Marriage is regarded as the bedrock of Sikh society। Guru Nanak taught his followers that they should lead a worldy life, that is, the normal life of householders . Recogonising their duties to parents, wife and children and to the wider society. he rejected the notion of ascetism and celibacy. A Sikh wedding has far greater significance than the simple unification of man and woman; it is regarded as an alliance between two families of compatible social and caste status.Marriage is believed to be a spritual bond, and emphasise the concept of ek jote joye mutri (one soul in two bodies). Moreover, the concept of sanjog (relationship preordained by god) plays an important role in the establishment of a marriage alliance.
The Punjabi wedding is a joyful and exuberant affair. Large number of colorful customs and rituals and the congregation of relatives and friends add joy and mirth to the occasion.
The Roka ceremony is the informal agreement between the families of the bride and the groom। Usually conducted at the girl's house, it involves a small puja and exchange of gifts between the families.
Sagan and Chunni Chadana
Sagan and ChadanaSagan ceremony can be held either at the groom's house or at a banquet hall। A havan is performed by a pundit। Thereafter, the to be bride's father applies tilak (made of kesar, rice grains and flower petals) on the boy's forehead। All the relatives and friends of the girl's side come forward to bless the to be groom, offer sweets to him and give him cash/gifts।
In this occasion the boy's parents and close relatives to the bride's house। The groom's family offer the bride a red saree or suit। The color red is considered auspicious for weddings। Thereafter, the girl is dressed in the clothes given by the boy's family. Then, the groom's mother places a red chunni on the girl's head and gives her jewelry then she fed boiled rice and milk by her future mother-in-law.
Mangni, or Kudmai/Engagement
This ritual marks the ring ceremony in according to the Punjabi ritual and marks the formal 'asking' of the bride's hand in marriage by the groom's family। Both the bride and the groom receive lots of gifts from their in-laws during the occasion of their engagement.
The families of the prospective bride and groom hold a special sangeet session. Friends and close family members are invited and traditional wedding songs are sung. Both the sides exchange gifts and sweets.
The Mehendi function pertains to the decoration of the bride's hand by the henna that has been sent over by her future mother-in-law. An excuse for more merry-making, there is lot of music and dance during the mehendi function along with delicious snacks.
Chuda chadana and Vatna
The oldest maternal uncle and aunt play an important role in the performance of the ceremony. Chuda is basically a set of red and cream ivory bangles that is touched by all present. People touch the chuda and give their heartiest wishes to the girl for her future married life. After that, the girl's uncle, aunt, friends and cousins tie kaliras (silver, gold or gold plated traditional ornaments) to a bangle worn by the girl. Vatna involves applying the paste made from turmeric powder and mustard oil all over the girl's body by her female friends and relatives. This is done to make the girl look more beautiful on the special day of our life.The ghara ghardoli and the vatna ceremonies take place at the groom's house too. Thereafter, the bride and groom wear their wedding attire. As per the tradition, their wedding dress is presented to them by their respective maternal uncles.
A puja is performed after the groom worn his wedding dress. His sehra or turban is blessed by his relatives, as is the silver mukut or crown that goes on top of the turban. At the end of the ceremony, those present bless the groom and give him gifts or cash.
Ghodi, Vag Goodti and Duppata Varna:
The groom's bhabi and Sister lines his eyes with surma (kohl). After this, the groom's sisters and cousins feed and decorate his mare. If the groom chooses to use a car for the occasion, then the car is decorated. His relatives use cash for the varna, a ceremony that is supposed to ward off the evil eye. The cash is given away to the poor.
As the barat procession reaches the wedding venue, they are greeted at the door by the bride's family who garland the groom and his close relatives. Then they present shagun or gifts to the all the groom's relatives.
It involves the exchange of garlands between the bride and groom. Friends and relatives of the bride and groom indulge in teasing and fun, to celebrate this happy occasion. This is when the girl's young relatives grab the groom's untended shoes and hide it away to be returned after the ceremony for a fee which is Kalecharis of gold for the bride's sisters and of silver for her cousins. This joyful custom is called juta chhupai.
Lavaan Phere is the actual wedding ceremony of sikh community, after which the girl and the boy are considered 'married' to each other. Generally, the ritual takes place at dawn. In case the proceedings get delayed, everything must wrap-up before noon. First, a Morning Prayer is offered. Later, a respected member of the family conducts the proceedings of the wedding. The bride and the groom circle the Holy Guru Granth Sahib four times, the groom leading the bride. The ceremony is deemed accomplished after the ardaas and the serving of 'kada prashaad'.