Sikh marriages are extended over a time period of one week. Sikh marriage is very simple, quiet elaborate, and rich in culture and adheres to the religious practices. Sikh marriages are solemnized in presence of Guru Granth Sahib at Gurudwara Sahib is Known as Anand Karaj. There are many customs and rituals which take place one week in advance. The important Sikh wedding rituals are as follows
Pre Wedding Rituals
The first pre wedding ritual is the engagement or the Tilak ceremony. The Bhai ji or the preacher of the Gurudwara Sahib performed an Ardaas & then offers a date to the groom. After acceptance the date gifts are exchanged between both the families & than shagun rasam takes place. Another ritual is Chura ceremony, which is held at the bride's place. At Chura ceremony, the maternal uncle or aunt of the bride gives red and white bangles to bride for wearing. Silver and gold ornaments are tied to the bangles, called Kalirein. During 'Maiya Ceremony' is the custom wherein the bride and the groom has not been allowed to leave their house for some time before marriage. Another ritual is Gana, wherein a red thread is tied on the right wrist of the groom and on the left wrist of the bride. This is considered to protect them from ill omen. Few days before marriage, Vatna ceremony is performed, in which vatna a scented powder made of barley flour, turmeric and mustard oil is applied to the couple. This is followed by a ceremonial bath. On the eve of the wedding, Ladies Sangeet is performed by ladies. After that Mehendi ceremony is organized. In this ceremony, Mehndi is applied on the hands and feet of the bride. Jaago is another enjoyable ritual performed at night. Gharoli is also a pre wedding ritual, wherein the water from Gurdwara Sahib is fetched in an earthen pot for the ritual bath of the groom.
The wedding rituals are quite brief in Sikhs. On the main day, a sehra is tied to the groom's forehead, by his sisters is known as sehrabandi. Surma puai is another ritual performed by Bhabi of the groom. A currency garland also adorns his neck. After visiting the Gurdwara Sahib, the groom with his family & associates gone to Brides home or Wedding Venue in the shape of Baraat. The bride’s family welcomes the Baraat in the meantime a little rasam of Ribbon cut is performed. This is followed by Milni ceremony, in which both the families meet at the bride's place & the Ardaas are recited by Bhai ji. After that the tea & coffee are served with snacks & sweets. Then both the families attend the kirtan where shabads are sung and ardaas are recited in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib. After this, in the rasam of Anandkaraj the bride and the groom circle around the Guru Granth Sahib and seek blessings. After this rasam both bride & groom becomes a married couple.
Post Wedding Rituals
All family members & associates give a Shagun to newlywed’s couple & also give the blessings for Happy Married life. Mouth watering dishes are present in lunch by bride’s family. After the wedding ceremony at the Gurudwara Sahib, the bride departs from her family. This is what the Vidai ceremony is all about. The bride's family bids her a tearful farewell as she throws back handful rice over her shoulders. A reception party or grand feast organized by the groom's family in order to welcome the new member in the family and to formally introduce her to family and friends. A bride’s parents are also invited in the Reception Party.
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