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Punjabi weddings are full of colour, love and delicious food; not to forget Patiala Pegs. We have combined a list of Punjabi wedding traditions and rituals so that next time you don’t have to ask the bride and the groom about what’s going on!

Punjabi Pre-Wedding Ceremonies

1. Roka/Thaka

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The first ritual of the blissful union is called Roka. The bride’s family visits the groom’s house and blesses him with some traditional gifts, fruits and sweets. Similarly, when the groom’s family visits the bride, it’s known as Thaka. They too bless the bride and gift her bridal jewellery, clothes and sweets.

2. Chunni ceremony

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Just before the engagement ceremony, the groom’s family gifts the bride-to-be with a red or pink Chunni. This is a symbolic gesture that means the groom’s mother has accepted the bride-to-be as her daughter-in-law.

3. Sagai

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More often than not, right after the Chunni ceremony is the Sagai ceremony. In this ceremony the bride and groom exchange rings. Both the families also exchange gifts like clothes, sweets and fruits.

4. Ladies Sangeet

The Wedding Conteurs

A couple of days before the wedding, the bride and groom’s families get together and sing Punjabi folk songs. This is nothing but a spectacular musical evening. The friends and cousins also prepare dances for the function by preparing a list of Punjabi wedding songs.

5. Mehndi

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Mehndi ceremony is a vital part of all Indian weddings. The henna is applied to a bride’s hands and feet. In some families, grooms apply Mehndi too. It is assumed that darker the henna, the more the groom loves the bride. Sounds cheesy?

6. Chura and Kalire Ceremony

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This ceremony is the most emotional ceremony for the bride and her family. Her maternal uncle gifts a set of 21 or 51 red and white bangles, also known as bridal Chura. These red bangles are a symbol of a newlywed bride. After this ceremony, the bride’s sisters and friends tie beautiful Kalire to the Chura.

7. Haldi

This ceremony happens at both the bride and groom’s place. A paste of Haldi and Besan is applied to the bride and groom’s face and body – with the intent of making them glow on their wedding day.

8. Gadoli

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After the Haldi ceremony is over, the bride and groom’s Bhabhi (sister-in-law) visits a nearby temple to fill a pitcher with water. That water is then used by the bride and groom for their last bath before the wedding.

9. Sehra Bandi

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Once the groom is all dressed up for the wedding, he performs a small Puja with a priest. The groom’s maternal uncle then ties a Sehra to the groom’s turban. Small pearl strings combined together make a Sehra.

10. Ghodi Chadna

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After Sehra Bandi, the groom gets to sit on top of a female horse and leave to meet his bride. The entire family dances in front of the horse and the procession is called Barat. Take the cue from our list of Barat songs to light up the function.

11. Milni

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When the Barat reaches the bride’s house or the venue, the bride’s entire family stands at the gate to welcome the Barat. The two families meet and greet each other with lots of love and hugs. This ceremony is called Milni.

Punjabi Wedding Ceremonies

1. Varmala

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In this ceremony, the bride and groom exchange garlands called Jaimala or Varmala. This is the first ceremony of the upcoming wedding rituals. The groom’s friends usually pick him up so that the bride faces difficulty in putting the garland around his neck. It’s a lot of fun!

2. Kanyadaan

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This is one of the most important and sentimental rituals of the wedding ceremony. The father of the bride gives away his daughter to the groom. According to Vedic traditions, Kanyadaan is considered the biggest achievement of a father, it’s the biggest ‘Daan’ he can ever do.

3. Pheras

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In this ceremony, the bride and groom have to circle seven times around the sacred fire. After this, the groom ties a sacred thread, also known as Mangalsutra, around the bride’s neck and applies Sindoor on her head.

Punjabi Post-Wedding Ceremonies

1. Joota Chupai

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While the bride and groom are busy with their Pheras, the bride’s sisters and friends hide the groom’s shoes. They return them in exchange for money or gifts.

2. Vidaai and Doli

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After all the ceremonies are over, the bride bids goodbye to her maternal home and family. She throws a handful of puffed rice and prays that her parents and her home always prosper. This is also an extremely emotional time for the bride’s parents. 

Now that you have learnt all about the Punjabi wedding traditions and ceremonies, are you excited to attend your next Punjabi wedding?

Do leave your comments below and share with us your experience at a Punjabi wedding.