Gujaratis or the people of Gujarat are known for their rich, vibrant and colorful culture. Moreover, they are warm and cheerful, who are fond of celebrating festivals with fervor. This is quite evident in a Gujarati marriage as well. The wedding rituals in Gujarat are simple and filled with fun. The unique blend of traditions and ingenuousness is something which makes Gujarati weddings a sheer delight. Given below is vital information on Gujarati wedding rituals.
Pre Wedding Rituals
The pre wedding rituals begin Mangal Mahurat ceremony. It is performed
by both the bride and the groom in their respective houses. Prayers are
offered to Lord Ganesha to remove all obstacles. After matching the
horoscopes of the couple, Griha Shanti puja is held. This is done by the
priest at the houses of both the bride as well as the groom. The next
ritual is known as 'Jaan' and it is performed to ward off any evil. It
is quite interesting as the groom visits the bride place and touches his
mother in law's feet to seek blessings. While he does so, she tries to
clutch his nose and he tries to escape.
On the wedding day, the first ritual, which takes place, is the
Jaimala, wherein the couple exchanges garlands twice. Next is the
Madhuparka ritual in which groom's feet are washed and he is given honey
and milk to drink. During this the sisters of the bride try to steal the
groom's shoes, known as 'Juta Churai'. One of the most important rituals
on the wedding day is Kanyadaan, in which the bride's father washes
groom's feet and gives him the hand of his daughter. This is followed by
Hasta Milap, wherein the groom's shawl is tied with bride's saree.
The tying of the holy knot and the joined hands of the couple, signify
their union. Rose petals and rice are showered upon them, during this
time. After this, the couple takes rounds, around the scared fire, while
the priest chants mantras. These are known as Mangalpheras. There are
four pheras in Gujarati marriage. This is followed by Saptapadi, which
are seven steps and vows taken by the couple together. Subsequently,
they are blessed by their parents and elders.
Post Wedding Rituals
Reception is post wedding ritual, wherein all the near and dear ones
give gifts to the couple. This is followed by the Vidaai ceremony, in
which the bride is bid a tearful farewell by her family. On reaching the
groom's house, the bride is asked to knock down a vessel filled with
rice, with her right foot, kept at the entrance. This ritual is known as
Ghar Ni Lakshmi as the bride is considered form of Goddess Laxmi. Next
is the fun filled ritual called Aeki Beki, which is a wedding game
played by the couple. A vessel is filed with water and colored by
putting sindoor and milk. After this, everal coins and a ring are put in
it. Both the bride and the groom are then asked to find it. Whoever,
succeeds four out of seven times is deemed to rule the household.