Gujarati Weddings are colourful, rich, vibrant involving several pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals, customs and traditions.
Gujarat is known for its great culture, and delicious vegetarian food. All of these traits come together during a typical Gujarati wedding where the union of two souls is not just a bunch of ancient ritual, but a true celebration. There will hardly be a dull moment, with multiple pre and post wedding rituals, vivacious dancing and adherence to tradition. The sheer warmth of the hosts and their careful attention to detail for your comfort is sure to win your heart. It is a two or three day’s affair with multiple rituals observed through each day. If you can imagine a wedding full of fun and frolic without being over the top showy affair; then you must have experienced a true Gujarati Wedding. Let’s take a peek at the various Gujarati wedding traditions.
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Chandlo Matli – This function is performed when the marriage gets fixed between the two families. Father of the bride along with four other male members of his family visits the groom’s home and applies Chandlo – a red circle made of vermillion at the center of the forehead. They bless the groom and offer him Shagun, a token gift.
Gol Dhana – The words Gol Dhana or Gor Dhana literally translates into Coriander seeds and Jaggery. This ritual is observed a couple of days before the wedding and is akin to the engagement ceremony in other cultures. The bride’s family visits the groom’s family and presents them with gifts of sweets and savories in traditional containers known as matlis. The bride and the groom exchange rings. Five married women, each from the bride’s and groom’s family, take turns and bless the couple-to-be for a happy married life. Generally a small feast is arranged for members of the two families.
Mandap Mahurat – This ritual is observed to officially kick-of the wedding. This is observed in both the bride’s and the groom’s places but separately. The priest performs a puja at the house especially praying to Lord Ganesha and seeking his blessings to remove all obstacles from the couple’s paths before their impending union.
Griha Shanti – This is also another puja performed by the priest to address all the obstacles presented by adverse planetary positions according to the bride and groom’s horoscopes. The priest offers appeasement to the Gods and seeks their assistance to smooth out any obstacle in the conjugal life of the couple-to-be.
Mehendi –The mehendi ceremony is generally observed two days prior to the wedding day. Henna paste is applied on the bride’s hands and feet in detailed intricate patterns. The initials of the groom are incorporated in the design somehow. Other women in the family also get their hands and feet painted with henna. Wedding songs are sung by women at the venue during mehendi ceremony.
Sangeet Sandhya or Sanji – This ceremony is observed during the evening a day prior to the wedding. Both the bride’s and the groom’s family come together at a common venue and perform songs and dance routines, especially traditional Raas or Dandiya and Garba dances. The ritual presents an informal setting for the two families to get to know each other well.
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Pithi – This ceremony takes place separately at the bride’s and groom’s places separately the day before the wedding. The bride/groom sits on a low stool or bajat with their palms upturned, and a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, rosewater, herbs and mogra attar or perfume is applied to their face, hands and feet. The Pithi is generally prepared by the bride/groom’s paternal uncle’s wife or Kaki. The bride/groom is then bathed with water.
Mameru or Mosalu – This is an event where the groom’s maternal uncle or Mama along with his maternal aunt’s husband or Mousa goes to the bride’s house and present her with gifts like traditional Paanetar Saree, Jewelry, Wedding Bangles or Chooda made from ivory, sweets and dry fruits in beautifully wrapped boxes. This custom takes place the day before the wedding.
Jaan – 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.
The Gujarati Groom usually wears Dhoti and Kurta for the wedding day. Although modern day grooms also prefer to wear Sherwanis and other Indo-western Style Kurtas. They almost always wear a colorful, bandhni work dupatta around his neck. He almost always wears a matching turban on his head embellished with pearls and other precious stones.
The Gujarati bride typically wears a traditional saree which may either be a Panetaar or a Garchola on her wedding day. Panetar sarees are generally white in color with a bright red border typically made of gajji silk. The saree and the border are often embellished with zari threadwork and stone embellishment making the saree quite heavy. It is gifted to the bride by her maternal uncle. The Gharchola is usually a silk saree in rich red or maroon color with zari threads and bandhni work and is usually gifted from the groom’s side as a symbol of acceptance. The draping of the saree is typical for a Gujarati bride with the Pallu draped in the front fanned out over the blouse. The bride generally wears the Panetaar saree during the initial rituals of the wedding while she wears the Gharchola for the later wedding customs. She wears embellished bindis on her forehead over her eyebrows. The bride wears a host of jewelry to set off her bridal beauty like Gala no har, kan ni butti, Nathn), Bajubandh, with Bangadiand Patla, Chandlo and Chadda.
