also, for a good omen, a coconut is placed under the car's tyre and asked to move the vehicle over the coconut. Finally, the bride leaves her parents and family with a heavy heart and teary eyes to begin a new chapter in her life.

Grahapravesh

In Marwari customs and traditions, a newly-wedded bride is considered an image of the goddess Lakshmi. This is why the bride is asked to step inside the house by kicking a kalash full of rice. It is believed that if the new bride enters the house doing this ritual, wealth and abundance will never leave the house.

Pagelagni And Chura

After the Marwari bride is welcomed by her in-laws, it is time for the Pagelagni and Chura ceremony. In Pagelagni, the new bride receives blessings and gifts from the elder members of the family. After that, the mother-in-law (groom's mother) then gifts a pack of red chooras to her daughter-in-law ( bride). The choora is worn by the newly-wedded bride for approximately six months to one year. The Chura ceremony is similar to the Punjabi ceremony as the newly-wedded bride must wear a colourful choora for approximately one year. However, in some Punjabi families, the choora is gifted by the bride's uncle ( mama).

Muh Dikhai

Next in the line of the Marwari wedding rituals list is Muh Dikhai. It is a Hindu tradition celebrated in North India, where the face of a newly-wed bride is unveiled in front of her husband's family for the first time. The ceremony is usually performed on the second or third day after the wedding and involves the bride being decorated with traditional finery and jewellery. All the female relatives of the groom's side, neighbours and family friends get to see the bride for the first time. Also, the newly-wedded bride receives gifts from family and friends.

Pag Phera

Last on the list of post-wedding Marwari rituals is the Pag Phera ceremony. After the wedding, the bride's brother takes the bride back to her maternal home for two to three days. And after two to three days, the groom is welcomed by his in-laws with a lunch or dinner ceremony. In Marwari wedding rituals, the newly-wedded groom( now son-in-law) receives blessings and gifts from the bride's home since he is visiting his in-law's place for the first time after marriage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Tilak ceremony in Marwari weddings signifies the official engagement of the bride and the groom and marks the start of the wedding celebrations. In other words, the Tilak ceremony officiates the relationship between the bride and groom. It is the time to exchange gifts, offer blessings and make preparations for D-day.
In Marwari wedding rituals, instead of saat pheras, the bride and the groom take four pheras. Saat pheras include seven vows taken by the bride and groom to each other. However, in four pheras, each round around the sacred fire signifies certain aims of life, such as Kama, Artha, Moksha and Dharma. In two pheras, first, the groom leads the bride and takes vows, and the other two pheras are led by the bride.
In Marwari and Gujarati culture, it is not a compulsion to wear a mangalsutra. Therefore, most of the brides do not wear mangalsutra. In Hindu culture, a mangalsutra is considered to be a symbol of luck and protection for her husband. But instead of a mangalsutra, the Marwari bride wears a sindoor and a toe ring( also known as bichiye).
The bandoli or bindori ceremony has become less popular in Marwari families. Out of all the lavish and grand wedding celebrations in Marwari culture, the bandoli function can be seen as the only low-key ceremony. In this function, the groom or bride side of the family hosts a small lunch or dinner for close or extended family members.
In Marwari culture and tradition, Chak and Bhaat are two separate ceremonies. So Chaak poojan is celebrated by both sides, i.e., the bride and the groom. In this ceremony, the female members of both sides, i.e. groom and bride, take a pot made of geeli mitti (earthen pot) to the temple to seek blessings from the Almighty. The Bhaat ceremony is celebrated with the presence of the bride's and groom's maternal uncle and aunt. In some families, this ceremony is also called Maayara.
Originally from Rajasthan, the Marwari community is one of the largest Hindu ethnic groups in the country. Various castes and communities make up the Marwari caste, including the Khadelwals, Banias, Jains, Maheshwaris, and Agarwals.
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