Marwari or Rajasthani weddings are strong rooted in culture and tradition, and so have a beautiful heritage quality about them that’s worth knowing about. The week-long wedding affair is an elaborate, regal and vibrant affair. Let’s take a look at traditional Marwari wedding rituals and customs:
MARWARI PRE – WEDDING RITUALS
This refers to the Marwari engagement ceremony. It is organised by the groom’s family. In this ceremony, a tikka is applied on the groom’s forehead and he receives gifts like clothes, a sword, sweets, etc. from the bride’s family.
Ganpati Sthapna and Griha Shanti Ceremony:
This Marwari wedding ritual is performed a few days before the wedding. They have a havan and offer prayers to their god Ganesha, asking him to bless the union of the couple.
This Marwari wedding ritual is similar to the haldi ceremony. Turmeric and sandalwood paste is applied to the bride and groom after which they are not allowed to leave the house till the wedding day.
The maternal relatives of the bride and groom present them with gifts like clothes, jewellery, etc.
This Marwari wedding ceremony is usually held in the evenings and arranged separately as ‘ladies mehfil’ and ‘gents mehfil’. Stunning dresses are worn and a traditional dance called Ghoomar is performed.
The groom is supposed to wear saffron robes and perform a havan. After this, he is required to wear a sacred thread called janev.
A day before the wedding, the groom’s relatives bring a set of gifts to the bride’s house. It consists of clothes, jewellery and other similar items that she is to wear on the wedding day.
MARWARI WEDDING RITUALS
Similar to other baraats, the groom dresses up royally and mounts a horse or elephant to go to the wedding venue. Nowadays, cars are used too. He holds a sword in hand and is accompanied by the wedding procession.
Once the groom reaches the wedding venue, he is greeted and welcomed by the bride’s mother who performs an aarti. The groom is accompanied by a male member of his family.
The groom is then taken to the bride who has her face covered by a veil. They exchange flower garlands (jaimalas) and then proceed to the mandap.
In this Marwari wedding ritual, either the priest or the groom’s sister ties the bride’s pallu/chunni to the groom’s shawl/dupatta, symbolizing their union and eternal knot.
The groom takes the bride’s hands in his and promises to be with each other through thick and thin, come rain or shine.
The bride and groom take rounds around the holy fire while the priest chants Vedic mantras. In Marwari wedding rituals, 4 pheras are taken in the mandap. The groom leads two and the bride leads two. Later, 3 more are taken at the entrance.
The Marwari ritual requires the bride to put her feet on a grinding stone as a symbol of steadfastness. After this, the bride’s brother gives her puffed rice in her hands which she then gives the groom who puts it in the holy fire. He then applies sindoor on the bride’s head.
POST – WEDDING RITUALS
The Bidai is an emotional goodbye from the bride to her parents. As she departs, a coconut is placed beneath the wheel of the car. The groom gives a piece of jewellery to his bride.
Once the newly married couple reach the groom’s house, a few more pujas take place.
The day after the grihapravesh, the bride is formally introduced to all family members of the groom who then give her gifts and bless her. Playful games are played between the bride and groom.