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Wedding Day Rituals
Varghodo – The word refers to the wedding procession where the groom travels to the bride’s house. The groom arrives at the bride’s place on a horse and his relatives walk with him while dancing with music and band. Crackers are set off along with fireworks.
Ponkvu –This custom refers to welcoming of the groom by the bride’s family. The groom arrives and he is met with by the bridal party including the bride’s mother who performs and aarti, applies tika on his forehead and pulls him inside by trying to grab the groom’s nose which he playfully tries to evade.
Jaimala – During this ritual, the bride and groom are introduced formally for the first time. They exchange garlands twice, first time of which the groom has to stand on a stool so that he is standing on higher ground, and for the second round he steps down and they are on equal ground.
Madhuparka – After the Jaimala, the groom is led to the wedding mandap by his mother-in-law. His feet are then washed with milk and water. He is then offered a drink containing five sacred ingredients, milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, and sugar, known as the Panchamrut. During this the sisters of the bride try to steal the groom's shoes, known as 'Juta Churai'.
Antarpaat – The bride is led to the wedding mandap by her maternal uncle and an opaque cloth is placed between the bride and the groom to prevent them from seeing each other. This is known as antarpaat.
Kanya Daan – Before offering his daughter to the groom, the father of the bride washes the feet of the groom. He then places the hands of his daughter on that of the groom, thereby entrusting her happiness to him from now on.
Hasta Milap – The priest unites the groom’s shawl and end of the bride’s saree while chanting sacred verses from the scriptures. This along with the united hands of the couple is known as Hasta Milap.
Mangal Pheras – The bride and the groom, with their garments tied, stand up and make four circles around the sacred fire, each for the four goals of human life - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. The priest chants verses from the scriptures asking the couple to repeat them.
Saptapadi – The bride is made to touch seven betel nuts placed at regular intervals along a straight line with her right toe. The groom helps her during this task. The bride and the groom then recite the seven sacred vows during this ritual.
Sindoon Daan – The groom puts vermillion on the bride’s hair parting and ties the mangalsutra around her neck.
Kansar – The bride and groom feed each other with sweets at the end of the ceremony.
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Saubhagyavati Bhava – Seven married women are invited to bless the couple. While blessing the bride, these seven women utter the three words, Akhanda Sauvagyavati Bhava, meaning may your married glory remain forever.
Chero Pakaryo – A fun-filled ritual where the groom tugs at the saree of his mother-in-law as a way of asking the bride’s family for gifts.
Ashirwad – The couple ask for blessings from all the elders of both the families.
Reception – The reception is thrown in the honor of the newlyweds, where the relatives gather together for a feast. They come and greet the couple each offering a gift.
Vidaai – at the end of the reception, it is time for the bride to bid a tearful goodbye to her paternal residence and start for her husband’s house.
Ghar nu Laxmi – The bride finally reaches her husband’s house where she is warmly welcomed. She is considered Ghar nu Laxmi, or a bearer of luck and fortune for her family. The mother-in-law does her arti and applies tike to her new daughter-in-law. The bride enters the house after knocking down a vessel filled up to the brim with rice.
Aeki Beki – the newlywed couple is then made to play a game called Aeki Beki where several coins and a ring are placed in a tray of water covered by milk and vermilion. The couple has to find the ring from the vessel. It is believed that whoever finds the ring four times first, will be in control of the family.
