Varied and colorful mood of Gujarat is well manifested in every Gujarati wedding. Gujarat is a state where people proudly possess their rich cultural heritage. All the festivals and social occasions of Gujarat are the manifestation of the liveliness and enthusiasm of the state and its people. The traditional weddings of the state are witness to that very charm which delights everyone.
A traditional Gujarati marriage involves several rituals and traditions on the part of both the girl and the boy. The complete proceeding of Gujarati wedding may be categorized into pre-wedding rituals, wedding rituals and post-wedding rituals. Some of the highlights of a Gujarati marriage are mentioned below:
Gujarati Wedding: Pre-wedding rituals:
People of Gujarat are believed to be very conservative in their religious out-look. For this reason, all their auspicious occasions start with pujas and seeking of blessings from gods. Mandap Mahurat is one of the most important rituals which take place before the actual day of marriage commences. The religious ritual is performed to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha a few days prior to the wedding. Through Mandap Mahurat which is performed in the respective houses of the bride and the groom, it is meant that Lord Ganesha would take away all the obstacles on the way of the bride and the bridegroom.
Some other pre-wedding rituals of a Gujarati wedding include Griha Shanti and Jaan.
Gujarat Wedding: Actual Wedding Rituals:
Kanya Daan holds key place among all the rituals performed on the day of a Gujarati wedding. This ritual is conducted by an acharya in front of a sacred fire. Bride's parents who perform the kanya daan keep their hands folded. This act symbolizes the hope that the bridegroom would take care of their daughter. As part of the ritual, the parents of the bride also wash the feet of their son-in-law. The act has an undertone that the parents of the bride are considering their son-in-law as Lord Vishnu and they are handing over their daughter who is supposed to be Goddess Lakhshmi.
Other rituals which follow on the day of a Gujarati wedding include:
Gujarat Wedding: Post-wedding Rituals:
- Hasta Milap
The post-wedding rituals of a traditional Gujarati wedding include:
- Saubhagyavati Bhava
- Ghar Nu Laxmi
The Saubhagyavati Bhava is followed just before the bridegroom prepares to leave with his bride. During this ritual, the elderly women of the bride's household whisper the words of blessing into the right ear of the groom. This ritual is immediately followed by Vidai or farewell. The parents and the relatives of the bride bid her farewell with heavy hearts and she is made to sit in a specially decorated car with her husband.