Bengali Weddings: Symbolizes Culture
While talking about the wedding, the first thing that comes in our mind is the celebration, new dress, a lot of people, a huge gathering, and a lot of fun. But this takes place in the house of the bridegroom. But what goes on in the house of bride? Obviously there are lots of rituals that need to be maintained tactfully and the violations of any one of them could lead to any mishap, according to what the senior members of the family say.
The flute that goes on the ceremony has a sadistic tone somewhere in the bride’s house and the parents’ of the bridegroom can easily understand that. The morning of the ceremony starts with a new look and fresh but the day reminds the bride that it is the last day for her in her father’s house and from the very next day she has to go to a new place and new adjustments and moreover new family members. But the reverse situation happens in the house of the bridegroom. There, everyone is found busy running to and fro along with the rituals to welcome the new member of their family.
This is the normal picture for every marriage for all castes and religions, and Bengali wedding is not an exception. Bengali wedding is a typically a 4-5 day occasion. But before that there are some pre-marital activities like “Paka Dekha”, “Ay buro bhaat”, Aashirbad etc.
The two houses connect each other either by newspaper advertisements or some middleman called GHOTOK to facilitate this process. This is called arranged marriage. Sometimes the couple chooses their partners and involves themselves in the marriage which off course is known as Love marriage. After the selection, the final test or “paka dekha” occurs’ and the marriage is fixed thereafter between the two houses.
Few days before the marriage, bride and the bridegrooms appear for the “aashirvad” ceremony, to receive the blessing from elders. This is generally done at individual’s house, where the bride’s family visits the groom’s house to shower blessings to the groom and vice versa. Gifts are exchanged in this occasion.
Ay Buro Bhaat and Dodhi Mangal
In the house of the bride and the groom, the “Ay Buro Bhaat” ceremony is performed before the day of marriage. This is the last lunch what the bride and the groom have before getting married.
The marriage ceremony starts with Dodhi Mangal, which happens early in the morning before the sun rise. In this occasion, the married woman feed curd and puffed rice to the boy and the girl individually in their houses. This is regarded as an auspicious meal, what they need to take before the sunrise as after that, they are not supposed to have any other food.
The ceremony begins with a “Nandi Mukh” according to the Bengali custom where the homage is paid to the deceased ancestors where it is expected that they should shower their blessings to the newly wedded couple.
Turmeric (Holud) is applied to the couple’s body, off course in different houses in the morning of the marriage day and Henna/Mehndi is applied to the bride’s hands too.
The turmeric which is applied to the groom in his house is actually sent to the bride’s house along with other gifts. This is called the Adhibas Tattva. It is said that from that turmeric the bride first gets the touch of the groom.
Bengali marriage generally occurs after the sunset. The priests work as the representatives and perform the ceremony with the utterance of holy Sanskrit words. In this course, the first action which occurs is the Sampradan. Herein, mostly the father of the bride, devote her daughter to the groom by touching the knee of the groom.
When this is done, there occurs the “Boron” ceremony, wherein the mother of the bride welcomes her son-in-law in an auspicious manner along with six other married ladies. Then there occurs the garland exchange ceremony which is termed as the Mala Bodol. This is some sort of a funny activity wherein a barber recites some funny poems; the couples are lifted up, and garlands are exchanged. In fact, this is the first time when the couple is supposed to see each other.
After that the actual marriage occasion starts where the couple sits, utters certain holy words as instructed by the priests. And after all that in front of the fire (yagna), the groom showers sindoor on the bride’s forehead.
All marriages are always associated with mouth-watering foods and you will find the same delicacy here too. After the marriage occasion, there occur some other rituals too.
Here comes the “Basorghor” ceremony which is a friendly interaction between the family members and the junior members for the whole night. The elders refrain themselves from attending the ceremony as on the very next day the bride has to be released from their house.
Then, on the very next morning the “Baashi Biye” occurs, where the newly wedded couple worships the Sun.
Then at a scheduled time the bride leaves her house and goes to the groom’s house. This is indeed a very emotional moment. But there come some other rituals which start at the groom’s house; starting from Bodhu Boron,(welcoming the couple) to Kaal Ratri (when the couple can’t see each other) and ending up by Bou Bhat( the bride serving rice to the elders of the family)
Then post these occasions comes the Oshtomongola ceremony which is generally occurred in the bride’s house, wherein the newly couple visit them for the first time. This is a sort of prayer and offering done to the God Almighty before they start their new life.
It is said that marriages are fixed in heaven and the same is performed in this world. So with all these rituals and ceremonies, mostly all Bengali traditional marriages are conducted.