During this ceremony, the father of the bride along with four male relatives visit the groom's place with a steel container or maatli full of sweets and gifts for the groom and his family. He then applies chandlo or a red circle at the center of the groom's forehead and gives him the maatli and some money.What is Gujarati wedding dress called? ›
The Gujarati bridal saree is called as a Panetar. Despite new trends like bridal lehenga choli making inroads in a great way, many Gujarati families prefer that their girls wear the traditional cream/ white and red saree for, at least, the wedding rituals.What are the Hindu pre-wedding rituals? ›
Groom's Hindu Pre-Wedding Ceremony
The purpose is to get a blessing from Ganesh, so Ravi can prosper in marriage and life. Members of the bride's family will also apply tilak on the groom's forehead. This shows they've accepted him and considers that he would be a loving husband and a responsible father in the future.
In a Gujarati wedding, Gold Dhana basically represents a Sagai ceremony or Engagement. The bride and her family arrive at the groom's family with sweets and gifts. The couple then exchanges engagement rings and seeks blessings from five married women from each family.What is traditional Gujarati dress? ›
The traditional Gujarati dresses for men include Kediya or kurta on the top and dhoti or chorno at the bottom. Women in Gujarati wear sarees or chaniya Choli. Recently, they have started wearing Salwar Kameez as well.What are the 3 rituals? ›
- A savoring ritual. "Make the good times better by having something you do to focus on the good things. ...
- A starting ritual. Turns out, rituals are also an effective way to beat procrastination. ...
- A luck ritual.
A lehenga is traditional Indian attire worn for wedding celebrations. Unlike western wedding ceremonies, brides avoid wearing white, as it's a symbol of mourning. Instead, they opt for a colorful sari that reflects their region of origin.What are the wedding dress types? ›
- mermaid/trumpet wedding dresses.
- a-line wedding dresses.
- ballgown wedding dresses.
- sheath wedding dresses.
- separates & suits.
- little white dresses.
- maternity friendly wedding dressses.
Patola Sarees from Gujarat | WeaverStory.What are the pre-wedding rituals? ›
Roka – First Official Announcement
Roka is the first pre-wedding ceremony where the bride and groom are asked to be their consents for the wedding and all the elders bless them. Roka Day is a good opportunity for the bride and groom to spend time with each other and learn more about each other.
Mooh Dikhai is an important Hindu post wedding ceremony. It is basically held to introduce the new bride to the groom's family. The ladies unveil the face of bride and also shower her with gifts. The mother-in-law, in particular, offers presents to the bride as a gesture of welcome.What are 3 rituals in Hinduism? ›
The most common rituals practiced in all Hindu households are puja, meditation, silent prayers, yoga, recitation of scriptures from Bhagavad Gita or bhajans, reading religious books, participating in Satsang (prayer meets), performing charitable work, visiting a temple, and chanting the name of their beloved God.What do the 7 steps in a Hindu wedding mean? ›
The word, Saptapadi means "Seven steps". After tying the Mangalsutra, the newlywed couple take seven steps, that is called Saptapadi. After the seventh step, the couple legally become husband and wife. Saptapadi is sometimes mistaken with Saat Phere.What are the 5 parts of the wedding ceremony in order? ›
- Processional. The processional begins with bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down the aisle, typically paired up. ...
- Readings. A few people may be invited up to share or exchange readings at this point in the ceremony. ...
- Exchange of Vows. ...
- Pronouncement of Marriage. ...
- Unity Ceremony.
Ghagra Choli or Chaniya Choli - Traditional Dress of Gujarat. The traditional attire of Gujarati women is Chaniya Choli or Ghagra Choli; Women also wear an Odhni (dupatta or chunni) with it.What are the 4 types of rituals? ›
Gluckman (1962) distinguishes four kinds of ritual—magic action, religious action, substantive or constitutive ritual, and factitive ritual—clearly point out that rite of passage is a typical constitutive ritual.What are the 6 types of rituals? ›
- 2.1 Formalism.
- 2.2 Traditionalism.
- 2.3 Invariance.
- 2.4 Rule-governance.
- 2.5 Sacral symbolism.
- 2.6 Performance.
