The traditional Indian wedding establishes a bond between two families and their cultures, apart from creating a very special relationship between the couple, who tie the nuptial knot. The marriage ceremony is a series of colorful events, spread over two to three days. One of the important and fun ceremonies is the arrival of the groom on the day of the wedding, at the venue. The groom's family members, relatives and friends accompany him to the wedding venue, in a marriage procession called 'baraat'. Groom's friends and relatives are called the 'baraati'. The wedding baraat is held with high esteem and the baratis are pampered by the bride's family, when they arrive at the wedding venue. The baraat is received in different ways in different parts of the country. In the following lines, we have given description about the baraat in Indian marriage.
Indian Wedding Barat
- Traditionally in north India, the groom, dressed in his wedding attire, is seated on a white decorated mare, when he heads towards the wedding venue along with the baraati.
- Before sitting on the mare, the groom is adorned with a saafa (turban, preferably pink or saffron colored) along with a sehara (floral veil), which is tied around his forehead, by his mother. Saafa is mandatory, but tying sehara is not a compulsion. In some regions of north India, a sword is also provided to the groom.
- In the mare, the groom is accompanied by his younger brother, cousin or nephew who acts as his caregiver, who is called 'sarbaala'.
- The baraatis are often accompanied by music band, which provides them with entertainment, while on their way to the venue. The baraatis dance to the tune played by the band.
- A vivid display of fireworks contributes to the festive spirit of the marriage procession.
- A contemporary approach to the ritual is to make use of a car, instead of mare. For the purpose, people rent a car, in which the groom is seated. However, to maintain the tradition, the groom travels a certain distance via car and then rides on the mare.
- After reaching the wedding venue, the groom and the marriage procession are welcomed by the bride's parents and the elder members of her family.The bride's mother performs the aarti, when the groom enters the venue. In the mean time, the other members of the bride's family welcome others in the marriage procession.
- The groom's acquaintance is introduced to the bride's family, friends and relatives. This ritual is known as milni.
- Earlier, married women were not allowed to join the marriage procession. However, with the changing time, they have also become a part of the baraat. Nonetheless, married women are still not allowed at the interiors of rural India, to accompany the groom in the marriage procession.
- The barati who comes in the procession are garlanded and seated. Cold drinks, snacks and sweets are served to them. They are also invited for dinner as the guests of bride's parents.
- In most of the cases, all the expenses of the barat reception, marriage ceremony and the dinner are born by bride's parents in most of the cases.