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Part1: Bengali Wedding-Pre wedding rituals

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | 6:14:00 AM

Bengal is the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent. It is renowned for its rich literary and cultural heritage. Its cultural heritage is visible in a bengali wedding. A bengali wedding is very delightful to look at. It is an elaborate and long affair.It consists of a whole set of interesting rituals and the people involved in the wedding are fully devoted and encouraged.

A Bengali wedding typically consists of rituals that are divided into three phases- the pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding ceremony. The pre-wedding starts a couple of days before the wedding.

Adan Pradan: This is the first ritual.It means give and take. It is done to ensure that the bride and groom don't belong to the same bloodline.It is done in the presence of a priest.

Aashirwad (Patri Patra): This ritual confirms the marriage alliance. It means the acceptance of boy and the girl by both the parties. It is done a couple of days before the marriage.This ritual is conducted at their respective homes in the presence of a pundit and Lord Narayana is worshipped during the puja. After the pooja the bride’s family visits the groom’s home to bless him.This is done by both the families in turn.

Vridhi Puja: It is conducted a day before the marriage. This ritual commemorates the ancestors of the bride and groom. It is attended by all the family members. On the day of puja alpana or Rangoli is made and Lord Narayan is worshipped.The vridhi puja is usually performed by a father or paternal uncle. Tradition demands that the uncle and the bride/groom be on a liquid diet.

Dodhi Mangal: It is conducted at the dawn of the wedding day. In this ritual ten married women fetch water from a nearby pond in order to bathe the bride/groom. After the bath, the bride and groom are served with a lavish meal which comprises of fish fry, rice, curd and churiya. It is the only meal for the day. The couple can have their next meal only after the marraige is over.In addition to that seven married ladies beautify the bride's hands with the traditional bangles Shakha and Paula. 

Wedding Piris: Piris are wooden seats. The bride and the groom sit on these piris during the wedding. They are specially crafted and decorated by relatives and close friends.They are brought a day before or on the wedding day, to the bride's home. Exchange of gifts takes place between the two families.Conch shells are blown.

Gae Halud Tattva: It is a gift which consists of consists of six saris, cosmetics, fish, assorted sweets, curd, paan, dhaan and durba. The groom’s parents send some gifts for the bride. It is done before the haldi ceremony. A relative from grooms family is called to deliver Gae Halud Tattva.conch shells are also blown during this occasion.    

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