There are two basic kinds of rituals: religious rituals and status rituals. Religious rituals are often dramatic versions of stories in the culture's myth and are of two varieties; veneration rituals, which celebrate or petition a deity and healing rituals which relate to the well-being of the individual.What are traditional wedding dress colors? ›
In Western cultures and Anglo-Saxon cultural spheres, the wedding dress is most commonly white, a fashion made popular by Queen Victoria when she married in 1840. In Eastern cultures, brides often choose red to symbolize auspiciousness.What are the traditional dresses called? ›
Traditional Indian clothing for women in the north and east are saris worn with choli tops; a long skirt called a lehenga worn with choli and a dupatta scarf to create an ensemble called a ghagra choli; or shalwar kameez suits, while many south Indian women traditionally wear sari and children wear pattu langa.
Women should wear a formal floor-length evening gown, no exceptions. Pair your dress with jewelry, heels, and an elegant clutch. Men are required to wear a tuxedo with tails, a formal white shirt, white vest and bow tie, white or gray gloves, and formal footwear, such as derby shoes or oxfords.Which outfit is best for wedding? ›
- Kurta Pyjama.
- Nehru Jackets.
- Dhoti Kurta.
Almost all wedding dresses have these 6 elements in varying shapes and styles: (i) a particular neckline (e.g., sweetheart, scoop, spaghetti straps), (ii) a bodice, (iii) a type of waistline, (iv) a skirt, (v) a train (e.g., royal length, court length, chapel length etc) and (vi) sleeves (or lack of).What is the most common wedding dress? ›
What is the most popular wedding dress? Ball gown wedding dress. If you've ever dreamed of having your own fairytale moment, then this is the silhouette for you. Ball gowns are one of the most classic wedding dress shapes and will instantly give you the Cinderella effect on the big day.Which fabric is famous in Gujarat? ›
The meticulously hand-woven patola, is one of the most well-known and finest fabrics of Gujarat. It involves a rare, laborious technique of weaving dyed warp and weft.
Patola is a double ikat woven sari, usually made from silk, made in Patan, Gujarat, India. The word patola is the plural form; the singular is patolu. They are very expensive, once worn only by those belonging to royal and aristocratic families.Which saree is best for girl? ›
|COTTON SHOPY||Kanjivaram silk Saree with Blouse Piece||Rs.1439|
|MIMOSA||Kanchipuram Art Silk Saree||Rs.1313|
|MANOHARI||Most Trendy Premium Heavy Chiffon Embroidered Work||Rs.1229|
|Amazon Brand -Anarva||Kanchipuram Silk Blend Saree||Rs.1099|
The tradition of spending the wedding eve apart is when to-be-weds refrain from seeing one another the night before their wedding, often until the ceremony. The superstitious consequences of not abiding include a failed, unlucky, or unhappy marriage.What is pre-wedding puja? ›
It is held a day before the wedding to bless the proceedings. This puja (prayer) is performed mainly for good luck. Lord Ganesh is believed to be the destroyer of obstacles and evils. The bride and her parents are a part of this Puja ceremony. The priest guides them to offer sweets and flowers to the deity.What things bride should do before wedding? ›
- Put the "maybe" items on your registry. ...
- Invest in a good pair of seamless nude underwear. ...
- You don't need expensive tooth whitening. ...
- Book a spa appointment the week before the wedding. ...
- Have a bottle of water on hand when you take pictures.
Rituals and traditions can include having certain familiar foods, playing traditional music and reading familiar stories that explain beliefs and the reasons behind some of the family's traditions. Rituals and traditions help children feel connected to their families and to their past.What are 3 traditions that occur during an Indian wedding? ›
The actual nuptial ceremony and reception, similar to what a Western wedding encompasses, take place on the third day after two days of more intimate events (such as the tilak ceremony, the haldi (or pithi) ceremony, the mehndi party, and the sangeet) that are only attended by close friends and family members.What is the most important Hindu ritual? ›
One of the most fundamental of all rituals in Hinduism is sacrifices or offerings. During the Vedic period, sacrifice was the primary religious activity. Since then, the concept of sacrifice has undergone dramatic transformation as Hinduism has developed over the past few thousand years.What are Hinduism 5 rules? ›
Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (Ahiṃsā), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, virtue, and compassion, among others.What are the 4 Hindu wants? ›
There are four Purusharthas — artha (wealth), kama (desire), dharma (righteousness) and moksha (liberation). These may be said to be the four goals of all mankind.What are the 3 parts of a wedding? ›
"There is typically a welcome or introduction by the minister, followed by the exchange of vows. The couple then exchanges rings, and after the couple shares a kiss, the minister announces them for the first time as a married couple," says Miller.What is mehndi night? ›
A Mehndi party is a pre-wedding event for the bride and their closest female friends and family members. The main focus of the event is the application of the bridal mehndi, or henna design, to their hands and feet.Why is marriage 7 rounds? ›
This significant ceremony marks the ultimate union of a bride and groom and proclaims them as husband and wife. However, it is not just taking seven rounds around a sacred fire that binds them in the matrimonial bond but also the promises that they make to each other while doing these circumambulations.Are there 4 Pheras or 7? ›
02/6Importance of pheras
Every Hindu wedding has at least 4 pheras and these pheras hold a special meaning and are related to the 4 Purusharta or big pearls of wisdom of life: Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
The Saptapadi (Sanskrit "seven steps"/"seven feet"; sometimes called Saat Phere: "seven rounds") is the most important ritual of Vedic Hindu weddings, and represents the legal element of the Hindu marriage ceremony.
