Hindu Wedding Traditions

A summary of the inner workings of the ceremony

Explanation

In a Hindu Wedding, every action performed is done as a form of symbolism or worship. For example, when fires are used in the ceremony, it is thought to be invoking Agni, the fire god, so he many witness the marriage. Later, rice is thrown on the fire as an offering to him in order for the couple to gain his blessings. Symbolism is still important in Western weddings, but there is much more depth and complexity to the spiritual workings of a Hindu Wedding.

Dress and Wear for Hindu Weddings

Woman: The bride dresses in a sari and dons many ornaments. Her hair is done into a bun and put into a crown and veil. The bride also wears red, as that color represents happiness.


Man: The groom wears a dhoti and simple dress shirt, but later puts on a similar set of clothing, and a paper mache headress. The groom may sport a safa with a flowing tail end or a white silk brocade suit, turban, and a sword at his side.


Henna type body art is done on both, with each drawing on bride and groom representing something different.

Pictures of a Hindu Wedding

Fun Fact: The Tilak, or red mark on a Hindu's forehead, can represent many things. Usually on the day of the ceremony, the groom will apply one to his wife as a sign of their union and new life together.

Food in a Hindu Wedding

Food in a Hindu wedding is mostly just common fair Indian foods. One ritual involving food is the presenting of yogurt and honey from the bride's father to the groom to represent the groom having great prosperity and happiness.

Steps of the Wedding.

There are many steps to a Hindu Wedding, and many variations. I will provide a small example of some right here.


Jaimala: The exchanging of garlands by the couple as a gesture of acceptance of one another and respect.


Kanyadan: The father of the bride places his hand on the groom's and requests him to treat her as an equal partner. The symbolism in it is that the Bride is a representation of the goddess Lamxi and the groom is Lord Narayana, the parents faciliate their union.


Saptapardi: The bride and groom walk seven steps together to signify the beginning of their journey through life together. Each step represents a marital vow,


1. To respect and honor each other.

2. To share each other's joy and sorrow.

3. To trust and be loyal to each other.

4 To cultivate appreciation for knowledge, values, sacrifice, and service.

5. To reconfirm their vow of purity, love family duties, and spiritual growth.

6. To follow principles of Dharma (Righteousness).

7. To nurture an eternal bond of friendship and love.

Work Cited

"Hindu Wedding Details." Wedding Details. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2013.