Marriage plays an important role in individuals’ life. It is an imperative bond of duo’s life and demands due attention. India is a land of mixed religions and culture. The rituals and ceremonies practiced by various cultures are deeply rooted in the land and echo it loud, making the nation proud of its rich traditions and values. This article focuses on prominent culture of the nation, Bengali and their marriage rituals practiced.
Bengalis are blessed with sweet tooth and pleasing tongue, the mithas of rasgulla instilled defines their attitudes.Their marriages are never arranged in haste as it involves plenty of rituals and ceremonies to practice and make it happen. Festivals do come each year but marriages they come just for once and tie the duo forever, therefore the phase is very important for the family of both bride and groom.
The matrimony phase is segregated in three most perfect phases- pre-marriage, marriage and post-marriage.These phases reflect moments of blithe, joy and huge fun. Bengalis celebrations reflect their enriched traditions and values all loud and prominent. The grandeur is all enchanting and captivating, and setting the exemplary ambiance, Bengalis never deviate from their rituals.They practice it well and are believed to be strongly attached to their culture.
Bengali Wedding Rituals
Pre- Marriage Phase
PatiPatra: – This is at the initial stages and takes place when the marriage is fixed by both the families. A paper called patra is ideally signed by both the families amid the family member and guardians of the girl and the boy. Usually a coin wrapped in vermilion is used for signing the patra.
PakaDekha: – Here the groom’s parents and family goes to would be daughter-in-law’s house. They bless her with durba, dhaan, chandan, saree, gifts, ornaments, sweets and other important things. The same process is repeated by the bride’s parents and this is also referred to as an engagement ceremony in Bengal.
AiburoBhaat: –This is a ritual where the girl is supposed to eat last time at her father’s home until the time she gets married. Many families throw grand feast celebration on this occasion. All members in the family prepare bride’s favorite dishes. This celebration is accompanied by the bride’s sisters and is also called as Kumaripooja.
Holud Kota: –Here turmeric paste is applied to bride’s body so that her skin glows before marriage.
Vriddhi: –This is performed to honor the ancestors. It is practiced by both the families. It is performed by the paternal uncle and involves decorating the puja place. After all is done, the priest places the God’s idol to begin other ceremonies.
Dodhi Mongol: –Doodhi refers to dahi and Mongol in Bengali is referred for auspiciousness. This ritual is practiced by both bride and the groom. At the time before dawn, the ceremony is performed in which the bride and groom are offered curd, sandesh, khoi and other important items. The girl issupposed to dress up in red and white saree with mukut on the head as she is the deity of the house. Family members and relatives play Shankh and Uludhwani. It is believed that the sound echoed by Shankh is to remove all evils from lives of both.
Ganga Puja: –The ritual is performed to invite Maa Ganga to the auspicious occasion. The family members go to the river bank with paan leaf decorated with flower and bring a vessel filled with holy water. This depicts arrival of the Goddess.
Gaye Holud: –This ritual involves application of turmeric paste on body of the groom. This paste is prepared by3, 5 or 7 ladies and is firstly applied to the groom and then the same turmeric paste is send to bride’s home and is applied to her. After the girl is bathed with turmeric paste, she has to wear white and red sari and is decked up with all jewelry. This is the punarjanam of the bride and from now she is deity of Devi neither unmarried nor married.
The marriage involves many ceremonies starting from the time when the groom sits on the peedi. After this the bride is brought to the mandap for final daan called, Sampradaan takes place. The bride is then raised by her brothers and takes seven circles around her husband, holding leaves of paan to hide her face, it’s called Saatpakha. Then Shobhodhristi takes place when bride and groom look at each other.
After this Kanyadanamis the next step where elderly member of the family or bride’s father gives right hand of the bride on groom’s hand, and then groom fills bride’s hairline with vermilion. The knots are tied and the duo is supposed to take 7 rounds of sacred fire.
The ceremony proceeds with Yagya and bride and groom repeats the holy chants said by the priest. After this few games are played.
The next day after wedding BashiBiye takes place when bride is given vermilion and other gifts. Next is vidaa or doli, which is the most tragic moment when girl has to leave her father’s house forever and repays her father by throwing paddy, coins; mud in her mother aanchal, the ritual is called Kankanjali.