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Gujarati Wedding Ceremony

Pre Wedding Ceremony
The first ceremony performed is called Mandap Mahurat which is performed by the Pandit a few days before the wedding at the house of the bride and the groom. The next ceremony is the Griha Shanti. The puja for Griha Shanti is conducted by an acharya with the family members and relatives of the bride as well as the groom. The purpose of the puja is to bring peace among the stars so that the couple can live a happy married life. The actual wedding day begins with what is known as the Pokavu, the arrival of the groom. The mother-in-law at the entrance to the wedding hall greets him. A small ceremony is performed and then she tries to pinch the groom's nose. This playfully reminds the groom that he has come to their door to ask for their daughter by rubbing his nose on the door.

Wedding Ceremony
In a Gujarati marriage ceremony the bride and groom exchange garlands twice. This is known as "Jaimala". The first time the groom is placed higher than the bride. The second time again at the Mandap but on equal ground. During the "Madhuparka", the groom's feet are washed and he is fed honey and milk. During this time, the bride's sisters try and steal the groom's shoes, adding mischief and humour to the ceremony. At the end of the day the groom retrieves his shoes by offering his sister in-laws money. The bride is then carried to the Mandap by her maternal uncle in a ceremony that is known as "Kanya Agamana". At this point, the "Antarpat", or the curtain separating the bride and groom, is lowered and the couple again exchange garlands. It is now time for the bride to be given away in a ritual known as "Kanya Daan" or "Hasta Milap". In Gujarati Marriage Ceremony phera's are not taken seven tmes but it is taken four times. This ritual is called "Mangalpheras", when the couple circles the holy fire four times which symbolizes "Dharma", "Artha", "Kama" and "Moksha". The "Sapta Padi" is performed with a variation in which the groom helps the bride touch seven betel nuts with her right toe, while they recite the seven vows. After the ceremony is over the couple take blessings of the elders.

Post Wedding Ceremony

After the departure of the bride and groom amidst tears of joy and grief, which is known as the "Vidai", the couple returns to the groom's house where they play a game called "Aeki- Beki". This game is played by placing a ring and several coins in a tray filled with water, which is coloured, by "sindoor" and milk. It is said that the person who finds the ring four out of seven times, will rule the household.

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