Marathi wedding is perhaps the simplest and the least luxurious in the whole country. It is delighted to provide the details of Marathi community customs, traditions, and rituals.
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Maharashtrian Wedding – Rituals, Customs & Traditions
The Marathi marriage procedure starts with finding a suitable counterpart. After this, the horoscope of the prospective bride and the groom are matched by the Marathi priest. After the horoscope match, the auspicious time (Mahurat) for the marriage is taken out. This is followed by the preparations for the wedding, with the wedding rituals being performed alongside.
Halad Chadavane is a ceremony when turmeric paste is applied to both the bride and the groom. After the Halad Chadavane ceremony is over, the bride and groom take a ritual bath, and they are not supposed to go out before marriage.
Groom arrives at the bride’s place, and there bride’s parents wash his feet and give him gifts.
Sakhar Puda is the engagement ceremony where the groom’s mother puts Tilak (mark with red vermillion) on the bride’s forehead gives sari, sweet and sugar to the bride. This signifies that the bridegroom’s side has given their word to the bride’s side that they have fixed the alliance.
Similarly, to give their consent in return, the bride`s mother applies kumkum Tilak to the groom and his father and bride’s younger sister gives a cloth item to the groom. After this ceremony, the bride and the groom exchange rings on each other’s left-hand ring finger.
Ganapati is the other name of God Ganesh. The auspicious wedding ceremony kick-starts with prayers performed for Lord Ganesh to seek his blessings for obstacle-free marriage. This prayer is performed at both the groom’s as well as bride’s quarters.
Bride’s and groom’s family offer prayer in front of their community God. The relatives and friends are invited for a meal at the bride and the groom`s place respectively.
In return relatives and friends give gifts, and a similar ceremony takes place at the groom’s side along with his folks. The parents officially give expensive clothes, jewelry, silverware and other gifts to the bride.
The Bride’s maternal uncle present yellow sari to the bride and mundavalya (decorative strings of pearls, beads, flowers) tied on her forehead. Bride’s friends then help her in getting ready for her wedding.
Bride then sits in her room in front of a silver idol of Parvati placed on a pile of rice. She keeps on taking some rice with both her hands and puts on the idol while praying the Goddess Annapurna. At this moment, the bride is not supposed to talk and instead needs to concentrate on her prayers.
Every guest present in the Mandap is given rice. The groom, head covered with a cap or turban and mundavalya tied on the forehead, where he stands on a wooden platform (pat) facing west and holding a thick garland.
The Marathi priests hold a cloth screen called antarpat in front of the groom holding garland. The bride`s maternal uncle escorts the bride to the Mandap. The Bride is asked to stand on the other side of the antarpat also holding similar garland.
Bride and groom’s sister stand behind the bride/groom with a copper Kalash containing holy water and topped with betel leaves and coconut. Especially at the auspicious time, the priest chants Mantras and removing the antarpat and among the traditional music.
The groom and bride exchange their garlands. The younger sister of the bride and groom apply holy water from the kalash to the eyes of the bride and groom and then perform the prayer of bride and groom.
This is the ceremony where the bride`s father formally gives the bride’s hand to the groom. The priest then asks the groom to join both hands and receive in its stream of holy water poured by the bride`s mother. Bride`s father says that, he is giving away the responsibility of his beloved daughter to him. The groom accepts it by promising him that he would take care of his daughter.
The wedding couple is asked to hold rice in the left hand and shower them with the right while expressing their desire for name, fame, happiness, and can lead a blissful married life. The priest, family members, relatives, and friends pray that all their desires be fulfilled.
In the midst of continuous chanting of mantras during the ritual when the groom puts a mangal sutra (a necklace of black& gold beads) with the gold pendant.
A stone is kept to the west of the sacred fire, and a pot of water is kept in its northeast. A pot of pure oil is kept nearby.
The Marathi priest tells the bridal couple to take the oath of marriage in the presence of the sacred fire. Then Marathi priest asks the groom to pour ghee in the name of God Skanda, God Prajapati and God Agni and God Som.
After worshiped the sacred fire, the priest asks the couple to take seven steps with the thoughts of living together till eternity.
A Marathi priest chant mantra asks the groom to hold the bride`s left hand with his right hand and started taking steps towards the northeast direction. After that, he instructs bride and groom to take first. The right foot forward and then the left foot is joined with it. Like this, seven steps are to be taken.
At every two feet, small heaps of rice are kept on that they are supposed to walk. The couple prays to fulfill their seven needs, one each at each step. These are food, strength, wealth, happiness, progeny, pleasure of enjoying various seasons and immortal friendship.
A Marathi priest asked to stand facing each other and touch their foreheads that signify that they will take any decision together after that.
Although little lighter moments added in the ceremony where bride`s brother twists the groom`s right ear to remind him of his responsibility towards his sister.
In this ceremony, a newlywed couple is being welcomed by the groom’s mother by washing their feet with the mixture of water and milk. After that, there is the traditional Aarti performed and the bride is asked to enter the house by kick a glass of rice, kept at the entrance. The couple enters the house with their right foot.
This is the ceremony when the bride’s mother distributes gifts to the groom’s mother, sisters or sisters-in-law. The bride`s father distributes gifts to the groom`s father and brothers or brothers-in-law. Similarly, groom`s parents give gifts to the bride`s family.
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