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Sikh Wedding In India

Sikh Wedding In IndiaSikh Weddings in India start a week before the wedding day with the different ceremonies and rituals taking place. These ceremonies continue for some time even after the marriage ceremony is over. The marriage ceremony is performed in a Gurudwara, the place of worship of the Sikhs.
There are various rituals, which are followed before and after the wedding.

Shagun   or engagement is the first ceremony to mark the beginning of the wedding celebration. Various auspicious items are required on this day that includes coconut, dry dates, sugar and money and these are sent to the groom's family. It is also called the Tilak ceremony, which is performed by a preacher from the Gurudwara who first reads the hymn, offers a date to the groom and applies tilak on his forehead, marking the engagement.

Bangle ceremony or the choora ceremony, which is held at the bride's place where the maternal uncle and aunt of the bride put white and red bangles on the bride's wrists. Light ornaments of beaten silver and gold called kalira are tied to the bangles.

Maiya is followed by the bride and the groom where both are not allowed to leave their house for few days before the wedding.

Gana, where an auspicious red thread is tied to the right wrist of the groom and the left wrist of the bride. It is regarded as a good omen for the bride and the groom and it protects them from ill omen.

Vatna, a scented powder consisting of barley flour, turmeric and mustard oil is applied to their bodies to be followed by a ritual bath.

On the eve of the wedding, Mehndi ceremony is celebrated when henna is applied on the hands and feet of the bride. Gharoli is celebrated in the morning of the wedding day at groom's place in which the groom's sister-in law accompanied by other female relatives goes to a nearby well or Gurudwara to fill an earthen pitcher or gharoli with water which is later used to bath the bridegroom.

Sikh Wedding In IndiaThe main day includes Milni ceremony, which is celebrated at the groom's place where his   sisters tie a sehera or floral veil to the boy's forehead and a garland of currency notes adorn his neck. On reaching the bride's house the milni ceremony is held with the elders of both families embracing and wishing each other. Shabads are sung and the ardaas recited as the procession enters the Gurudwara breakfast is served to the guests.

On the main wedding function the bride and the groom sit together to attend the Guru Granth Sahib Kirtan. The groom drapes a chunni draped by the bride's father one end held by groom, which is usually red, pink and orange in color around his neck, the other end of which is held by the bride throughout the ceremony. The bhaiji of the Gurudwara recites the hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib, which are then sung and the bride and groom circle the Guru Granth Sahib. The bridegroom walks ahead of the bride with a sword in his hand. Relatives and friends garland the newly wedded couple and the marriage ceremony concludes with a grand feast.

Among the post wedding rituals the vidaai or doli ceremony marks the end of the wedding celebration. It is a very emotional affair for the bride's family as she departs from her parent's house she throws back handful of rice over her shoulder, thereby wishing prosperity for her parents and family she leaves behind to start a new life with new dreams and aspirations.

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