A Hindu wedding is known as ‘Vivaha’ and a hindu wedding ceremony is known as ‘Vivaah Sanskar’. Hindu marriages take place all over India and even loads of Hindu’s Indians do it abroad. These marriages have many rituals, colors, decorations, love and respect. These rituals are have three parts, i.e, pre-wedding rituals, rituals during the wedding and post-wedding rituals.
A lot of importance is given to marriage in Hindu’s. There are a few key rituals common in Hindu weddings. The 7 most common and important hindu wedding rituals are :
1) Kanyadaan : In this ritual the father of the bride gives away his daughter to the groom as a gift. ‘Kanya’ means girl and ‘Daan’ means donation. Kanyadaan is known as the most prestigious donation.
2) Panigrahana : This is the ‘holding the hand’ ritual. By doing this the groom accepts the bride and his responsibilities to four deities. Bhaga signifying the wealth, Aryama signifying the heavens/milky way, Savita signifying the radiance/new beginning and Purandhi signifying the wisdom.
3) Maang Sindoor : Sindoor also known as ‘Kumkuma’ is a mark of a married woman. On the day of Hindu wedding the groom fills the brides ‘maang’ that is the parting on her head, this ceremony is known as Sindoor Dana. After the wedding day, everyday the wife fills her maang with sindoor herself till the day her husband dies. Sindoor is red in color signifying that a married woman’s life is filled with colors, so when the husband dies the wife wipes off the sindoor and starts wearing white sari/clothes.
4) Mangala Sutra : In Sanskrit Mangla means “holy, auspicious” and Sutra means “thread”. Mangal Sutra is the necklace tied by the groom to the bride and it signifies her marital status (therefore she always has to wear it, till the day her husband dies). This ceremony is known as Mangalya Dharanam.
5) Parikrama : This ritual takes place around sacred fire (Agni – the god of fire). It is even known as Agni Pradakshina. Its done after the couple worships their deities.
6) Saptapdi : In Sanskrit its known as 7 steps/feet) also known as Saath phere (Seven rounds). This ritual is the most important one. It takes place after tying the mangal sutra. Every phera has a meaningful and beautiful vow, which the pandit ji recites in Sanskrit. After this ritual the bride and groom are lawfully wedded.
7) Aashirvadah : This ritual marks the end of a Hindu wedding ceremony. The newly wedded husband and wife touch the feet’s of their elders and take blessings. Also referred as to benediction by elders.
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