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Part1: Bihari Wedding-Pre wedding rituals

Saturday, October 13, 2012 | 12:21:00 AM

Bihar also known as Magadha is a northern state India. It is famous for its wedding culture. A wedding in Bihar is an elaborated affair. It lasts for more than one month. It includes many ritual some of which is covered in this blog.
There are two types rituals performed during the wedding ie pre wedding rituals and post wedding rituals. Pre wedding rituals includes:

Satyanarayan katha: The Satyanarayan Puja is performed to show respect to Narayan an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.It is organized before marriage. The main purpose of this pooja is to preserve and enhance harmony family the two families and to bring success and enjoyment to all.

It is the very first ritual performed before the marriage. A prayer is performed by the groom's parents along with the groom. It can also be organised separately. Every relative taking part in the puja is supposed to keep a fast for the entire day. A sacred fire (havan) that is lit during the ceremony is to be kept lighted throughout the wedding proceedings.

Cheka:  It is a mandatory and an important pre event before marriage.  First, the family members of bride go to bridegroom’s house with gifts which includes Sarees and sweets. They exchange wedding rings.  Now it is the turn of the bridegroom family. They also go with gifts and exchange wedding rings. It assures both the families have reached to consensus.  The number of member depends on the size of the family however it could be between seven, nine or eleven.

Haldi kutai: This ritual is performed in the bride’s house. The bride’s  along with other married ladies(suhasinis). The grinding whole turmeric into a paste which is later sent to the bride's house for the ubtan ceremony. While the grinding takes place, the women sing folk songs creating a festive ambiance.

Tilak: It is the Second most important and mandatory ritual before wedding. This ritual refers to the bride's brother's visit to the groom's house as a mark of acceptance of the alliance. The brother of the bride applies tilak (teeka) on the groom's forehead and presents him and his family with pleasantries (like silverware, utensils, sweets, jewelry) as a token of good wishes. The groom's attire for the wedding and the haldi paste (grounded by the bride's mother) are also offered during this ceremony. Held with much fanfare, the bride's brother is accompanied by the family's accountant, barber, washer-man and servants. After a lavish dinner, the brother is given a formal farewell along with gifts for the bride's family and the bridal attire, nath (nose ring) and maang tika.

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