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Marathi Marriage Ceremony

Pre Marriage Ceremony
In a Marathi Marriage custom the most important factor that is considered is as to whether the stars (grahas) of the boy and the girl match or not. Once the horoscope matches then it is given to the respective Brahmins for "Gun- Milan" (matching points). If sixteen points match, the knot can be tied and the marriage process begins. "Baithak" is a meeting of the elder relatives of both the families who talk and decide on various issues regarding the actual "Muhurat" (auspicious time). The engagement ceremony is called "Sakharpuda". It is held a day before the wedding or in the morning of the wedding day. At this ceremony, the groom's parents give a sari to the bride as a symbol of acceptance into their family. Her hands are adorned with green bangles, proving her engagement. She is also given a pack of sugar, representing the spread of sweetness. A day before the wedding, haldi paste is applied to the bride as well as the groom by members of the family especially ladies.

Marriage Ceremony
The wedding starts by dressing up both the bride and groom in traditional dresses. The bride wears a wedding sari called "Shalu". The bride is brought by her maternal uncle into the pandal where the groom is already waiting for the bride. Both are made to stand apart, facing each other with garlands in their hands and between them a plain white cloth called the "Antarpath", with a swastika mark made with kumkum is kept so that they don't see each other. Both have Karawali (partners) standing next to them as support, holding a vessel with water and a coconut. The ceremony continues with the chanting of auspicious shlokas and coloured rice is showered on the couple to bless them. The bride garlands the groom first and touches his feet to seek blessings. Then the groom garlands his wife. Then five married ladies from both the families come forward and take "aarti" of the newly wed. After the garlanding ceremony the couple sit near the Brahmin where the "Lajja Hom" is performed. Then the groom presents his wife the "mangalsustra" and later puts toe rings on her toes. Then he fills her maang with sindoor. Next, they both have to stand, offer Lhaya (dried rice) into the "Agni" and go around the "hom" seven times. In the first two rounds the groom leads and in the remaining the bride leads the groom. After the "Lajja Hom", the couple performs Laxmi Poojan, and then the groom gives a new name to his wife, which he writes on the rice with a gold ring.

Post marriage Ceremony

After the marriage ceremony the bride is given "Bidaai" and she leaves for her husband's house. She is received at her new house by her mother-in-law or sister-in-law by doing aarti. In the evening a reception is kept.

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