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Part 3:Bihari Wedding - wedding day rituals

Friday, November 30, 2012 | 12:03:00 AM

Paricchavan: This ritual is performed at the groom house before the party leaves for the bride's house. The groom mother puts tilak on the groom's forehead and prays that no evil can harm him.

Baraat prasthaan: Now the people from the groom party leave for the bride's house in a decorated car. The party consists of friends and relatives. The car is decorated with white flowers.When the groom reaches the bride's house two rituals are performed.

a) Each person from the groom's family is welcomed with a garland by his counterpart in the bride's family.

b) Galsedi: The bride's mother along with other ladies are also present. After groom's family greetings the bride's mother with other married women perform the galsedi ceremony. She carries a plate containing a small lighted lamp, betel leaves and small lumps of cow dung. One by one, all the women heat the betel leaves on the lamp and foments the groom's face, forehead and eyes using their left hands at least five times each. This ritual is repeated by other ladies. After the completion of this ritual the groom is taken to the actual wedding place.

Jaimaala: It is one of the most important rituals of Bihari wedding ritual. In this ritual the couple exchange the garlands turn by turn. Some pranks are also played for fun. After that the couple is made to sit on fancy chair placed on the stage. Photographs of couple along with the friends, relatives and guests are also clicked at this moment.

Pheras: The couple now takes the pheras around the sacred fire. As they encircle, the bride gently throws lave (roasted husked rice) into the fire from a soop (a three-sided conical cane basket) she holds while her brother refills the soop from time to time.  

Mangh Bharai: To a Hindu woman sindoor remains a very powerful and highly sentimental symbol for the rest of her life that why this ritual has a great significance in Bihari wedding ritual. In this ritual vermillion (sindoor) is applied on the bride's head and forehead by the groom. Holy verses (shlokas or mantras) is chanted by the priest.

Kanyadaan: The bride's father stretches out his right hand, on which the bride's mother places her right hand. Then the groom places his right hand over which finally the bride keeps her right hand, holding a conch. All this while, the priest chants mantras and the bride's parents give away their beloved daughter to the groom. After the kanyadaan ceremony the bride is seated to the right of the groom.

Bidaai Ki Rasm: The bride's brother escorts the newlyweds to a bedecked car. As the car moves, the family members shower them with akshat and flowers. The car moves forward and backward thrice, to ward away any evil omen and then finally takes off.

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