Buddhist Wedding Rituals
Buddhist Marriages ceremonies are one of the simplest possible marriage ceremonies. In a Buddhist wedding, there are no compulsory complex rituals and the entire ceremony is to be decided in accordance with the comfort of the bride’s and groom’s families. As Buddha regarded marriage more as a social affair than a religious one, he did not prescribe any specific religious function for it. A Buddhist marriage can be solemnized any time place in a register office or one of the few Buddhist temples licensed as a legal marriage venue. However as people tend to have regards for their religion, they are inclined for religious rituals for their marriage.
In general, a Buddhist wedding ceremony takes place in a temple. Though there is no compulsion to match stars or find out auspicious time for it, people have general tendency to believe in this activity. Thus, on an auspicious time, both the bride and the groom bow in front of Buddha image. After this, they recite certain prayers and chants and light incense sticks and candles in front of the image. Then the parents of the couple put a loop of strings on their heads to connect them. After this, the couple makes offering to the monks such as flowers, food, sweets and medicines. At times, token money is also given to the temple.
The priest then places a thread on the heads of the monks. Recitations in Pali language are made to evoke blessings for the newly wed couple. The string is connected to a container that is sanctified after the ceremony. Also, a red paste is applied on the foreheads of the bride and the groom. Though Buddhist weddings are not very formal but their form has changed significantly. Initially monks did not attend the weddings as they are present during the funeral rites. Nowadays, the role of the monks in weddings has become quite profound, however not compulsory. Many Buddhist families still believe in the solemnization of the marriage on their own. This marriage ceremony is generally followed by some family rituals of the involved families like a prayer in the spirit house, a feast or any gift exchange. The couple can their directly leave for their new home from the marriage venue.