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A Guide To Sikh Wedding

Published by Manohar Singh

Sikh Wedding

 

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For those who still think that Sikh and Punjabi weddings are the same, that’s not true. Let’s get this clear. Sikh is a religion whereas Punjabis are those whose native is Punjab. Unlike Hindu weddings, the priest has no role in selecting the wedding day. Both the families and the couple choose a favourable date takes pheras in gurudwara in front of holy Guru Granth Sahib. 

 

Before the Wedding day

 

Kurmaai

 

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This is the ritual where someone reads the Guru Granth Sahib, and after that, rings are exchanged. Groom is given the kara (mandatory steel bangle), kirpan which Sikh men need to wear and a small knife which represents their heritage. Parent’s agreement is most important in Sikh wedding regardless of love marriage or an arranged marriage.

 

Chunni Chadhai

 

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Before few days of the marriage, the groom’s family visits the bride’s family and covers the head of the bride with chunni which shows that she has accepted her to be a part of the family. The bride is also given the dress which she is supposed to wear at the wedding and other accessories and gifts.

Mehndi and chooda ceremony

 

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This is a ritual of fun and music. Bride gets beautiful mehndi done on her hands and legs. According to the routine, Chooda is the ceremony where the bride’s uncle gives her a set of red and white bangles which are first dipped into milk and then presented. Kalires (golden ornaments) are attached to the chooda.

 

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It is believed that whichever bridesmaid gets showered with kalires will be the next one to get married. 

Maiya

 

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It is the tradition where both the bride and groom are not allowed to go out of the house before the wedding day.

Gana ritual

 

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This is the ritual where a red thread is tied on the bride’s left and groom’s right hand a few days prior the wedding day. It is believed that the thread would protect them from any adverse event. 

Vatna

 

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A woman of the house specially prepares a mixture of turmeric paste and mustard oil. The bride and groom in their respective homes are made to sit on a low stool. This paste is applied to them for the glow on the wedding day. Wedding songs are sung on this occasion for enjoyment. This is much similar to the Hindu’s Haldi ceremony.

ON THE WEDDING DAY

 

Sehra Bandi

 

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It is an emotional moment for the groom’s family as he becomes a mature and responsible person now. This is the ritual performed at the groom’s house where Sehra is fixed on his head, which is tied to the turban.  Sweets and money are exchanged.

 

Baarat

 

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The Groom, accompanied by some close friends and family, is supposed to reach the wedding venue. Family and friends dance while doing so. This tradition is all about music and dance. The horse is offered nuts, and the groom sits on it while reaching to the destination.

Milni

 

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The bride’s family welcomes the groom’s family and friends traditionally. They exchange some gifts while the priest recited some mantras. The ceremony gets started once the groom’s family is done with breakfast.

Anand Karaj

 

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This is the beginning of the ceremony, which is also called ‘ceremony of bliss’. Both the bride and groom visits gurudwara, where they sit and listen to the Sikh philosophy of marriage. They perform a set of religious songs when the couple is seated.

 

Laavan Prayers

 

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This is a set of four prayers which are chanted while the couple walks around the holy guru Granth sahib. The bride’s dupatta and the groom’s shawl are tied, which shows the symbol of unity. The groom holds a small knife while performing the pheras. 

 

Wedding Lunch

 

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After the wedding ceremony, the guests are offered vegetarian food in the gurudwara. There is also a ritual called Roti, which signifies that this is the first meal of the bride as a married woman. The groom’s family offers a plate of food to the bride, which is covered with red cloth and some cash. 

After the wedding

Doli and Vidaai

 

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This is the ceremony where the bride leaves her parent’s house. The bride throws rice grains over her shoulder. Doli refers to the wooden carriage which was earlier used to carry women. Nowadays, it is used to symbolise the departure of a woman from her parental home. This is usually an emotional event. The bride, along with the groom, sits in a beautifully decorated car and goes to the groom’s house. 

 

Reception

 

 

A big event is hosted by the groom’s side to welcome the newlyweds. This event is all about fun, music and dance. 

So if you are ever going to a Sikh wedding, don’t worry about the rituals. Sikh weddings are as simple as any other weddings. 

 

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