Ir al contenido principal

Decoding a Bengali Wedding: the Beautiful Traditions of a Biye

If your knowledge of a Bengali wedding has been only through movies & photographs, here's a closer look at the exotic traditions & rituals followed in a Biye, for you.

Image Courtesy: Two Hearts

Every Indian wedding is unique. The musical Jaggo and Dholki ceremonies in a Punjabi wedding, the super elegant Mekhela Chador draped by an Assamese bride, the fun Kashi Yatra in a Kannada wedding or the royal Mahira Dastoor tradition in a Rajput wedding- there are distinctly diverse flavours in an Indian wedding. This is mainly because of the rich Indian cultures that have their roots in traditions. And that's what makes each one of them, exclusively alluring. One is sure to fall in love with the beauty of these weddings once they understand the traditions better.

Now, if you're going to get married in a typical Bong style, or you are invited to your best friend's Biye, it's a good idea to know a little bit about the traditions because Bengali weddings are not just about draping a red and white saree and eating lots of fish and sweets (even though those are significant parts of Bengali weddings too)!

So, here's an authentic and detailed walk through what happens in a typical Bengali wedding. Read on to know what to expect when you visit the next biye bari or marry in a Bengali tradition.


There are some quite common and some significantly unique pre-wedding ceremonies in Bengali wedding. So, let's take a detailed look at their names and meaning:

Pati Potro

Image Courtesy: Two Hearts

Pati, specifically a Shital Pati is a fancy decorative mat that is used to sit on. This was used to gather around in order to decide the marriage date. Both the families assemble at the bride's home and fix the date. The groom's family then gifts the bride with auspicious items like sweets, fish, betel leaves and betel nut (Paan-supari).

Fun fact: In older times, the family elders used to write the date, time, name of the couple, even the details of Adan Prodan (dowry/gifts) using sindoor and Haldi using a coin and sign it along with the names of witnesses. This was considered as a respected agreement in Bengali weddings.


Image Courtesy: Surjayan Mukherjee Photography

Once the wedding date has been fixed, both the families visit each other's homes to bless the bride/groom. Aashirbaad is the Bengali version of the Engagement ceremony or Sagai, only the bride and the groom don't exchange rings. Instead, the future in-laws bless them with gold jewellery, clothes, sweets. Along with these, fish, betel leaves and betel nut and curd are also customarily gifted as auspicious items in Bengali wedding.

Fun fact: Earlier, the groom's family always was the first to perform Ashirbad, as they were considered to be of the higher stature for accepting the bride.

Ai Buro Bhaat

Image Courtesy: Surjayan Mukherjee Photography

This Bengali wedding tradition involves feeding the bride and the groom their last bachelor meals in their respective homes. The mother usually cooks the bride/groom's favourite dishes including all delicious Bengali food items followed by mouth-watering sweets.

Holud Kota & Dhan Kota

Image Courtesy: Sohini Saha

One day before the wedding, five or seven or nine (must be an odd number) married women make Haldi paste out of raw turmeric sticks using grinding stones. The woman who holds the grinding stone is called the ayo and the rest of the women just hold her hands or her elbow while she grinds it. That's called Holud Kota. Along with this, the same group of women grinds rice powder from scratch (Dhan Kota). This very same turmeric will later be used in the Haldi ceremony.

Fun fact: During the whole process of Holud Kota and Dhan Kota, the women are required to stuff their mouth with betel leaf and betel nuts to stay mute. The most valid reason behind that was to ensure no spit goes into the mixture in the process to keep it pure.

Ganga Nemontron & Kola Gach Nemontron

Image Courtesy: Sayeed Photography

On the same evening of Holud Kota, women of the family go to "invite" the Ganges for the wedding. Or rather take permission for the water to be used at the wedding. The women carry trays with bananas, betel leaves and nuts, Sindoor and so on while they go on this procession. After the Ganga has been invited, a Banana tree is invited too where an unbloomed plantain leaf is taken from the tree and tied to a Dorpon.

Fun fact: Since Ganga isn't available everywhere, in modern times, women just go to any river, lake, or the nearest water reservoir to carry out the ritual in Bengali wedding.

