With every day one day closer to the wedding date, it keeps on getting more and more emotional for the bride-to-be and her family. While they know that the wedding week will be some of the happiest and fun-packed days of celebrations and ceremonies, the idea of getting married and giving away the daughter makes them sentimental every once in a while.
But there are certain rituals that no matter how long after the wedding, the bride and her family always look back to, fondly. And we have listed seven such rituals that a Marathi bride can never stop cherishing.
1. Sakhar Puda
Image Courtesy: Photographs by Ishan
Sakhar Puda is the first of the many ceremonies of a Maharashtrian wedding. It is the official Engagement ceremony that is held a few days before the D-Day. The families of both the bride and groom get together along with a few close friends and family, and the engagement rings are exchanged.
The groom's family gifts the bride-to-be a saree, jewellery, and a packet of Sakhar (sugar) or some sweet as a token of acceptance and love. Similarly, the groom gets a shirt and a packet of Sakhar from the bride-to-be's family.
Traditionally, this ceremony used to happen at the house of the Marathi bride, which was cleaned and properly decorated with marigold flowers, but with changing time, this ceremony now happens at a larger scale with a lot more guests.
2. Chura Bharne
With women singing Marathi wedding songs in the background, the hands of a Marathi bride are adorned with green glass bangles during the Chura Bharne or Chura ceremony.
A bangle man is called, and the friends and relatives of the bride-to-be choose glass bangles of themselves as well. And because the green colour symbolises freshness and creativity, the bride-to-be's mother helps her wear those green bangles.
It is only after a month of getting married that the Marathi bride is allowed to remove this Chura.
3. Halad Chadavane
Image Courtesy: Shades Photography
The Maharashtrian version of the Haldi ceremony is called Halad Chadavane. This ceremony is held a day prior to the wedding day, and it holds great importance to both the Marathi bride and groom.
A mixture of turmeric powder and aromatic oils is used to create the paste which is applied to the groom's face and body with mango leaves. The Ushti Halad (leftover Haldi) is then sent to the bride's house, where it is applied to her face and body in the same manner.
After the Haldi has been applied by all the family members, the bride and groom are given a bath with the holy, sacred water. After the Haldi ceremony is done, neither the bride or the groom are allowed to leave their house.
4. Antarpat And Mangalashtaka
Image Courtesy: Photographs by Ishan
A white Swastik-marked cloth or Antarpat it is placed between the Marathi bride and groom restricting them from seeing each other. The cloth is held up while the priest recites the Mangalashtakas, and once the recitation is over, the cloth is removed and the couple is showered with coloured rice while the music (usually shehnai) in the background. The bride and groom then exchange the varmalas (garlands).
Managalashtakas in marriage are the eight holy wedding vows, and after reciting each one of them, the priest explains the Marathi bride and groom of their new responsibilities as a married couple.
5. Laja Homa
The Marathi bride and groom are made to sit in front of the sacred fire made from holy wood. The bride is handed parched grains which she offers to the fire, while the groom repeats the three mantras.
However, it is only the bride who recites the fourth mantra, silently. This is a way that the bride and groom agree to work together as a couple and promise to be there for each other in good and bad times in front of the sacred fire, the priest, and their friends and family.
The groom then places the Mangalsutra around the bride's neck, toe rings in her toes, and vermillion on her forehead.
In the Saptapadi ritual, seven tiny heaps of rice and betel nut are made, which the Marathi bride moves with her right foot as the priest chants the seven wedding vows. And the bride and groom encircle the sacred fire seven times while saying the wedding vows out loud.
The Kanyadaan is an emotional ceremony, mainly for the bride and her family. The Marathi bride is given away by her parents to the groom and his family with a promise that they will take care of their beloved daughter. The father of the bride takes a promise from the groom that he will make sure that his wife will always be loved and respected.
Every wedding has different rituals that mean the world to the bride, the groom, and their families. We spoke a few Marathi brides to find out which ones are the closest to their hearts and then went ahead to compile this list. So if you are a soon-to-be Marathi bride, we know that you are looking forward not only to the D-Day but also to these wedding ceremonies.
Which rituals do you think are the closest to a Marathi bride? Tell us in the comment below.