Maratha Marriage: All The Unique Rituals And Customs That Make It A Cultural Wonder To Behold
India’s diversity knows no bounds. When talking about weddings, every region has its own cultures, their rituals and attires. A Maratha marriage is also unique and with different ceremonies every day, you will love every moment you spend there!
Everyone has heard of the big Indian weddings that take place for many days. The festivities and religious rituals are different for every region and culture and a Maratha marriage is no exception. It is a huge affair in the state of Maharashtra, with guests coming from all over the world and joining in on the celebrations. Despite the weeklong celebrations, a Maratha marriage is very simple. In fact, the two words that truly describe a Marathi marriage is minimalist and vibrant!
You can see that they do not go crazy with their decorations or wedding ensembles (and this is true for the bride and the groom as well!). The bride dons a traditional Maharashtrian Nauvari saree in shades of green and yellow. Also, the wedding happens during the daytime, as they believe it is the most auspicious time of the day! Here are all the pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding traditions that make a Marathi wedding special and worth attending at least once in your life!
A. Pre-wedding rituals
1. Lagnaach Bedior
The first ritual after a Maratha marriage is fixed is Lagnaach Bedior. A priest matches the horoscopes of the bride and groom and then fixes an auspicious day and time for the wedding ceremony.
2. Sakhar Puda
Sakhar Puda or the ring ceremony is held some days before the wedding day. The families of the bride and groom gift clothes, sweets and jewellery to the new additions in their families. After that, the couple exchanges engagement rings.
Performed just a day or two before the wedding, the families of the bride and groom offer puja to their deities and ask for blessings for a happy union for the couple. A feast for the families and close relatives follows the puja!
4. Halad Chadavane
The married women related to the bride and groom perform Halad Chadavane or Haldi on the day of the wedding. They put a turmeric paste on the bride/groom’s forehead, shoulders, hands, knees and feet with a mango leaf.
B. The wedding rituals
Every Maratha marriage starts with a Ganesh puja. When the bride reaches the wedding venue, her parents ask all the elder relatives to bless her and her marriage all the happiness in the world. In India, blessings from our elders is considered good luck and no occasion is complete without it.
Before the bride enters the mandap, the groom is already waiting for her. To block his view of the bride, an Antarpat or curtain is hung in front of him. The Antarpat is removed only once the bride is sitting exactly opposite him.
Sankalp is the Jaimala ceremony in a Maratha marriage, during which the bride and groom put a beautiful garland of flowers of their choice around each other’s necks in front of their friends and families. In turn, the friends and family shower the couple with flowers or whole rice. It signifies that they both have accepted each other as husband and wife.
In many cultures, Kanyaadan is considered the most important ritual, where the father of the bride gives away his daughter to the groom with his blessings. In turn, the groom promises to love and cherish her forever.
In this ritual, the groom repeats three mantras after the father of the bride and the bride silently utters the fourth mantra. The bride’s parents then tie a turmeric thread on the couple’s forehead. The groom finishes this ritual by tying the Mangalsutra on the bride’s neck and sprinkling Sindoor on her forehead.
This is the ritual that completes a Maratha marriage. The bride and groom take seven wedding vows while encircling the holy fire. After this, they take their blessings from every one.
C. Post-wedding rituals
In a Maratha marriage, Varat is the ritual where the bride bids farewell to her family and leaves for her new house with her new family.
The groom’s family welcomes the newlywed couple. The mother of the groom performs an aarti. The bride has to push a Kalash down-filled with rice, with the help of her feet. The Kalash is then kept on the threshold of the house.
The celebrations end with a reception hosted by the groom’s family to welcome the bride in their family and bless the newlyweds. The bride’s family and all the close relatives attend it. Despite the different cultures, the ceremonies and rituals have the same significance.
Like every wedding, a Maratha marriage has many different rituals and is full of age-old ceremonies and festivities. These traditions are what distinguish the diverse cultures in India!
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