Wedding Ceremony is basically a very simple and lively
function and is celebrated with lots of zest and fan
fare. The wedding ceremony consists of many rituals,
which have a distinct significance and charm.
Roka ceremony is performed on a mutually convenient
date backed by 'shubh muhurat'. This is a simple function,
which is attended by family members and close friends.
There is normally an exchange of gifts and cash. After
this roka ceremony, the girl and the boy are considered
engaged to each other and are also allowed to court.
The wedding date is fixed after roka.
The ceremony usually takes at the groom's house or it
may be at a banquet hall, hotel or club, if the number
of guests is large. During the ceremony, the pandit
performs "havan". The girl's father applies the "tikka"
(made of kesar, rice grains and flower petals) on the
boy's forehead who takes the blessing from the girl's
family members. Each of the relatives and friends present
from the girl's side then offers mithai to the boy and
On this occasion, the boy's parents and relatives visit
the girl's house. The boy's sister or sister in law
meets the girl first and traditionally presents her
a red "chunni" or a red sari. After dressing the girl
in clothes brought by the boy's family, they then lead
her to the venue of the ceremony where her future mother
gives her gifts and adorns her with jewellery. The boy
and the girl exchange rings and the girl is then given
gifts, in cash and kind, by all those present from the
On of the attractive and interesting part of the marriage
ceremony is "sangeet". After sagan on every night till
the wedding day, the relatives and friends get together
for singing sessions both at the boy's as well as the
girl's house. One day is fixed for special sangeet session
which is attended and celebrated by both the sides together.
Mehendi is applied on the bride's hands and feet either
by a family member or by a professional but the important
factor is that the Mehendi is sent by the boy's side
as part of the kwar dhoti, sent by the boy's family
on the wedding day.
This is done in two parts.
Ceremonies are performed separately at the bride's house
as well as the groom's house.
Ceremonies at the girl's house
The "chuda" ceremony begins with a "havan" or "puja"
performed by the pandit. The oldest mama and mami (or
those performing this ceremony) keep a fast till chuda.
The chuda, i.e., the set of cream and red ivory bangles,
is not shown to the girl just before the ceremony. After
the puja everybody present is supposed to touch the
chuda, in a manner of offering their good wishes to
the girl. The chuda preceded by a mauli which is tied
by the pandit on the girl's wrist. Four lamps are lit
and the bride-to-be is made to sit in front of them.
Oil is constantly added to the diyas so that the glow
will be reflected on her face and she will look more
beautiful on the wedding eve. A paste of turmeric powder
and mustard oil is applied to her body and then the
bride is given a bath with holy water. The bride then
wears her bridal attire, which is as per tradition given
by the maternal uncle.
at the Boy's house
The bridegroom is applied a paste of turmeric and mustard
oil and is bathed by water brought by his sister in
law from the temple. His maternal uncle presents his
attire. Thus maternal uncles play an important role
in Punjabi marriages. After he has bathed and changed
into his new clothes, puja is performed. The boy's father
or an elderly relative is given the honour of tying
the "sehra" on his head. A pink colour turban is first
touched by all the relatives present before it is tied
on the boy's head. The groom then leaves for the venue.
As the time of the mahurat approaches, the boy is led
to the "vedi" where the pundit performs puja for the
boy. The first few mantras are recited by the boy only.
This is the time for the mischievous pranksters from
the girl's side to make a grab for the boy's shoes,
which they later exchange for money. Thereafter the
girl is led to the "vedi". Then the ritual of "kanya
daan" takes place where the girl's father puts a ring
on the boy's finger before placing his daughter's hand
in his. Thereafter the couple take the seven phera's
round the holy fire.
As per tradition on her first
day in her new home, the bride is made to cook something,
preferably a sweet dish like halwa or kheer. The parents
and relatives of the groom give gifts and presents to
the bride. The first day after the wedding is also an
occasion when the newly weds visit the girl's parents.
Both the girl and the boy are given gifts of clothes
and jewellery by the girl's parents and relatives.