India is a vast land of many traditions, with each community having their own rites of passage, some strange and others adorable, but all being a part of wedding customs…
1. Ascetic groom
Grooms among Tamil Brahmins perform a ritual enactment of asceticism. a regular practice during the marriage is for the groom to fake to being suddenly disillusioned and wanting to renounce the world. accompanied by his friends, he leaves the wedding hall wearing a dhoti (a simple cloth tied at the waist with a knot). the father and other relatives of the bride must then persuade him to come back and accept the bride.
2. Marriage by Abduction
Among some ancient Indian tribes, marriage by abduction is the norm. The young man must carry away his woman on his back, keep her hidden for a year and then have a normal ceremony with the then automatic consent of the bride’s folks.
3. Wedding contract
The Nagarattars of Tamil Nadu in South India have a tradition that follows the ceremonial tying of the thali or mangalsutra. The fathers of both the bride and the groom sign the isaivu padimaanam, which is a document stating the marriage contract between the two families.
4. Deeper the colour
An Indian bride applies henna or mehndi to her hands and feet before the marriage. the belief is that the deeper the final color the more she will be loved by her husband or some say, her mother‐in‐law. She is also prohibited from doing any housework as long as the color of the bridal mehndi remains on her hands, creating the longevity of the henna all the more desirable!
5. Veiled groom
In North India the groom’s face is kept hidden before the marriage behind a floral veil, called sehra, which is tied to the turban. The veil is believed to protect him from the evil eye. At some purpose before the ceremony, someone from the bride’s family lifts the veil briefly to ensure that the groom is the chosen one and not an impostor!
6. Right footed
After the Hindu marriage the bride arrives to her husband’s home and is ceremonially ushered in by her mother‐in‐law. The bride should take care to enter the threshold with her right foot first, which she uses to gently knock over a vessel filled to the brim with rice that has been placed there strategically in order to ensure good luck and plenty for her new family.
7. Ransom shoes
In Punjab it’s customary for young women related to the bride to play a prank on the groom involving his shoes. throughout the marriage ceremony the groom’s untended shoes are removed and hidden away. once the ceremony, he’s asked to pay a ransom or ‘fee’ for their return. The groom comes prepared for this and offers money or traditional trinkets, called kalicharis, gold for the bride’s sisters and silver for her cousins.
8. Ring of control
A light‐hearted ritual called aeki beki among Gujurati Hindus follows the arrival of the newly wed couple at their home. a hoop and a few coins are place into a silver dish full of milk and vermilion and also the bride and groom are asked to dip their hands into the bowl to look for the ring. The one who finds the ring four out of seven times is predicted most likely to rule the roost!
9. Groom’s nose
A pre‐wedding ritual in Gujurat has the groom arriving at the house of the bride to seek the blessings of his mother‐in‐law. She blesses him and performs a ritual to ward off the evil eye. She also tries to catch his nose, playfully reminding him of his responsibility as a son‐in‐law.
10 . Earth bringing
Some tribal communities perform an earth‐bringing ceremony before the marriage. Earth from a holy place is carried to the wedding house and a kiln built and anointed. All food for the marriage feast is cooked in this kiln.