Weddings are one of the beautiful moments of somebody’s life. For the bride and the groom, it’s a journey to new life and for the family, friends, and relatives it’s something that puts them through all the preparations. This life-changing event is a rollercoaster of emotions like love, happiness, and nostalgia.
I recently attended my friend’s wedding who happens to be a Rajput. The wedding was a beautiful event like every wedding that includes singing, dancing and merrymaking aspect. But this wedding was a little different. Other than gorgeous decorations and beautiful, glittery dresses with the fancy accessories, here I got to experience a very different vibe. It could be felt in the song, dance, costume, food, and the environment.
If you wondering what Rajput is, well, it is a Hindu community that is known as the warriors. This community is found in the subcontinent of India, especially in the northern and central side of the country. They are very popular for their legendary patriotism and how they chose death over honour in the past.
Well, my friend’s wedding was a grand affair that lasted for days and took several preparations. The most surprising thing about the wedding was the costume. I saw my friend in a veil which people called it “ghoonghat”. When I asked some older ladies about it, they made it clear to me that it isn’t a sign of oppression. In fact, it’s a matter of pride in putting it. During the wedding, it is lifted by the ladies around the bride when the groom is asked to put sindoor on her forehead.
As for men, they wear Achkan along with churidar. I saw the groom’s head covered in turban and sehra. Also, he carried a word which was tied around his waist on the wedding day. The elders around me enlightened me that it signifies bravery. On that special day, he is the king.
If you want to know the steps and the procedure, here I’m going to talk about Rajput wedding rituals.
Rajput Wedding Rituals
Tilak ceremony is where the engagement is made official in the society. It’s mostly an all-male event as the father, brothers, and uncles of the bride visit the groom’s house with gifts such as clothes, sword, sweets etc. tilak is applied on the forehead of the groom which signifies the acceptance of the groom by the bride’s family.
Griha Shanti Ceremony And Ganesh Pooja:
This ceremony is conducted just a few days before the wedding with havan to seek blessings from the almighty. During this puja, Lord Ganesha was worshipped to seek good luck and peace.
This one was a fun event. In this ceremony, the female members of my friend’s family applied turmeric and sandalwood paste on her body. The same thing happens to the groom’s family where the ladies and the close relatives apply turmeric and sandalwood mixture on his body along with singing and dancing. Turmeric and sandalwood have many medicinal benefits. They remove acne and revive the skin.
This one took place at the bride as well as the groom’s place. What I saw was the maternal uncles give away gifts like clothes, jewellery, and sweet delicious items to the whole family. The gesture basically means that the maternal uncle has agreed to help the sister’s family financially during the wedding.
Well during this ceremony, the groom performs a yagna wearing saffron clothing as he takes over the responsibility of a householder. The fun part of this ceremony is that he performs an act where he tries to run away but his maternal uncle stops him and coaxes him to get married.
This ceremony occurs at the bride’s house two days before the wedding where the groom’s family visits the bride’s family with presents such as clothes, jewellery, sweets etc. Technology has made marriages so easy these days that finding a partner is not really that difficult. As there are sites like Rajput matrimonial sites that help the members of the community to find a prospective candidate with just a click on the screen!
It usually starts with Baraat which is an all men-affair where all the members of the groom’s family are present. The groom rides an elephant or horse dressed up in gold achkan with an orange turban. He also carries a sword. Here the groom is present among the ladies where the mother of the bride performs traditional Arti. He is present there with his brothers and other relatives. This is indeed an emotional moment for the parents and relatives of the prospects.
The bride keeps her face hidden throughout the ceremony behind the veil. The couple is taken to the mandap where yagna, mantra chanting and pheras are performed.
Bidaai Or Farewell:
Vidai ceremony made everyone emotional and brought tears to the eyes of my best friend and her family as it signifies that she’s leaving her family. I saw that the bride, who was still in the veil, exposed her face to her husband and he presented her with a piece of jewellery. Later, the family members put a coconut under the wheel of the car that was supposed to crush it.
In Griha Pravesh, the bride is welcomed with an Arti and some light-hearted fun games as she enters the house of the groom for the first time.
Here, the bride gets introduced to the family members and relatives of the groom, who in turn give her blessings and present her with gifts.
This is how the wedding ceremony ended. It’s beautiful how much we experience life with these wedding preparations and ceremonies. Everything becomes adorable on its own with all the glitters and laugher!
You may also like: Hindu Wedding Rituals