Rituals and customs are part and parcels of Weddings in India. Here are some of the rituals followed in a Bengali wedding.
All the friends of the groom including the relatives dress in the best attire and journey to the bride's house where the wedding takes place.
When the Bridegroom reaches the door of the Bride, the enitre family of the groom is welcomed by the Brides relatives. The tradition is to blow Conch shells. An older lady from the bride’s family does aarti for the groom and then touches the plate to the groom’s forehead and then to the floor and back again to the groom’s forehead. The groom is then offered sweets and sherbet and rose water is sprinkled on him as he enters.
After the Bor Boron ritual the bridegroom is made to sit at the chadnatolla (wedding altar and canopy).Here the Groom is offered new clothes by the person who will carry out Sampradan.This process is done in the presence of the preist.It is a gift to the groom from the girls side.
Next ritual after Potto Bastra is Saat Paak. The bride is not allowed to see her groom and she has to cover her eyes with betel leaves.In this, the bride who sitting on a wooden surface, is lifted by her brothers and as the name suggests the bride is taken around the groom in seven circles. This signifies that the bride and the bridegroom are tightly winded with each other.
After the seven complete circles the bride and the bridegroom are again made to sit on the wooden surface called pidi. Now the bride and the groom exchange garlands of fragrant flowers thrice. This signifies that the bride and the bridegroom accept each other.
The bride holds two beetle leaves in her palms and holds them in front of her eyes to cover them.The bride and groom look at each other for the first time during the wedding. This ritual is called Shubho Drishti.This is done in front of all the assembled invitees. This signifies that their alliance is accepted by the society and they would be together after sometime.
The bride takes her place at the chadnatolla(wedding altar and canopy) and her father gives her hand in her husband’s. Sacred thread are tied around their hands amongst the chanting of mantras (prayers). Their hands are placed on a brass glass which is covered with mango leaves and a coconut.
The bride and groom sit in front of a holy fire while the priest chants prayers.
The couple take seven circular rounds around the fire.
The bride's brother puts puffed rice (khoi) in the hands of the bride, and the groom standing close to her holds her hands from the back and extends their arms forward. They then pour the offering into the fire together.
The groom applies sindoor on the bride's hair-parting.