Overview of a Rajasthani Wedding
Khamma Ghani!!!! Thanks for sneaking in to read my blog on Rajasthani Wedding. I’m Vedika Dursheti – A makeup artist by profession. I’m very passionate about the different cultures in India, but I think with moving lifestyles people are forgetting their roots.
My blog series will introduce you to various rituals & customs in Indian Weddings and its relevance in our lives. There are various reasons why these customs were established in the first place and why our ancestors follow them traditionally.
Marwadi’s are one of the communities who are evolved highly in the business. Being one of the most Rich and Lavish communities, Marwadi weddings are a bloom and light affair. Marwadi’s come from the state of Rajasthan, Marwad. We now call it as Jodhpur. Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha – A Rajput chief of the Rathore clan, Jodhpur was the erstwhile capital of the princely state of “Marwar”. Being the second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur lies at the edge of the Thar Desert, and is cordoned off from the desert by a colossal wall, with eight gates facing different directions. A city boasting of a royal past, Jodhpur is resplendent with elegant heritage palaces, forts and temples, besides a stark, picturesque desert landscape.
Having said that Colors, Dancing and a lot of stoned Jewelry is definitely a must watch at Marwadi weddings. In Marwadi’s, the pre-wedding rituals are performed by the Bride and the Groom individually at their respective residences. Below you can read the detailed story of a typical Royal Marwadi Wedding.
Sagayi refers to the engagement ceremony. The event takes place at the Groom’s house. Male members from the Bride’s side visit the Groom’s family and the Bride’s brother applies a Kumkum and Rice Tika on the Groom’s forehead indicating the acceptance of the match.
Some days before the wedding, both the Bride and the Groom’s family observe this ritual where they open the wedding rituals by putting the Idol of Lord Ganesh on a sacred pedestal in a process known as “Ganapati Sthapana”.
This ritual aims at appeasing the stars and planetary lords so that they remain harmonious during the course of the completion of the wedding. Along with Ganapati Sthapana, a puja or havan or holy worshipping ritual is performed at both families’ houses by priests. Offerings are made to the Fire God so that he may carry on the prayers.
“Pithi Dastoor” refers to a ceremony akin to the Haldi in other cultures. A paste of turmeric, sandalwood and sometimes besan that is applied to both the Bride and Groom is referred to as Pithi. The bride wears traditional yellow or orange dress and sits under a colorful canopy where women of the family including her mother apply the paste on her hands, feet and face. Traditional wedding songs are sung by women along with beating of the Dhol. The whole atmosphere is loud and happy. The same rituals are followed at the Groom’s place. After the Pithi Dastoor neither the Bride nor the Groom is allowed to leave the house till the wedding day.
It refers to the evening festivities observed during the days preceding the wedding. Men and women get together separately and enjoy themselves by performing song and dance routines. The Bride is ceremonially ushered in the Mehfil and is seated on a special seat. All the celebrations are aimed at making her smile. The Groom is the only man who is allowed to participate in the women’s celebrations. Similarly, men arrange their own celebrations where women are strictly not allowed.
During this ritual, the maternal uncle or mama of both the Bride and the Groom visit their home and bring with him an array of gifts. The mother of the Bride or Groom welcomes her brother and his family and treats him with home-cooked food. The gifts include clothes that the Bride and Groom are to wear during the Wedding, Jewelry, Fruits and Sweets for the whole family. The basis of this custom is from the belief that even after marriage, the brother has to help his sister during family functions like weddings where the expenditure is supposedly huge.
On the eve of the wedding, a sacred thread is presented to the Groom by the priest after he has performed a puja and havan. The Groom wears a saffron dress during this ceremony. By performing this ritual, he understands and accepts the responsibilities of married life, and is initiated from the Brahmacharya Ashram to the Garhasthya Ashram.
A host of groom’s relatives visit the Bride’s house carrying gifts of Clothes, Jewelry, Cosmetics and Accessories. These include her Bridal Jewelry and outfit. These articles are displayed in a public area of the house for all the relatives and the friends of the family to see.
Just before the Groom heads out for the wedding venue, an elaborate ritual involving tying of a headgear known as Sehra is practiced. The Sehra is tied around the Groom’s head and is either made of flowers or zari danglers or sometimes even with strings of pearls. This covers the Groom’s face. The Sehra is traditionally tied by the Groom’s brother-in-law (i.e) his sister’s husband. His sister-in-law (i.e) brothers’s wife, then applies kajal from her eyes on the side of the Groom’s face to ward off evil energy. She also ties golden thread on the reins of the mare that the Groom is supposed to mount.
