The marriage ceremony is one among the oldest customs of human beings and therefore the Indian culture is not any exception, and it’s considered one in all the foremost important events of one’s life. In India, the Kanyadana (literally meaning, donating a virgin) or giving away one’s daughter in wedding, was thought of the best sacrifice a man might perform. It absolutely was also a duty performed by the bridegroom to continue his lineage. By making wedding a religious ceremony, the Hindus elevated the physical union to religious dimensions.
Many in India consider wedding an integral part of human condition, binding not solely during this life, but in the afterlife also.
History of marriage in India
From the hymns and verses about wedding in the Vedas, we learn that mature people were considered ready for wedding after puberty. In subsequent times however, brides were married even in childhood, maybe due to a series of foreign invasions in North India. In an effort to provide security their ladies from the invaders, early marriages became the norm. According to the scriptures of Manu, divorce and remarriage weren’t permissible. Most references to wedding in the ancient texts recommend that the Aryans were monogamous. However, some references to marriage and polygamy are found in the Hindu epic of Mahabharata.
In medieval India, the marriage was mandatory for all the ladies apart from those opted asceticism. Brahmin ladies were married between ages eight and ten from sixth or century ahead up to the modern times. Marriage was permissible to all or any who may afford, and it had been especially in style among Kshatriyas for political reasons. According to the Manasollasa, the king should marry a Kshatriya lady of noble birth for a chief queen although he’s permissible to possess Vaishya or Shudra wives for pleasure.
Today, in India both divorce and marriage ceremony are fully legal, whereas polygamy and polyandry are each criminal offences for Hindus, punishable by law. The Islamic personal law of Sheriat permits up to four wives for a person, and it’s legal for a Muslim to possess multiple wives in India.
Verities of wedding in India
Marriage ceremony became difficult (involving such problems as the dowry), over time to strengthen the relatives. Today, a wedding is probably the foremost necessary occasion for any family, reflecting the regional colour that overlays the essential Vedic rites. A muhurta or auspicious moment is chosen by the time of the year and the horoscopes of the bride and groom. Wedding preparations begin well beforehand. The marriage is typically conducted at the bride’s home, in temples, and these days, in a parks, hotels, or in special wedding halls. Entire families congregate, with evenings spent in singing, dancing, and eating. The rings that are exchanged may be traditional or an additional fashionable selection. Men’s wedding bands are available in many alternative styles and metals that didn’t exist until recently.
The customs during the marriage ceremony in India are varied and replicate the immense diversity of cultures of the land. The cultures have influenced one another with mutual borrowing of practices.
A day before the marriage, the bride and her friends and female relatives gather for the ceremony of Mehendi, within which their palms and feet are decorated with henna. The bride is teased with music and dance, by the other ladies regarding her future husband and in-laws.
A wedding altar or mandapa is erected at the wedding venue on the day of the marriage, within which the ceremony is conducted. The poles of the frame are draped with strings of flowers. On the marriage morning, numerous rituals are performed on both the bride and therefore the groom in their own homes. Their bodies are anointed with turmeric, sandalwood paste and oils, that cleanse the body, soften the skin, and make it aromatic. They’re then bathed to the chanting of Vedic mantras. These days this can be done symbolically, if at all, with a token application of turmeric, sandal wood, and oil on the face and arms, before the bath. The bride currently wears all her attire, helped by her womenfolk.
In the north and east, the ritual of putting Sindhoor, or vermilion powder, in the parting of the bride’s hair is performed by the groom… The husband dips his ring in vermilion powder and traces a line from the middle of his wife’s hairline to the crown of her head. Brahmin grooms who haven’t undergone the Upanayana ritual are given a symbolic initiation. Some individual communities just like the Kodavas involve sword wielding rituals within the ceremony.
The gathering showers the bride and groom with flower petals (see also: Saying’ it with Flowers — whereas the Western societies glamorized and commercialised the flowers, it’s solely the Indians who have blended their lives with flowers.) and therefore the couple come out of the mandapa. They touch the feet of their elders to receive blessings and are greeted by everyone gift. The bride now leaves for her new home, bidding a tearful farewell to her family. She now belongs to a different family and not to her parents, for she has been ritually given away. They proceed homeward dancing and singing. Once the bride arrives at her new home, an arati is performed for her by her in-law and he or she is ceremonially ushered into the house. She takes care to enter, auspicious right foot initial, gently kicking over a strategically placed measure of paddy as a sign of plenty for her new family. In today’s India, the couple then leaves for his or her honeymoon.