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A complete guide on Punjabi Weddings – Everything you need to know about Punjabi Weddings

Rituals and customs in Punjabi Wedding Celebrations:

Most of us have experienced the very true effect of “The Big Fat Indian Wedding”, evolved from our legacy of the rich heritage of culture, food, and art forms. Almost all Indian weddings, irrespective of different religions and states, manages the most vibrant experience of a lifetime. Every thought of Punjabi wedding celebrations, the most common things that comes in mind is delicious food that is served, clothing, colors, decoration, sweets, rituals and customs, relative and family friends, music, celebrations, Bhangra & Gidha, such a vibrant combination of exciting elements.
The main rituals in a Punjab wedding are:

Roka: You can say Roka is the first ritual among pre-wedding celebrations between families of the bride and groom. Through this custom, both families and their relative hold a small gathering that signifies the wedding commitment between bride and groom. During this celebration, both families exchange sweets, dry fruits, fruits, and gifts among them.

Sagan: This is another pre-wedding ritual, and the procession normally held at the groom’s house or in a banquet hall, depends on the number of relatives and friends invited for the event. The father of the bride offers tikka on the groom’s forehead between eyes and offers sweets especially “Moti Choor or Kesar da Laddu” along with dry fruits, which is followed by a lavish lunch with most exciting Punjabi cuisine.

Chunni Chadai: This ritual is normally taken place during the Roka ceremony or the Sagan, in which the groom’s sister or mother offers a red or pink chunni on the bride’s head and gifts jewelry along with other expensive traditional clothes like Punjabi suits, Lehnga Choli or Sareers depends.

Sagai: This is one of the most important rituals in which the bride and groom exchange ring with one other. Families from both sides blessed the bride and groom with gifts, sweets, dry fruits, jewelry, expensive clothes, and dresses.

Mehndi (Heena) & Sangeet: Depends on one’s gathering at this event, normally this procession takes place at home or at some other small banquet hall. The mehndi is applied to the bride and her friends and sisters which is followed by folk songs normally sung by elder women of families. After mehndi or heena, dance and gidha to be performed.

Sangeet is one of the most exciting parts of any Punjabi wedding in which all relatives and friends participate to perform dance performances, singing, traditional Bhangra and Giddha on famous Punjabi numbers, along with delicious food & drinks. Sangeet is a kind of full enjoyment procession before the wedding.

All those rituals discussed above are performed before the wedding. Now, we are proceeding to rituals that are performed during the wedding day and followed by a wedding.

Gana Bandhna: Gana bandhna is called Thread knot tie, this particular custom is performed in the morning hours at bride and groom houses individually. After a brief pooja at home, family members tied sacred thread called “Mauli” along with betel nuts to the wrists of bride and groom. Intentionally, they give a number of knots to the thread to find it difficult to untie later by each other during a post-wedding procession.

Haldi ceremony / VATNA: A mixture of “Haldi”(turmeric) and mustard oil is applied to the bride and groom in the evening before the wedding day.

Chooda Ceremony: This ceremony is performed on the day of the wedding, in which maternal uncle of the bride offers a set of chooda (believed to be a sacred set of white and red bangles), which is usually kept in a bowl full of a mixture of milk and turmeric. After wearing Chooda, the members of the bride family tie Kalirhe(dangling faux gold ornaments) to her Chooda.

Ghara Ghardoli: In this wedding ritual, the family members of the bride especially women, bring water from seven different places including Gurudwaras and temples for the bathe after Haldi procession. The same process is performed at groom house too.

Sehra-bandi and Gud-chadai: After the groom dressed up in his wedding attire, mostly, the sisters of groom tied a sehra on his head, followed by sisters-in-law of groom apply surma in his eyes. After this, during ghodi(Mare) procession on the way to the wedding venue, the mare (“Ghodi”) is offered a mixture of gud(jaggery) and grams or chickpeas.

Varmala: After reaching the venue, a wedding stage is set with wedding chairs. The bride and groom exchange flower garlands to each other. It is one of the most joyful moments of the wedding. Traditionally, its bride offers flower garland(“Varmala”) first to groom, which is followed by the groom in turn.

Pheres and Kanyadan: This is the core of ceremony of any wedding, where the bride and groom take seven rounds around the sacred fire. During this ritual, the father of the bride tied her dupatta or chunni with the dupatta worn by groom, this ritual is commonly termed as “Kanya Daan”. After this, the groom ties a Mangal Sutra around the bride’s neck and applies sindoor in between her head hair part. After this ritual, the couple is termed as husband and wife and considers the last stage of the core wedding procession.

Vidaai: After completing all wedding processions and sagans, the bride is finally ready to leave her father’s house to join the family of her husband. During the procession of vidaai, the bride throws a handful of rice in the backward direction, and her family members including her mother, sisters, sister-in-law, friends catch it in her “Pallu”.

Paani vaaran and Greha Parvesh: This ritual is done when the groom along with her newlywed bride reaches the groom’s house. The mother of the groom welcomes the newlywed couple with the procession of Paani Vaaran. After this, the bride enters the door where she knocks down a container of rice at the threshold of the door with her right foot. She then enters the house along with her husband.

Reception: A party is thrown by the groom’s family as the welcome note to the newlywed bride and groom and for the blessings of their beloved ones.