Dodhi Mongol & Jol Tola

Image Courtesy: Reminiscence Photography

Before sunrise, the mother of the groom and bride lovingly feeds them with curd, puffed rice and sweets with love before they start with all the wedding rituals. That's the last meal they get to eat all day as they need to fast until the wedding is over. Another group of women at the same time, go to the afore-mentioned Ganges/river or water reservoir to collect water for the wedding baths. All these must take place before sunrise.

Bridhhi & Nandi Mukh

Image Courtesy: Cristy Halder

The wedding Pandit performs a Puja dedicated to the seven ancestral generations of the bride asking for their blessings, along with Lord Narayan. That's precisely a Nandi Mukh in Bengali wedding. This same Puja is performed at the groom's house, followed by a few steps. A small portion of the previously ground Haldi and rice is used in the Puja and then the groom is bathed in the Ganga water after applying some of the turmerics. This same Haldi (that has been touched by the groom) is then taken to the bride's house who has to use this particular Haldi for her Gaye Holud.

Gaye Holud

Image Courtesy: Two Hearts

After the bride's family receives the groom's turmeric paste along with wedding Tatto consisting of clothes, sweets, Paan-Supari and fish, the same Haldi is then applied to the bride by the women of the family. She's then bathed with the holy Ganga water. A Bengali bride usually wears a cotton yellow saree during the Haldi. Some playful Haldi dabbing is carried out amongst family and friends.


Now let's take a closer look at the main wedding rituals performed at Bengali weddings:

Dorpon to Bor Jatri

Image Courtesy: Ashirvad Entertainment

Before the groom is sent off to the wedding mandap, his mother hands him the Dorpon (believed to cast off evil) which is to be carried by the groom throughout the wedding. The mother then blesses him for his new journey and ties red threads and Tulsi Mala on his neck. Then the Bor Jatri or the Baraat proceeds for the wedding except for the mother, who's supposed to wait until the bride comes.

Fun Fact: During "ancient times" the mother used to cry vehemently while sending off her son assuming now onwards, he won't be taken care of well by the new bride.

Chhele Boron to Bostro Daan

Image Courtesy: Weddings Pictures

Boron in Bengali wedding basically means welcoming. The mother of the bride performs the Chhele Boron (or welcoming the groom) with sweets and water while everyone else plays the holy Conch shell and does Ulludhwani. The father of the bride then gives the groom Bostro (new clothes) and Angti (gold ring), which he needs to wear during the wedding. 

Fun Fact: Earlier, while Bostro daan, the father of the bride had to touch the groom's feet and wash them. Nowadays, they simply touch the groom's knee with a finger as a formality!

Saat Paak & Shubho Drishti

Image Courtesy: Two Hearts

Saat Paak takes place right after the bride is carried to the wedding mandap while she keeps her face covered with two betel leaves. Usually, the brothers or cousins carry her in a Peerhi or wooden seat (somewhat similar to a Butta wedding), and that's when they take seven rounds around the groom. Once this Saat Paak is over, the bride and the groom look at each other three times on Shubho Drishti. This is followed by an exuberant and super fun Mala Bodol ceremony or the Jaimala ceremony.

Candid Wedding Stories

Fun Fact: Ages ago when only arranged marriages existed, the bride and the groom never saw each other until Shubho Drishti which is why this tradition is celebrated with such fervour.

Kanyadan or Sampradan

Image Courtesy: Richa Photos

The groom and the bride sit facing each other and the bride's father gives her hand to the groom and ties the holy knot using both their clothes. This is the Kanyadan ritual also known as Sampradan in Bengali wedding. There are chanting of mantras which represents the groom promising the bride's father to take care of his daughter all his life. Once it's done, the couple now sits side by side, the bride on the left.


