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Hindu Weddings

Hindu weddings are full of beautiful traditions that date back centuries. Although no two Hindu weddings are exactly alike, there are some commonalities between them. For instance, Hindu weddings always take place in front of a sacred fire, and the bride and groom exchange flowers and garlands as a symbol of their love and commitment. Hindu weddings also typically involve a lot of singing and dancing, as well as ritualistic cleansing in order to purify the body and soul before the big day.
Below is a run-down of all the traditions that take place at a Hindu wedding.

1. Baraat: Grooms Parade

The Grooms with his family and friends parade to the wedding, with dancing and dhol music.

 

2. Swagatam: Welcoming the Groom's Family

The bride's family receives the groom and his family upon their arrival for the wedding ceremony. The bride's mother performs welcome rituals and gives her blessings

 The groom then has to remove his shoes as no shoes are to be worn at the mandap, it is at this point the bride's family tries and steal the groom's shoes to hold for ransom.

3. Ganesh Pooja: The First Pooja

The first prayer in any Hindu ceremony is always to Lord Ganesh - the remover of obstacles - to ensure everything proceeds smoothly. 

4. Kanya Agaman: Bride's Arrival

The Bride arrives at the mandap with her family members this could be with either siblings, uncles, or a mixture of family members. The groom at this time is hidden with an anterpat (curtain) that separates the brides from the groom for the first part of the ceremony.

5. Jai Mala: Exchanging Garlands

The curtain is lowered and the couple exchange garlands to show their consent to the marriage. they then take their places in the mandap for the ceremony.

6. Kanya Daan and Hasta Melap: Giving the Bride Away

The Bride's parents give away their daughter by placing her right hand on the groom's right hand. This signifies their parental blessing for the marriage.

 

7. Agni Pooja: Calling the Lord Agni as a Witness

Agni (fire) is lit as a witness to a marriage. The Bride and Groom offer various items to feeb the fire, and recite vows to be faithful and respectful to one another. 

 

8. Gath Bandhan: Tying the Knot

The ends of the couple's scarves are tied together by the groom's sister to symbolize the joining of their lives. The knot represents that they are bound to each other in mind, body, and soul for the rest of their lives.

9. Mangal Phera

Circling the Sacred Fire the couple goes around four times, taking their first steps as a married couple

Each circle around the Sacred fire symbolising -

1. Dharma (Religion, Duty and Ethics)

2. Artha (Wealth and Prosperity)

3. Karma (Love, Fertility and Family)

4. Moksha( Spirituality, Liberation and Salvation)

10. Saptapadi: The Seven Steps

The couple will take seven steps together that represent the beginning of their journey in life together with each step they make a vow to each other that

1. Let us provide for our household, stay in good health, and carry out our duties and responsibilities to each other, our families, and our tradition.
2. Let us develop our mental and spiritual powers
3. Let us increase our wealth and comfort by righteous and proper means
4. Let us acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony through mutual love, respect, and trust
5. Let us be blessed with a contended family of strong, virtuous, and heroic children
6. Let us be blessed with long lives
7. Let us remain true companions, committed only to each other.

11. Mangal Sutra and Sindoor: Symbols of Marriage

The Groom applies red vermilion powder (Sindoor) to the bride's hair parting and places a Mangal sutra (a sacred necklace) around her neck as a symbol of his love, commitment, and respect. These two offerings signify the Bride's status as a married woman.

12. Akhand Saubhagyavati: Advice for Married Women

Married women from both the bride's and groom's sides whisper good wishes in the bride's ear and bless her with an unbroken wedded life.

13. Kansar: Offering of Sweets

The couple feed each other sweets signifying their first meal together as Husband and Wife and demonstrating that they will share all things in life.

14. Aashirvaad: Blessing

The priest declares the couple and husband and wife and blesses the newlyweds with a happy and prosperous life together. He asks the congregation to join him in showering the couple with blessings and good wishes. The couple then seeks blessing from family and friends as the ceremony concludes.

15. Vidaai: The Bride's Farewell

The bride leaves the Mandap escorted by her husband to start her new life, and the bride's family bids her farewell among tears of joy and sadness.

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Paul Tak Photography LTD Asian and Hindu wedding photographer for London, Birmingham, Derby, Leicester, Manchester, Leeds also covering all of the UK and international destinations specialising in Sikh, Hindu & Muslim Weddings