Marathi weddings are known for their colorful and vibrant celebrations, rich traditions, and intricate rituals. A Marathi wedding typically lasts for three to four days, and involves a series of pre-wedding, wedding day, and post-wedding ceremonies. In this blog, we will take a detailed look at the various ceremonies and customs that are a part of a Marathi wedding.
Engagement Ceremony / Sakharpuda
The engagement ceremony is the first step in a Marathi wedding, and it marks the formal announcement of the couple's engagement. It usually takes place at the bride's house, where the groom's family visits with gifts for the bride and her family. The ceremony is called 'Sakhar Puda', and it involves the exchange of a packet of sugar between the bride and the groom's families, symbolizing the sweetness of their union.
Simant Pujan is an important ritual in Marathi weddings that takes place on the day of the wedding or a day before. It is a puja that is performed to seek the blessings of the ancestors and to purify the mind and body of the bride and groom before the wedding ceremony.
The Haldi ceremony is a pre-wedding ritual that takes place a day or two before the wedding. It is a ritual where turmeric paste is applied to the bride and the groom's body, to ward off evil spirits and bless the couple with a healthy and happy married life. The Haldi paste is usually made by mixing turmeric powder with sandalwood powder, rosewater, and other ingredients.
The Mehendi ceremony is another pre-wedding ritual that takes place a day before the wedding. It is a ceremony where intricate designs are drawn on the bride's hands and feet with henna paste. The designs usually include traditional motifs, such as peacocks, flowers, and paisleys, and they symbolize fertility, beauty, and love. The bride's friends and family members also get henna designs on their hands during this ceremony.
The wedding day is the most significant event in a Marathi wedding. It usually takes place in the morning or afternoon, and the ceremony is called Vivaah. Functions on the wedding day includes:
1. Ganesh Puja
The wedding day begins with the Ganesh Puja, which is performed by the bride's family. Lord Ganesh is worshipped as he is believed to be the remover of obstacles and the god of wisdom and good fortune. The puja is performed to seek his blessings and to ensure that the wedding goes smoothly without any hurdles.
2. Groom's Arrival
After the puja, the groom arrives at the wedding venue with his family and friends. The bride's family welcomes him with aarti, tilak, and garlands. This ceremony is called the "Varat" and is a significant event in the wedding.
The Antarpat ceremony takes place just before the wedding ceremony. The groom arrives at the wedding venue and is received by the bride's family. The bride's brother places a white cloth, called Antarpat, between the bride and groom, symbolizing the separation between the two families.
In the Kanyadaan ceremony, the bride's father gives her hand in marriage to the groom. The father then washes the feet of the groom, symbolizing his acceptance into the family.
5. Mangalsutra and Saree Ceremony:
The groom ties a mangalsutra, a sacred thread with a pendant, around the bride's neck, signifying the bond of marriage. The bride then changes into a new saree, gifted to her by the groom's family.
In the Saptapadi ceremony, the couple takes seven vows around the holy fire, symbolizing their commitment to each other. They walk seven steps together, each step representing a promise to each other.
The Karmasampati ceremony takes place after the Saptapadi. The bride's parents give the couple gifts, which symbolize the wealth and prosperity they wish for the couple.
8. Sindoor Daan Ceremony:
The Sindoor Daan Ceremony is performed after the Saptapadi Ceremony. The groom applies sindoor (vermilion powder) on the bride's forehead, symbolizing their union and the bride's acceptance as his wife.
9. Lavani Dance:
The Lavani Dance is a traditional Maharashtrian dance performed by the bride's family to celebrate the wedding. It is a lively and energetic dance that involves a lot of drumming and dancing.
10. Vidaai Ceremony:
The Vidaai Ceremony marks the end of the wedding ceremony. The bride says goodbye to her family and leaves with her husband. This ceremony is emotional and sentimental as the bride leaves her family and home to start a new life with her husband.
The Grihapravesh ceremony is the first entry of the bride into her new home. The groom's mother welcomes the bride by performing aarti and placing a kalash filled with rice at the entrance.
The Satyanarayan Puja is performed to seek blessings from Lord Vishnu for a happy married life.
Marathi weddings are a beautiful blend of tradition and modernity, and they reflect the rich cultural heritage of Maharashtra.