Maharashtrian Wedding Rituals: A Simple, Traditional and Joyous Affair.
While most weddings in the country take with a lot of pomp and splendour, Maharashtrian weddings are not quite so. They are classically simple, traditional and cheerful in themselves. It’s all about finding joy in the little things!
Scroll on to learn more about the entire wedding affair:
PRE – WEDDING RITUALS
This is basically the engagement ceremony.
The groom’s family gifts the bride a saree and a packet sweets, usually sugar (known as sakhar in Marathi). Rings are exchanged between the couple.
In this Maharashtrian wedding ritual, both the families offer their prayers to their kuldevta (family deity). All family members are requested to attend the prayer. This is followed by a lunch.
This is the Maharashtrian version of the Haldi ceremony. In a Maharashtrian wedding ritual, mango leaves are immersed turmeric paste and then applied on the body of the bride. The same happens at the groom’s house. Close family members are invited to attend the event.
This Maharashtrian wedding ritual is performed when the groom and his family enter the wedding venue. The bride’s mother washes his feet and her family gifts his family with gifts.
The bride dresses in yellow and a mundavalya (a string of pearls or flowers) is tied across her forehead. She performs a puja with her parents. Rice is placed on the idol’s head as mantras are recited and the bride prays to the Hindu Goddess Parvati.
In this Maharashtrian wedding ritual, a silk shawl is hung between the bride and groom while a priest chants some mantras. This is done because the two are not supposed to look at each other until after the priest finishes his chanting.
After the priest finished reciting his mantras, the shawl is removed and the couple look at each other. Guests shower the couple with Akshata (unbroken rice grains) and the two exchange garlands.
This Maharashtrian wedding ritual involves the father of the bride giving his daughter’s hand to the groom. The groom then ties a mangalsutra around the neck of the bride and applies sindoor on her hair parting. The bride applies a chandan (sandalwood) tikka on the groom’s forehead.
The couple takes seven rounds around the holy fire. The bride is required to touch seven betel nuts placed on top of small mounds of rice with her right foot. Once the seven rounds are done, she places her foot on a grindstone, while the groom holds her hand or foot, symbolizing that she needs to be strong and he will always support her.
In this Maharashtrian wedding ritual, the bride’s father along with the couple pray to god for blessings. A add some fun, the bride’s brother playfully twists the groom’s ear, warning him that he better treat his sister well!
A grand lunch takes place after, completing the wedding ceremony.
POST – WEDDING RITUALS
The bride, now considered a part of her husband’s family, leaves to his house, bidding a tearful farewell to her family.
Once the bride and her husband reach his house, his mother welcomes them with a pooja and washes their feet with water and milk. The bride then gently kicks a kalash of rice at the threshold of the doorway and the two enter the house, placing their right foot first.
This is a celebration that takes place after the wedding. It can take place immediately after as a lunch or during the evening. It is usually held at a venue, since the people attending the event would be more in number.
*The main events or functions are the sakhar puda (engagement), the halad chadavane (haldi), the wedding itself and the reception. These are attended by a larger number of people and are usually held at a venue.