The Hindu Gujarati wedding ceremony is a beautiful and elaborate affair that is steeped in tradition and symbolism. The ceremony typically lasts for several days and involves a number of different rituals and customs. Here is a step-by-step guide to the Hindu Gujarati wedding ceremony:
a. Sagai or Engagement ceremony: The engagement ceremony marks the formal announcement of the wedding and involves the exchange of rings between the bride and groom.
b. Mandap Mahurat: This ritual involves the setting up of the wedding venue, with the bride and groom's family seeking blessings from the deities to ensure a smooth wedding ceremony.
c. Graha Shanti: This ceremony is performed at the bride and groom's respective homes to seek the blessings of the deities and ensure a peaceful wedding ceremony.
Mehndi and Sangeet Ceremony:
This is a fun-filled pre-wedding ritual where the bride's hands and feet are adorned with intricate henna designs, while the family members celebrate with music, dance, and food.
Wedding Day Rituals:
a. Baraat: The groom arrives at the wedding venue on a horse or in a decorated car with his family and friends.
b. Kanya Agamana: The bride arrives at the venue, accompanied by her family, and is welcomed by the groom's family.
c. Madhuparka: This ritual involves the groom being welcomed by the bride's family with aarti and offering him honey, milk, and other sweets.
d. Antarpat: The bride and groom are separated by a cloth, and the priest recites Vedic mantras.
e. Kanyadaan: The bride's father gives her hand in marriage to the groom, and the couple takes vows to be faithful and loyal to each other.
f. Hasta Melap: The bride and groom's hands are tied together with a sacred thread, symbolising their union.
g. Mangalsutra: The groom ties a sacred necklace (mangalsutra) around the bride's neck, symbolising their union.
h. Sindoor: The groom applies sindoor (vermilion powder) on the parting of the bride's hair, signifying her status as a married woman.
i. Saptapadi: The couple takes seven vows, walking around the holy fire, and seeking the blessings of the deities.
j. Vidaai: The bride leaves her parental home and bids farewell to her family, starting a new journey with her husband.
k. Graha Pravesh: The bride enters her new home, where she is welcomed by her in-laws.
l. Reception: The newly-wed couple hosts a reception for their friends and family, where they receive blessings and good wishes.
These are some of the key rituals and ceremonies that make up a Hindu Gujarati wedding. The wedding is a beautiful celebration of love, commitment, and tradition, and each ritual has its own significance and symbolism.