Uttaranchalis follow distinct rituals for all the auspicious and sad moments of life, from child birth to marriage. Every moment of life has to undergo one ritual or the other. Brahmins and Rajputs will willingly accept a girl of the lower caste as their daughter in law, but they are still reluctant to accept the boy of lower caste into their family. They are even reluctant to look well upon the same caste of people getting married. The man had to be of higher caste than the woman. However, some of these odd rituals have undergone a change with the new era. With the present trends becoming more popular in the country and changing people’s outlook, many traditions have changed, now it is okay for a widow to remarry, but was looked down upon in older days. Usually, marriages are prearranged. Before deciding the alliance, ‘Purohit’ matches the horoscopes of the boy and girl to see their compatibility, similar to the ancient Chinese tradition of comparing the woman and man’s horoscopes. Status and class of the family are the main prerequisites for negotiating any marriage. Also, caste is heavily considered; caste is not to be confused with class as members of the same class may display different behaviours than each other, whereas a caste is a social system of combined attributes such as wealth, political power, social class, culture, and endogamy.
After the proposal is accepted by both sides, a small ceremony is held at the house of the bride and tikka is exchanged. This is followed by another ritual called the engagement ceremony, where a necklace is presented to the girl. An auspicious muhurat is searched for the wedding. There are various pre-wedding or post-wedding ceremonies which are performed also, according to religion and family belief. On the wedding day, the bridegroom dresses in his traditional formal attire. The procession of friends, relatives and family members, followed by the groom, proceed toward the house of the bride. A white flag, which is called ‘Nishan’, is held ahead of the procession. It is followed by the people playing ‘shehnai’ instruments, which are drums and flutes. It is followed by the white ‘Palaki’, where the groom is seated. At the end of the procession, a man holds a flag which is red. This represents the bride.
Their is a feast is arranged at the bride’s house and regional specialties are served to the guests. The ‘Nath’ ceremony is performed, where a nose ring is presented to the girl. The next day, a ‘haven’ is performed and ‘pheras’ takes place. The pheras are performed by taking rounds around the ‘vedi’ which is specially constructed for the occasion. Various matras (prayers) are chanted by the priest to seek the blessing of the gods. Simple refreshment is given to the groom’s party and gifts and cash are given to the couple Also, tikkas are performed.
After this ceremony, the whole atmosphere becomes emotional when bride is just to leaves for her new house. Songs are sung by the womenfolk to mark the occasion of departure, and the bride’s entrance into womanhood. By that time, various rituals have already been performed at the groom’s house to welcome the new couple, and to enhance fertility of the couple. The procession now holds red flag ahead of them with a ‘doli’ behind it. The doli is a swing where the bride sits. When bride reaches her new home, she is welcomed by the groom’s family members and relatives. ‘Puja’ is performed and blessings are given to the new bride. She is also given jewels and gifts by the groom’s family. For your traditional Garwhal wedding, why not hire Babylon Productions as your wedding planner? For over 25 years we have been servicing wedding all over the world. We understand the importance of culture and family, and we want to make sure that your family is impressed and satisfied with the wedding ceremony! That’s why we offer impeccable services, including:
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