The couple takes seven full circles, walking clockwise around the agni, representing the seven principles and promises they make to each other; each step is referred to as a 'phere'.What are the four main types of wedding? ›
Learn about different types of wedding ceremonies: civil, religious, military, and same-sex.What is the after part of a wedding called? ›
A wedding reception is a party usually held after the completion of a marriage ceremony as hospitality for those who have attended the wedding, hence the name reception: the couple receive society, in the form of family and friends, for the first time as a married couple.What do Gujarati people celebrate? ›
Navratri and garba are the first few things that pop up in our minds when we talk about Gujarat. It is one of the most celebrated festivals that is spread across 9 days worshipping Goddess Durga and immersing her idol in the holy water on the 10th day.What are the 4 rituals? ›
The four rites of passage celebrated in this tradition are the coming of age (Gwallye; Hangul: 관례), marriage (Hollye; Hangul: 혼례), death, or the funeral rites (Sangrye; Hangul: 상례), and rites venerating the ancestors (Jerye; Hangul: 제례).What are 5 examples of traditions? ›
- Swim on the first day of spring. ...
- Make homemade gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah (or birthdays) ...
- Go hiking in the same place or at the same time. ...
- Have a movie night. ...
- Visit the same restaurant. ...
- Do a family digital detox. ...
- Take up a new activity as a family. ...
- Start a gratitude jar.
- Step 1: leaving the ordinary.
- Step 2: Preparation.
- Step 3: climax.
- Step 4: celebration.
- Step 5: return to the ordinary.
So here's something you can do to tame that soul-sucking beast: Create a Starting Ritual. That is, a repeatable practice that will serve as a trigger and transition to get you going on something that you typically procrastinate over. Maybe it's listening to a particular song. Or a mindfulness meditation.What are the 2 kinds of rituals? ›
There are two basic kinds of rituals: religious rituals and status rituals. Religious rituals are often dramatic versions of stories in the culture's myth and are of two varieties; veneration rituals, which celebrate or petition a deity and healing rituals which relate to the well-being of the individual.What are the 5 puja offerings? ›
Traditionally, the puja is performed with five offerings to symbolize the five elements, and the elements represented are space, air, fire, water and earth. The offerings are pushpa (flowers), dhupa (incense), deepa (light), naivedya (food) and gandha (sandalwood paste).
Gujarat is a flourishing state with cultural diversity. It is vibrant with its true colors of rich heritage and cultural traditions. Dating back to history with the Harappan civilization, the state becomes a confluence of many religions – Hinduism, Islam, Jainism and Buddhism.What is Gujarati culture? ›
Customs and Traditions of Gujarat
Embracing different religious faiths, Gujaratis demonstrate a vibrant mix of Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, and Buddhism. This amalgamation of cultures is quite evident in their beliefs, customs, traditions, institutions, and practices.
garba, also spelled garaba, singular garbo, type of Indian dance commonly performed at festivals and on other special occasions in the state of Gujarat, India. It is a joyful style of dance, based on a circular pattern and characterized by a sweeping action from side to side.