As the wedding season is nearing and I have started getting invites to various wedding ceremonies. There is no doubt that wedding ceremonies in India are very vibrant and fun-filled. But something that always made me go gaga is the wedding rituals and what’s that thing that makes it so special. However hard I tried I could never grasp the specialty of these rituals. Then finally I decided to ask my mother and she explained me the whole thing in details along with a little history lesson.
Well, I know no one likes history but this lesson helped me to see the institution of marriage in a whole new light. Hindu wedding is the most sacred among all other rites. It incorporates many timeless rituals and customs. In olden days, these Hindu wedding rituals and customs would go on for many days, but because of today’s hectic lifestyle, such an elaborate wedding become quite difficult to accommodate. In the recent times, most of these traditions are being performed a night before the wedding day and on the day of the wedding ceremony. All the rituals of an Indian wedding centers not only around the bride and the groom, but it also celebrates the joining of the two families. To illustrate this little concept most of the wedding rituals in India involve both the families.
My mother also enlightens that marriage is also considered as a transition from studentship to the householder, and in a way, forms the foundation for the remaining two stages of life. Any wedding in India starts with the Roka ceremony.
Roka ceremony is all about the official announcement that both the boy and the girl has given their consent for getting married to each other. For me, this ceremony was always like a marking put on the boy and the girl that they are now “booked and engaged”. This is also the first time when both the families officially meet each other and exchange sweets, gifts, dry fruits, etc. and bless the couple who are now newly engaged and would soon get married. A small puja is performed as per the Hindu rituals and traditions in the presence of a holy priest who recites the holy verses and performs all the rituals.
The Roka ceremony in Indian weddings is usually conducted at the bride’s place. However, if the families want to celebrate this occasion on a large scale by inviting a lot of guests, then the venue can be chosen accordingly. The proceedings of a Roka ceremony are very simple. The ceremony starts off by performing the Tilak ceremony, where the tilak which is a paste made of Vermillion/sandalwood and rice grains are applied on the foreheads of both the boy and the girl. After the Tilak ceremony is over with, the elders present during the occasion, bless the new couple. This is then followed by the exchange of gifts between both the families as a symbol of acceptance. These wedding favor gifts usually include sweets, fruit baskets, dry fruits, clothes and other assortments.
In the ceremony the mother of the groom adorns the would-be bride with a beautiful red chunni or dupatta and then blesses her with more clothes, jewelry, cash, etc. whereas on the other hand, the parents of the would-be bride gift clothes and cash to the would-be groom and shower him with their blessings and love. The Roka ceremony usually marks the beginning of the wedding ceremonies which are about to follow. Roka ceremony is the first step taken towards starting a new life and making their marriage decision official among the friends and family. The families also give a party for their close ones to celebrate the joining of the two souls and families. This ceremony also represents the starting of a new relationship between the boy and the girl, which they would cherish for their lifetime.
In the olden times the attire for the Roka ceremony would be pajama kurta for the boy and saree for the girl but now a day as times are changing and so is the fashion choices so most of the would-be brides opt for designer lehengas or sarees for their Roka ceremony and the would-be groom also opts for some designer sherwani or even Indo-western suits for the occasion. Some would be brides also opt for those beautiful Indo-western gowns for the occasion. Roka ceremony decoration nowadays is also based on themes as people are more inclined towards those lavish weddings that they see in Bollywood movies.
Well, however, the celebration is done the ground note is that the Roka ceremony is one of the most important pre wedding rituals in Hindu community that celebrates the joining of not just the couple who are getting married but also two families and two very different societies. Not only the way of celebration is changing but also the way of looking for a bride or a groom has become easy with the help of Hindu matrimonial sites. As there you can find brides or grooms as per your own choice.
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