Baraat/Toran/Baraat Dhukav and Aarti
“Baraat” refers to the wedding procession accompanying the Groom as he sets off for the wedding venue. He rides on a mare and has to carry a sword, a traditional reminder of the royal and military heritage of the region. Only men accompany the Groom in the Baraat.
The entrance of the wedding venue is elaborately decorated with “Toran”. On his way in the Groom is supposed to hit it with a stick from a Neem Tree. This helps ward off negative energy.
The Groom is met with the welcoming party at the entrance. The mother of the Bride performs an elaborate Aarti and feeds him with sweets and water. The Groom is then welcomed inside the Venue.
The Bride is brought into the wedding Mandap. She puts seven suhalis on the head of the Groom. Suhali is a type of snack. Following this the Bride and the Groom exchange garlands.
The Groom’s and the Bride’s odhni are connected by tying a knot between them. This signifies the union of two souls.
The Bride is given over by her father to the Groom during the Kanyadaan ceremony. The Bride’s father asks the Groom cordially whether he is willing to take responsibility of his daughter mentioning his entire Genealogy. The same ritual is repeated with the Bride who also accepts the Groom’s family and his surname. The couple pledges to go through life’s challenges together and be each other’s support all their life.
After the pledges have been made the father of the Bride places the hand of the Bride on top of the Groom’s. The Groom accepts the Bride’s hands from her father and the “Paanigrahan” ritual is completed by tying a sacred thread over the unified hands.
After Paanigrahan, the couple takes the Pheras. Here, the Bride and the Groom go around the sacred fire seven times. For the first three Phreas, the Bride precedes the Groom, and during the last four she follows the Groom around the fire. They utter the seven sacred vows of marriage while taking the Pheras and this seals their intent to stay together for the rest of their lives.
The Bride puts her foot on a grinding stone. She has to push the stone forward with her feet seven times. This ritual represents the challenges the Bride has to face during her married life and this signifies that she will face them with conviction and determination.
The brother of the Bride gives her a handful of puffed rice that the Bride and Groom together has to offer into the sacred fire. After completion of this ritual, the couple sits with the Bride sitting on the left side of the Groom indicating her acceptance into her husband’s family.
Saptapadi/Seer-guthi or Sindoor daan
After Vamang Sthapana both Bride and Groom take seven steps together which signifies the beginning of their journey as husband and wife.
The Bride is the given a platter containing Rice, Moong Daal, Jiggery, Cash and Sweets. The sister of the Groom opens up the Bride’s hair parting and applies vermilion to the Bride’s hair parting. A Nath or Nose Ring is then brought over by the Groom’s mother and placed on the Bride’s lap. The Nath is expected to be worn by the Bride by the end of the havan.
A bag of money is dropped on the Bride’s lap by her father-in-law thus welcoming her into the family. This also implies her duties as a daughter-in-law to control the finances of the household with efficiency. The Bride then hands over a part of the money to her sister-in-law, the Groom’s sister, and another part to her husband.
After completion of all the wedding rituals, the Groom is made to sit on a new cloth and a Tika is applied on his forehead. The Bride’s family members shower him with gifts like Clothes, Money, and Jewelry. A Kachola made of silver, which is a special utensil is gifted to the Groom’s father. The Bride pays her respects to her paternal home by performing a puja at its threshold and breaking a earthen diya on it.
The newlyweds then proceed to leave the Bride’s paternal home and leave for the Groom’s home. the Bride’s family bids her a tearful goodbye. A coconut is placed under the wheel of the car, which is supposed to be crushed once the car starts, bringing good omen for the trip. the Bride lifts her veil for the first time in front of her husband and he gifts her a piece of Jewelry.
Upon arrival at her husband’s home, the Bride receives an elaborate and warm welcome from her mother-in-law who performs an Arti before ushering the Bride in. The Bride is asked to put her right foot over the threshold into a tray containing milk and vermilion solution. She takes five steps with her colored feet and kick over a pot filled with rice and coin symbolizing as a bringer of fertility and wealth to her husband’s home.
During this ritual the Bride is introduced to the members of the family and extended family. The elders bless the Bride and a Puja is performed in her honor.
An elder female member of the Groom’s family lifts the Bride’s veil and one-by-one they come and bless her, presenting a token gift to her on the occasion.
