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Part3: Bihari Wedding-Pre wedding rituals

Monday, October 15, 2012 | 2:05:00 AM

Dhritdhaari and matripoojan: These two rituals are performed to seek forgiveness and blessings from the dead ancestors as well as the living elders respectively at both the bride's and groom's places. The parents of the bride/groom offer clothes or cash to them for coming and blessing the prospective bride/groom.

Sangeet ceremony: Sangeet ceremony is held prior to the wedding. This event starts two or three days before a wedding. Ladies are the only people to take part in the event. Some men are present if they are close to the bride or groom. During this event ladies will sing traditional Indian songs, and joke around with guests. This event is also like a dinner and dance, because there is a lot of dancing and lots of food in banquet style. Now a day sangeet ceremony also includes film songs. The ladies get dressed in their best clothes.

The traditional sangeet ceremony includes Indian instruments like the dholki accompany with joking. The ceremony is also a good time for the wedding guests to know each other. Sometimes the bride and groom will choose to hold a separate sangeet to Ladies' sangeet.  At this Sangeet both men and women can participate. It is a joyous occasion where the family and friends of the couple perform dances to celebrate the upcoming wedding.

Silpoha: The groom's mother along with her mother-in-law grinds akshat (rice) on a flat grinding stone under the cover of a chunni (shawl).This ritual is held in the early hours of the day of wedding by the groom's mother supervised by her mother-in-law (or any other senior married female). They are also accompanied by other female relatives.  As they grind, they seek blessings from the gods and elders for a hassle-free wedding.

Mandappachadan: This ritual refers to the formal establishment of the mandap (pandal) for the wedding. The mandap is made with bamboos and decorated with banana trees and mango leaves and a symbol of the harish which represents good agriculture, made of wood is put in the center of the mandap.

Imli ghutai: The ritual of imli ghutai is performed by the groom's maternal uncle-aunt to ward off any bad omen and to advise the groom to keep away from any vice. The uncle then feeds him a betel nut which the groom holds with his teeth. His mother then takes it away from him and eats it herself, signifying that she shall take away all the bad omens falling upon her son herself. The groom is then gifted clothes as a token of blessing by his uncle-aunt.

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