Have you ever gotten a chance to witness a traditional Bengali marriage? If yes, then you would agree that it’s anything but bland and boring! A Bong wedding is a perfect amalgamation between fun and customary rituals. All the rituals associated with it are colourful and deeply rooted. Take a look at the rituals followed in a Bengali marriage.
Pre-wedding rituals in a Bengali marriage
1. Adan Pradan
The first ritual is that of Adan Pradan. It’s a customary practice for the families of the groom and the bride to meet each other formally. In this ritual, the elders decide on the date of marriage.
2. Ai Buro Bhaat
This custom takes place at the bride’s home where her family members throw a lavish buffet for her that includes her favourite foods. Ai Buro means spinster, and Bhaat means meal- so it’s a ritual where the bride eats her last meal as an unmarried woman.
3. Sankha Porano
In this Bengali marriage ritual, the bride is made to wear bangles made of conch shells and red corals. They are known as Sankha and Pola.
4. Jol Sowa
This custom is done on the day of the marriage. The mother of the bride along with other married ladies visits a lake or a pond to fill a brass vessel with water. Then, it’s used to bathe the bride once her Gaye Holud ritual is finished. The same ritual is followed at the groom’s place.
5. Dodhi Mongol
Just before sunrise, both the bride and the groom are made to eat a blend of various food items like rice flakes, bananas, Sandesh and sweet curd. This is done on the day of the marriage.
6. Tattva, Gaye Holud and Snan
On the marriage day, the families of both the bride and the groom send tattva or gifts to each other. It also comprises of the haldi or turmeric that is already applied on the groom. During Gaye Holud, the bride is applied this haldi, who then takes Snan (bath) and gets ready for the wedding.
Wedding rituals in a Bengali marriage
7. Bor Jatri and Boron
Bor Jatri in Hindi means Barati. This, like in any other Hindu wedding, begins at the groom’s house. The groom sits in a decorated car and starts with his family members for the wedding venue. Once they reach the venue, the bride’s mother welcomes the groom with a Boron Dala, a tray holding many auspicious items. She performs Aarti and feeds him, sweets.
The groom sits at his throne where he is greeted by the family members of the bride one by one. He is showered with gifts and blessed by elders.
9. Saat Paak and Subho Drishti
The bride arrives sitting on a Pidi that her brothers carry. They take seven rounds around the groom while the bride hides her face with betel leaves. This ritual of circumambulation is called Saat Paak. After this, the bride removes the leaves, and at this moment, both see each other. This is called Shubho Drishti.
10. Mala Badal
Mala Badal takes place between the couple. It’s a fun affair wherein both the parties do a lot of hooting and the one who puts the mala or garland first is touted as the dominant partner.
12. Hom and Saptapadi
Both the bride and the groom sit beside one another in front of the pyre and chant sacred mantras. They circumambulate around the fire seven times.
13. Kusumdinge and Sindoor Daan
The brother of the bride puts Khoi or Muri (puffed rice) into her hands that she along with her groom offer it to the sacred fire. After this, Sindoor is applied on the bride’s Maang or middle parting of her hair.
Post-Wedding Rituals in a Bengali Marriage
14. Basar or Bashor Ghar
This is a fun affair wherein all the youngsters of the family gather together after the wedding and share jokes and dance. This is a night long affair.
15. Bashi Biye
This ritual is performed in the morning after the marriage. The couple gets ready for departing from the bride’s house.
This is the most sentimental Bengali marriage ritual when the couple departs the bride’s home. While she departs, the bride carries rice which she throws over her shoulder.
17. Bodhu Baran
The bride enters her husband’ house after overturning the rice vessel. She then steps on a vessel of milk and Alta, and steps on the white cloth laid out in front of her. The elders then gift her with jewellery and other gifts.
18. Kaal Ratri
This ritual is typical to Bengal wherein the bride and the groom sleep in separate rooms.
19. Bou Bhaat
The next morning, the bride prepares her first meal for the husband’s family and he showers her with new clothes and sweets.
The groom’s family hosts the reception and invites the bride’s family and relatives. It’s a lavish party wherein all mingle with each other.
21. Phul Sojja
The bed of the couple is dressed up with fragrant flowers and on this night, the couple consummates their marriage.
22. Satyanarayan Puja
The next day, the couple sits for the Satyanarayan puja. Without a doubt, Bengali weddings are full of life and colour and it’s a treat to witness a Bengali marriage. If you get the chance, just grab it. Also, look at our Bengali makeup guide, Bengali food menu to curate your own wedding food spread and find out what makes Bengali henna designs so different.
Have you ever attended a Bengali wedding? How was your experience? Let us know through comments.