The Bride’s mother-in-law presents a set of Lac and Ivory bangles in red and white as a symbol of acceptance. These special bangles are known as Chooda and the Bride is to wear them for at least a year taking very good care of them as breaking them is considered bad omen.
The traditional dress of a Marwari Bride is the “Lehenga-Choli”. Generally Red and similar colors are favored. The Lehengas often contain heavy embroidery work with beads and gold threads. They may sometimes also be embellished with stones and crystals. The Bride pairs her “Lehenga Choli” with an “Odhni” which has to be equally heavy and quite opaque as the Marwari Bride is to keep her face covered throughout the wedding. She wears a ton of Jewelry with her wedding dress adorning her appearance. “Rakhri” is worn on the forehead, “Timaniyaan” – A Diamond Studded Choker to be worn around the neck, “Choodiare” – A host of bangles, “Bajuband” – An Armlet often made with gold and stones, “Bichhiya” – A Toe-Ring and “Nath” – The Nose Ring. She wears a typical Jewelry known as “Borla” on her forehead which is similar to “Mangtika”. The Jewelry is made of gold but most often than not they include elaborate “Jadau”, “Meenakari” and “Kundan” work which is specialty of the “Marwar” region.
Rajasthan is a state from where several royals and rulers brought their tradition which is still seen in their artistic taste of Jewelry and Clothes. Rajasthani Jewelry is a combination of ongoing trend with authentic traditional designs – The designs which no women can deny to wear and flaunt. When we talk about Bridal Jewelry, the first things that comes to our mind is heavy and stylish Rajasthani Rajput Jewelry. The precious stones studded into Meenakari, Thewa, Kundan Necklaces, Bangles and other ornaments from head to toe that enhances the beauty of every Bride to look astonishing. There are wide variety of designs and patterns from traditional to glamorous Jewelry for modern age Brides.
Types of Wedding Jewelry
This is popular for its perplexing designs among ladies. The manufacturing of Kundan Jewelry needs very detailed work and time. Initially, these stones were embossed to profoundly refined gold. Stones are determined to a gold sheet and afterward gold foils are squeezed in the holes around the stones. Layer after layer of gold foils are squeezed till the holes are filled. These days, the silver Kundan Jewelry is also available in the markets that are accessible for everyone. Utilization of artificial stones in Kundan Jewelry makes it less costly.
In Meenakari art, the Jewelry is designed by engraving the outlines of blossoms, winged animals, and fish. Therefore, furrows are made to hold the colors. Later the color is poured into the sections. Every color on Jewelry is fired exclusively. The warmth of fire softens the color and it spreads consistently in each section. When finished, the procedure is rehashed with another color; generally gold and silver are used as the base of Meenakari. Jaipur Meenakari adornments are in demand on account of the nature-based themes like blossoms.
Polki Jewelry is a raw form of diamond that is not cut or polished. It is semi-polished and does not experience much chemical treatment that gives the Jewelry a rustic appearance. These natural uncut diamonds are determined to 24 karat gold utilizing genuine gold foils or lac. The natural unique shape and sparkle of polki Jewelry makes it exceptionally costly and it is later passed on from one to another new Bride in the family in a form of legacy. Delightful neck-pieces, hoops, chokers and chand balis composed in polki are always the ones to go for.
The traditional art of making Thewa Jewelry is very old in Rajasthan. Thewa Jewelry is the fusion of gold and glass together in which pure gold designs are created on a multi-colored glass. The bright colors and motifs are used for making the Jewelry, that incorporates the rich culture of Rajasthan.
Tribal Jewelry is very common and popular among the Rajasthani ladies and is in huge demand. These are made up of silver, with broad hollow bells worn by the Banjara tribal people of Rajasthan. Tokariya or antique tribal old silver hoops are likewise exceptionally well known among the tribal individuals in Rajasthan.
The most beautiful and attractive Lac Jewelry is very popular ornaments in Rajasthan. The lac bangles made in charming, vibrant colors (red, blue, gold) are the mostly used hues in the manufacturing of Lac Jewelry. Semi-precious stones are used that are also known as common gold in Rajasthan and other states.
Ornaments worn by Marwadi Bride
This concludes my blog on “Rajasthani Wedding”. Hope you liked it. You may also be interested in few of my other blogs as well. If Yes, then please go ahead and click on the button below to find all my blogs. Happy Reading!!!!