Pre-Wedding Gujarati Rituals
Gujarati Marriage Ceremonies can basically be divided into three parts- the Pre-marriage ceremonies, the Wedding Ceremonies and the Post Wedding Ceremonies. Pre- Wedding Ceremonies form an important part of the entire marriage ceremony as most of them are performed individually at the bride’s and groom’s place giving a festive mood to both the houses. As the entire atmosphere is full of vibrancy and liveliness, both the families also reflect the enthusiasm and zeal towards the minute detailing of every little aspect of the ceremony. Given here are the pre-wedding Gujarati rituals, which are actually synchronized steps toward the most awaited ceremony-the marriage.
Sagaai i.e. the engagement ceremony is the first formal announcement of the marriage from both the families. In this ceremony solemnized at the groom’s place, the bride’s family arrives with ‘Matli’, a steel container full of sweets and gifts for the groom and his family. The ‘would be couple’ is blessed at this ceremony by both the families.
This is a typical Ganesh pooja performed before any auspicious ritual at home. The Pooja is performed separately at the bride’s and groom’s place few days before the wedding ceremony to bring good luck and prosperity to the families. This Pooja is also done to ensure that no negative energy could be able to create any hindrance in the forth coming auspicious ceremony.
This pooja is meant to seek the blessings of a happy and peaceful married life for the couple. It is performed at a specific auspicious time decided by a Pandit in accordance with the horoscopes of the perspective bride and groom.
This is a ceremony performed individually at both the bride and groom houses. In this ceremony, the bride and groom are cleansed with the turmeric paste which is considered auspicious and beautifying. It is said to brighten and soften the skin to produce a healthy glow at the wedding ceremony.
Mehndi is an interesting ceremony solemnized a day or two before the wedding. On this day, the ritual of applying Henna or Mehndi is performed at the brides place. Bride’s hand and legs are covered with beautiful Henna motifs. Interesting folklores and songs entertain the guests.
Garba is the specialty of any Gujarati ceremony. It is also performed a night before the wedding with the both the families at the wedding venue. It gives an opportunity of interaction and fun before the wedding ceremony actually begins. The most interesting part of Garba is Raas when people have to dance with dadiya sticks in pairs. The pre-wedding rituals end with Garba as the next morning begins with the wedding rituals.