How Long Is An Indian Wedding Ceremony
Indians give a great deal of significance to marriages, as it is a ritual with which the bride and the groom unite together to live in harmony for the rest of their lives. Indian weddings are very colorful, and the celebrations may continue for several days. Pre-wedding ceremonies include roka, mehndi, sangeet, haldi and many more. When we talk about the actual ceremony of the wedding, it is like a romantic love story in which the bride and the groom come separately to the mandap, and exchange vows in front of their parents to spend their lives together. Most Indian wedding ceremonies start in the evening and end the next morning. Here at OneHowTo.com, let’s discuss how long is an Indian wedding ceremony, and what happens during the proceedings.
Welcoming of the groom and his family: The groom and his family reach the venue of the wedding, and the bride’s family members welcome them with sweets and aarti.
This ritual can start on a Thursday and will also include the preparations for the big day such as painting Mehndi, a rehearsal dinner and Sangeet. The main event is usually held on a Saturday.
Shri Ganesh Prayers: On the wedding day, the ceremony starts. Once all guests are seated, Lord Ganesh is worshiped to bless the occasion.
The bride’s arrival: The maternal uncle, brother and bridesmaids of the bride(who is dressed in red), bring her to the mandap. At this point, an auspicious cloth is kept in between the bride and the groom to signify that they still have separate existence.
Mutual approval: After the recitation of some mantras, the cloth is removed and the bride and the groom come together to exchange garlands. With this, they show their mutual consent to choose each other.
The parents give away the bride: In Indian tradition, the modest act a couple can perform is to give away their daughter in marriage. This act is called as ‘kannyadaan’, which is performed in the mandap during the wedding. With this, they pass on their family’s heritage to the coming generation.
Hastemelap: The bride and the groom shower rice on each other to show their consent and expectations from their married life. They promise to support each other in their endeavors, and be faithful towards each other for the rest of their lives.
Committing marriage to each other: The groom adorns a mangalsutra around the bride’s neck, symbolizing friendship, love and good luck. Then he applies kumkum on her forehead, and the bride applies sandalwood tilak on the groom’s forehead. With the exchange of rings, they promise to support each other in sorrow and happiness alike. Then the groom’s mother or sister ties the marriage knot symbolizing a permanent bond.
Sacred fire worship: The bride and the groom together light the holy fire, that is considered as a witness for the ceremony.
The seven steps together: The couple circles the sacred fire seven times, as a symbol of starting their married life together. From now on, the bride and the groom will be each other’s lifelong supporter. Each step has a promise, also known as phera, that the bride and the groom make to each other that they will follow for the rest of their lives. Take a look at the seven vows of a Hindu wedding for more information.
Seeking blessings: All the elders and guests present at the ceremony bless the new couple with happy and long life together. Now, they are declared as the husband and the wife, and the couple leaves the mandap to proceed to the groom’s house.
The ceremony, which traditionally lasts between two or three hours but can be reduced to one, ends with this tradition. The reception usually goes on until the morning after.
Take a look at some Interesting Traditions of Indian Weddings to learn more. To learn more about the interesting coconut decoration tradition, check our article on Indian wedding coconuts.
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