There are two groups of Bengalis who follow slightly different Bashi Biye traditions. Those who have East Bengal ancestry, (now Bangladesh) are known as "Bangaal" and those who have their roots in West Bengal, called "Ghoti". The following rituals are followed by both but with some differences:

Wedding Games

Image Courtesy: Rag Artistry

On all Bengali wedding carried out by Ghoti, Bashi Biye is performed right after the Kanyadaan on the same mandap with a little break. Some play a few wedding games right at the mandap. It is a one-day wedding. However, in a Bangaal Biye, the couple leaves for the bride's house after Kanyadan and play wedding games with sisters and brothers in the family.

Bashi Biye Snan

Image Courtesy: Shaadiwaale Kolkata

This one is usually followed only in the Bangaal weddings. The next morning, the groom and the bride are given baths together while they stand on a Peerhi. After that, the groom changes into clothes that he came to the wedding in and the bride changes into clothes that are gifted by her in-laws.

Yagnya, Sindoor Daan & Surja Pranam

Image Courtesy: The Lens Guy

Yagnya happens in all Bengali wedding, where the wedding Pandit chants mantras. Once Yagnya is complete, the groom applies vermillion on the bride's hair parting using either a ring or a Dorpon or a small cane box. The third step after Sindoor Daan is Surya Pronam. This happens on a Bangaal wedding as it takes place the next morning.

Khoi Fela & Saptapadi

Image Courtesy: The Wedding Fellows

The bride stands in front of the groom and her brother fills a tray with puffed rice. The couple together then empties the tray into the holy fire. This custom is performed thrice. The final step is the holy Saptapadi or the Saat phere. The couple walks around the Yagnya fire seven times while stepping on Paan and pushing grinding stones with feet.


It's a whole set of fun traditions in a Bengali wedding once the bride enters her new home. Let's take a look:

Bodhu Boron

Image Courtesy: Surjayan Mukherjee Photography

The groom's mother welcomes the bride by performing Aarti with Ghee-Diyas, flowers and sweets. She then touches the bride's mouth and ears with honey. She often sits at the gate and makes the bride and groom sit on either lap to shower them with love and show that she accepts them in the house officially. The bride is then welcomed into the house by her stepping on a red Aalta and milk solution leaving footprints on a white aisle of cloth. She is often asked to break little clay diyas with her heel instead of the Aalta.

Fun fact: The age-old traditional reason behind the honey-touch used to be that the mother-in-law expected the bride to only hear and talk sweet things.

Ashirbad & Kaal Ratri

Bombay Paparazzi

Another round of Ashirbad takes place where everyone in the groom's family blesses the newly-wed couple with gifts, gold jewellery and sweets. Once Ashirbad is done, the couple has to follow a Kaal Ratri where they need to separate from each other for the night and prepare for the bou-bhat the next day.

Bhat Kapod & Bou Bhat

Image Courtesy: Sacred Shaadi

Bhat Kapod in Bengali wedding is a custom when the groom hands over a tray of new saree, Sindoor, a plate full of food and promises in front of everyone to take the responsibility of her food and clothing from then. On the same day in the noon, the bride serves Ghee-rice to everyone. This is a grand lunch feast where guests from the groom's side mostly are invited and introduced formally to the bride.

Fun fact: In olden times the absence of electricity was the reason why Bou-Bhat was organised as a lunch instead of dinner. However, millennials have hosted bou-bhat along with the official reception party at night too.


Image Courtesy: Two Hearts

On the eighth day from the day of the wedding, the couple visits the bride's family where they spend a day or two. That's when the knot (that was tied at the beginning of the wedding) has to be undone and marks the end of the wedding officially. This is often also called the Doshomangala for couples who observe this ceremony on the 10th day from the wedding day.

Bengali wedding is traditionally long and quite a detailed affair, in terms of rituals and customs. However, over time, things have been simplified and shortened as per everyone's convenience. Certain traditions have been discontinued and some have been changed to keep up with the time. For instance, these days, at some weddings, the bride and the groom both take oaths of taking responsibility for "Bhat Kapod" to each other. This has become a rather fun custom! Most families now prefer to do the Bashi Biye on the same night rather than the next day. But more or less, these are the traditional Bengali wedding rituals that are followed everywhere with little variations.

Note: With valuable inputs from Sharmishtha Dey.

Did you find the Bengali wedding traditions intriguing? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!