Before any wedding ceremony of any religion, inviting relatives and friends are the most important thing. Usually, in Bengali marriage ceremonies, attendance of the elderly people of the family is a must, so inviting them in the right manner is quite a vital task before the ceremony. That’s why it is quite important to design the wedding cards according to Indian wedding invitations designs.
If you have got an invitation to a Bengali Biye, knowing the Bengali traditions and rituals is quite a good thing to enjoy the wedding at its best. So following is the detailed overview of a Bengali wedding ceremony.
Rituals Of Bengali Pre Wedding
- Adan Pradan: Traditionally the elderly members of the family write the dates, times, names of the couples and the exact details of the Adan Pradan( gifts/dowry) by using Haldi and sindoor on coins and signs along with witness names.
- Ashirbad: It is the engagement ceremony of the Bengali version where the parents of both families give blessings to both the bride and the groom and it happens after the date of the wedding ceremony is fixed. The only difference is that here no ring is exchanged but the future-in laws give blessings with clothes, gold jewellery, sweets etc.
- Aiburo-Bhat: It is the tradition of feeding both the couples in their own homes before their marriage and the foods are usually cooked by their mothers. Sweets are mandatory in this ritual.
- Holud Kota And Dhan Kota: Just before the day of the marriage, five to nine married women make a Haldi paste by grinding the turmeric sticks. The particular woman who grinds is called Ayo, the rest hold her hand during grinding. This process is known as Holud Kota. They also grind rice to make it into powder right from the scratch, this is called Dhan Kota.
- Ganga Nimantran: On the day of the Holud Kota ceremony, only the women of the family used to go to Ganga to invite or to take permission to use the water during the wedding ceremony. This ritual is called Ganga Nimantran.
- Dodhi Mangal: On the wedding day, before the sunrise, mothers of both the bride and the groom feed them curd, sweets and puffed rice with love as they have to fast till the wedding is over.
- Bridhhi And Nandi Mukh: In this ritual the priest performs puja for the last seven ancestors of the bride for blessings. The pooja is also performed at the groom’s house as well.
- Gaye Holud: The Haldi paste which is sent by the groom’s family is applied to the bride’s body and then she is bathed by the holy Ganga water. This ritual is Gaye Holud.
- Tatta: It is the list of gifts that are sent to the bride’s house from the groom’s family before the day of the wedding.
Bengali Wedding Rituals
- Bor Boron: Boron in Bengali means welcoming. Here the mother of the bride welcomes the groom or Bor with sweets before the marriage ceremony starts.
- Patta Bastra: In this ritual, the groom has to sit at the altar and the elderly male member of the family will offer him new clothes. The one who does the sampradan. This ritual symbolises that from now on the groom has to take responsibility for the bride.
- Saat Paak And Subho Drishti: This ritual happens when the bride is carried to the wedding mandap. During this time, the bride covered her face with two paan pata also known as betel leaves. Then the brother of the bride carries her on a wooden seat or Peerhi and takes seven rounds surrounding the groom. After this event the bride sees the groom three times, this is called Subho Drishti.
- Kanyadan Or Sampradan: Here both the couples sit by facing each other while the father of the bride takes her hand and gives it to the groom then ties a holy knot by their clothes. The ritual is called Kanyadan or Sampradan in the Bengali weddings.
- Bashi Biye Snan: This ritual happens on the next day where both the bride and the groom are given a bath together while standing above a Peerhi. After this, the bride changes her clothes and wears the clothes which were gifted to her by her in-laws and the groom changes his clothes which he was wearing last night.
- Yagnya, Surja Pranam And Sindoor Daan: In all the Bengali weddings, Yagnya happens where the priest chants mantras. After Yagnya, the groom used to apply vermilion on the bride’s head by a ring or by a small box made of cane or a Dorpon. After the Sindoor Daan Surja Pranam happens.
- Khoi Fela And Saptapadi: During this ritual, the groom stands behind the bride and the bride stands with a tray full of puffed rice or Khoi. Then together they empty it into the fire. The ritual happens thrice and the last step is the Saptapadi or Saat Phere. Where the couples walk around the holy fire for seven times and then step on a Paan and push the grinding stones with their feet.
Rituals Of A Bengali Post Wedding
- Bashor Jaga: This happens on the wedding night, after all the rituals happen the young members of both the families sit and they sing, dance, play games all night and do not let the couples sleep all night.
- Biday: This is the farewell of the bride at a Bengali wedding. Before leaving both the bride and the groom touch the feet of the elderly members of the bride’s family for blessings.
- Bodhu Boron: After the wedding, the groom’s mother welcomes the bride to their house by performing an Aarti and then with honey she touches the bride’s mouth and ears.
- Kaal Ratri: It is the night where the couples have to stay separately and prepare for the Bou Bhaat which will happen on the next day.
- Bhat Kapor And Bou Bhaat: Bhat Kapor is the custom where the groom gives clothes, sindoor, food and makes promises to take all responsibility of clothing and food of the bride in front of everyone. On that same day at noon, the bride used to serves ghee- bhat to each and every guest.
- Ashtamangala: On the eighth day after the wedding, both the couples go to the bride’s house and stay there for a couple of days. During this time, the knot which was tied on the wedding day is undone which means that the wedding ceremony has ended officially.
So these are the beautiful rituals that you will face if you are attending a Bengali wedding for the first time. Bengali weddings are quite colourful and vibrant so you will enjoy every moment in the wedding and you will remember it in your whole lifetime.
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