Hindu weddings are known for their grandeur, never mind the long drawn rituals which try your patience at times. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know the significance of some of these interesting wedding traditions? Take a look at some of the significant Hindu wedding traditions along with their cultural significance:
One of the oldest wedding traditions, the mehendi ceremony is often held a day before the wedding and more often than not combined with the sangeet ceremony. Mehendi is said to represent the bond of matrimony. It is believed that darker the color of mehendi on the bride’s hands, the deeper the bond between the husband and wife. Besides the cultural significance, mehendi is known for its medicinal properties – it has a soothing and cooling effect and helps protect the bride and the groom from viral diseases before the wedding.
With an entire ceremony to its name, haldi or turmeric is an inseparable part of the Hindu wedding. Besides its antiseptic, exfoliating and beautifying properties that bless the bride and the groom with glowing skin, haldi is also believed to ward off evil spirits from affecting the bride and the groom. So pay heed to your elders when they stop you from stepping out after your haldi ceremony till the time of your muhurat.
The dark red color that completes a Hindu married woman’s shringaar is called sindoor. The red color is said to be a symbol of power – which the wife will one way or the other wield over her husband. Jokes apart, it is believed that Goddess Parvati always protects the husbands of women who wear sindoor from all kinds of danger. So remember this the next time you feel like waving off a well-wisher’s suggestion as a meaningless tradition.
The bond between the bride and the groom is finally sealed by lighting a sacred fire or the havan right across where the couple is seated. The priest pours ghee, herbs, rice and crushed sandalwood into the fire while reciting the Vedas as offerings to Lord Agni for sanctifying the union.
SAATH-PHERE OR SAPTAPADI
The most important part of the Hindu wedding where the bride and the groom walk around the fire seven times. Each round of the fire symbolises a promise from both the bride and the groom for health, wealth, prosperity, healthy and beautiful progeny and companionship. The seven vows are considered as the crux of a Hindu marriage.
A good understanding of the cultural significance of these traditions helps us to understand the significance of marriage too. And if you’ve spared some of your precious time to go through this list, you are better placed than most of your friends to tie the knot!