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Marriage Ceremony

Kashmiri Pundits are tradition preservers and cling on to their legacy with determination.

Pre Marriage Ceremony

Horoscope Matching
The first important ritual is the matching of horoscope of the boy and the girl. Importance is also given to the status, fame and moral character of the family and their close relatives. This is followed by "Kasamdary", which is a formal commitment on the part of both the girl's and boy's families to the marriage.

The date of the engagement is fixed by the family purohits, according to the Kashmiri calendar. On this day the maid servant of the boy's family goes to the bride's house with gifts and presents for the bride and also has to feed cream and dry fruits to her with a silver spoon. On the same day either the sister-in-law or the brother--in-law of the girl, along with one or two children, visit the boy's house with presents for him. Both families hold a music session in the evening, wherein Kashmiri marriage and folk songs are sung.

The girl's "Devgon" (Havan) ceremony starts with "kanishran" (Bath). In this ritual, a veil held by young girls is placed over the bride's head and a mixture of water, rice, milk and curd is showered along with flowers by the relatives present with a rendering of mantras by the purohit. Fully dressed in traditional clothes and headgear, she is draped in the famous Kashmiri shawl. The shawl is draped over the bride's head and is appropriately pinned below her chin. The boy also starts with a bath and comes fully decked for the ceremony.

Marriage Ceremony
The actual marriage is fixed either during the day or at night. All invitees first assemble at the groom's residence. The groom normally wears the pheran and his waistband. Other embellishments include a sword, which is adjusted in his waistband, and embroidered slip-on shoes on his feet. The eldest paternal uncle ties the turban. A plate of rice containing some money is touched to the left shoulder of the groom while the turban is being tied. The groom rides a horse in the marriage procession to the bride's house. They are greeted and welcomed with the blowing of "shankhs". The bride's maternal uncle has to carry her out to the place where the groom is made to stand. The marriage ceremony start with slokas read by the pundit. The bride and the groom are told about their duties towards one another. The couple has to cross their arms one over the other and hold hands covered with cloth This ritual is called "Aathwas". Kashmiri folklore holds that the first one who manages to pull out the other's engagement ring plays a dominating role in the married life of the couple. A golden thread (Mananmal) is tied to their foreheads. Stepping on seven one rupee silver coins placed in a circle makes the first round around the sacred fire. The next six rounds are done to the chanting of mantras. The bride and the groom finally feed each other some food. They are considered man and wife now. Then comes the "Bidaai" a time when the bride leaves her parent's house to take on her responsibilities to her husband and in-laws.

Post Marriage Ceremony
The same evening of her wedding the bride accompanied by her husband and two children has to go to her father's house for dinner. This ceremony is called "satraat". As a part of the "satraat" ceremony, the couple is presented new clothes by the bride's parents, which they have to wear before returning home. "Phirlath" is a tradition where the couple is invited again for lunch or dinner by the girl's parents. "Roth Khabar" - Roth is a one-meter long and half-meter wide cake decorated with nuts and sent to the groom's family on a Tuesday or Saturday following the wedding.

Marriage and Beyond >> Traditional Marriage Ceremonies >> Hindu


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