A wedding is an event in which two individuals are legally united in matrimony. Traditional wedding traditions and customs often vary significantly between cultures, religious groups, societies, and nations. However, there are some key elements that remain common among most weddings.
The word “wedding” itself has various interpretations depending on the culture, religion, region, and even social class of the people involved. In the United States, the wedding ceremony typically involves a bride and groom exchanging ” vows “in a room divided by a wall.” Some cultures have very elaborate wedding ceremonies, complete with elaborate feasts, elaborate dances, formal music, and ritualistic activities such as animal sacrifices. In other societies, the wedding ceremony is a simple, joyous occasion, marked by gifts and/or festivities.
Hindu weddings in India traditionally begin with a prescribed period of seclusion called a “chyasa” or engagement. This period is a private and momentous occasion, during which the family conducts rituals to bind the bridegroom to his bride. On the wedding day, the bridegroom is washed, dressed, and gifted with a symbolic necklace. After being blessed by a priest, he then performs the “chyasa”, or marriage ceremony, by which he gives his wife a white silk sari, accompanied by sweetmeats and fried rice. The couple then sits down together for a period of time, during which they share a cup of herbal tea and wine.
Hindu weddings in India, unlike most other cultures, also mark the commencement of a new family relationship, with both bride and groom sharing a holy fire that symbolizes purification of the flesh and blood of their relationship. Another important tradition observed at a Hindu wedding is the exchange of rings, the use of which symbolizes the couple’s fidelity and pre-marital commitment. During this exchange, the right hand of the bride is placed in the left hand of the groom. They then dance, fling themselves into the fire and Symbolically cast away all fears related to their upcoming union. After the ritualistic fire, they formally present each other with a ring.
In a typical hindu wedding, the marriage ceremony is performed in a hallowed environment, the floor of which is reserved exclusively for the solemnization of the marriage. Thereafter, the couple, accompanied by their parents and close friends, proceed for the marriage ceremony, which marks the official start of their married life. They join hands and exchange their rings and kiss each other; the event being broadcast live on television to their family and friends. Hindu marriage is considered to be the happiest moment of a person’s life, and is celebrated with great fondness and happiness throughout the country.
Most Hindu marriages last for an entire lifetime, with the number of divorces being much lower than those associated with other religions. Hindu marriage ceremonies often include elaborate decorations and magnificent costumes, which further heighten the joy of the occasion. The couple is conducted to perform the ‘Dahi Handi’ as a way of honour and protection; this being the first dance they perform together after being introduced to each other through the wedding doors. Hindu weddings are also celebrated with great vigour and enthusiasm, with each occasion being treated with special significance.