The ‘Maha’rashtrian Wedding
Just like its location, the wedding ceremonies of Maharashtra reflect a little bit of North and carry some nuances of a South Indian wedding; the result is joyfully unique. The engagement is referred to as the Sakhar Puda ritual. The bride is gifted a saree and sugar by the groom’s side. This marks the commitment of both the families towards the impending union.
Engagement is followed by selecting an auspicious day for the wedding. A typical Maharashtrian mentions pre-wedding ceremonies, main wedding and reception. The pre-wedding rituals begin with Kelvan- worshipping kuldevta to bless the wedding preparations and families involved. Haldi ceremony is conducted at both brides’ as well as groom’s place and is called Halad Chadavane.
The wedding day begins with an elaborate puja of Lord Ganesha-the Lord of ceremonies who usually adorns all of Hindu weddings. When the groom reaches the bride’s house, her parents wash groom’s feet and present him with Shagun and gifts. This ceremony is called Seemaan puja. In themandap the bride and groom must not look at each other before the auspicious shlokas have been chanted. To ensure this, a wide piece of cloth called Antarpat is placed between the couple. The characteristic rite of every Indian wedding- exchanging the garland is carried out ones antarpat has been removed. Unbroken rice grains smeared with haldi are showered on the couple in a Maharashtrian wedding. This custom bears semblance with South Indian wedding rituals.
Kanyadan followed by Lakshmi Narayan puja and Satapadhi ritual which is the Maharashtrian version of Saat Pheras binds the couple in a lifelong bond of a man and wife. In the end the bride’s father along with the newly married couple seek blessings for a happy and fruitful life. A Maharashtrian bride usually wears green saree and green glass bangles during the wedding ceremony and is not required to cover her head. The end of the ceremony is marked by Varat ritual where emotions run highas the bride leaves her maternal home.
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