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When asked to paint the picture of a wedding in Punjab that is constructed in our heads, we think about love, colours, loud music, and lots of dancing. The ultimate big fat Punjabi wedding is incomplete with the pins of the portrayal of the very prideful culture of Punjab, consisting of a deluxe decor and hyper-excited guests everywhere, trying to overpower the sound of the loud music with their chitter-chatter. Apart from all the visual festivities, Punjabi weddings are a colourful montage picture with a series of fun and exciting traditions and rituals before, after and during the wedding. Mentioned below is a detailed guide to all the different practices in a big fat Punjabi wedding.
Roka and thaka
This ceremony officially declares that the bride and groom will be marrying each other and that they shall stop looking for other potential matches. The bride and groom are also congratulated by showering them with many gifts. The official announcement of the engagement is known as the Punjabi Roka ceremony. Whereas, Thaka is a part of the Punjabi marriage rituals, the groom's family visits the bride's place to exchange gifts and sweets, also known as Shagun.
In a Punjabi wedding, this function is undertaken as an acceptance of the bride by the groom and his people. As a token of acceptance, the bride is adorned with a red chunni which tells that she will soon be a part of the groom’s family.
This ceremony is celebrated on the same day as the Chunni ceremony. It is performed by exchanging rings between the bride and the groom to declare that they are now taken by each other in front of their friends and relatives. Followed by a small Hawan or pooja, the bride's side performs to seek blessings from the Almighty.
Next on the list of Punjabi wedding rituals, Mehendi ceremony is a fun ceremony to add to the dress-up of the bride. She chooses the most alluring design of Mehendi to put on her palms. Some people say that the darker the Mehndi gets, the more loving the husband will be. Moreover, the initials of the groom are hidden in her Mehendi.
The Jaggo ceremony is one of the most fun and joyful Hindu Punjabi wedding rituals. It is also known as Jaago night. The Jaggo ceremony is a way for friends and family to come together and celebrate the upcoming nuptials. During these Punjabi rituals, women gather together and sing and dance to traditional Punjabi music. After that, food and sweets are served, and the night is filled with laughter and joy.
Ghara Gharoli ceremony
Gharoli is a pre-wedding in Punjabi wedding traditions performed by the bride's sister-in-law (Bhabhi). The bride's bhabhi takes an earthen pot to collect water from a nearby well. In Ghadoli function, the bride must bathe in this holy water.
The Sangeet is solely for the entertainment of close friends and family. The bride and groom's families come together, and their friends and relatives perform dance numbers and sing songs dedicated to them.
Wedding day rituals are an important part of many cultural and religious ceremonies as they symbolise the joining of two individuals or families and commemorate the start of a new chapter in their lives. Some of them include the exchange of vows and the exchange of rings.
The particular tradition is meant to ward off evil and keep the couple safe from any sort of negativity.. But, first, the Punjabi bride and groom attend a pooja ceremony where the priest ties something called mouli on the wrists of each one of them. It is taken as a good luck charm.
The maternal aunt and uncle of the bride perform this ceremony. First, the bride's maternal uncle washes a set of 21 choodas in milk and rose petals. He then puts it on the bride's right arm and covers it with a white cloth which is removed during the marriage ceremony.
This is another ceremony that is performed for fun. First, the kaleere, which is generally made out of dry fruits, is put on the bride’s Chooda. Then, she shakes her Kaleere over her unmarried sisters and friends. People believe that whoever has a Kaleera fall on them, gets to marry next.
During the Punjabi Haldi ceremony, the groom's and bride's married family members apply a paste of Haldi and rosewater on the bride and the groom.
In this ceremony, the groom and his sister go to a temple with a vessel and fill this Ghara with holy water. It is a compulsion for the bride and the groom to bathe only with that water once the Haldi starts drying.
This ceremony is arranged to purify the sehra of the groom. First, the sehra is sanctified by the priest performing the pooja and then put on the groom’s head by his father.
Ghodi chadhai is a traditional and cultural wedding ritual that is performed in a Punjabi marriage. The groom rides on a horse and leads a procession to the bride's home, accompanied by family members, friends, and musicians playing dhol drums and other instruments.
In this ceremony, the bride's entire family waits at the venue gate to welcome the groom's family. During the Milni ceremony, the families of the bride and groom exchange greetings and garlands as a symbol of respect and love.
This is a fun competition between the team bride and the team groom. In this ceremony, the bride and the groom exchange each other's mala and whoever puts their garland on the other's neck quickest wins.
In this ceremony, the bride's father gives her away to the groom's family.
In this ceremony, the ends of the dupattas of the bride and the groom are tied into a knot, and they take seven rounds together around the fire.