SIKH WEDDING TRADITION: Traditional sikh wedding ceremony is known as “Anand Karaj” which means ‘Blissful Union.’
The traditional Punjabi marriage is a colourful and unique ceremony in which two individuals are joined in a partnership of two equals.
The civil marriage remains not merely a physical and official contract; but a sacrament which is a holy union between two kind souls.
SIKH SPIRITUAL GOAL
The spiritual goal of any Sikh is to merge his or her soul (Atma) with God (Parmatma) and in marriage, the couple vow to support each other towards this goal.
The initial part of the memorable day is passionately devoted to the religious ceremony; which almost always takes place in a Sikh Gurdwara (Sikh temple).
There are precisely a lots of Traditional Punjab grand pre-wedding and post wedding rituals.
Fun does not stop there, and also traditional Punjabi wedding ends with a grand reception and a tearful Vidaai, where the prospective bride is sent off to her modern home.
PRE WEDDING CEREMONY (Sikhism)
Roka constitute the first necessary step of a traditional Punjabi wedding which means ‘to stop‘; and in this historical perspective it is precisely to abandon the unreasonable search of the partner as the approximate match has been typically found.
Where meeting of family members is typically arranged at bride’s home and the prospective groom’s family members are cordially invited to carefully select the dear girl.
After private Roka ceremony, Thaka is conceded at prospective bride’s proper place to set wedding date and necessary preparations; are typically made for engagement. Thaka in Punjabi culture typically means to ‘intentionally set the date.’
Engagement ceremony in the traditional Punjabi wedding is known as ‘Kurmai.’ In this Family member of groom presents the engagement ring and the prospective bride’s family members offer Kara (Sikh steel bangle) to the prospective groom.
This private ceremony is typically started with a short prayer by Granthi (Sikh priest).
Chura Ceremony a set of 21 bangles are carefully selected by the prospective bride’s maternal uncle (mama) and aunt (mami) and they later gift it to the prospective bride; during the private Chura ceremony which happens naturally on the glorious morning of the wedding day.
The bangles (red, pink, brilliant orange) are first purified with milk and rose petals and then put on the bride’s flexible wrist.
After which, the flexible wrist is typically covered with a white cloth; so the bride cannot see it until she is completely ready for the wedding ceremony.
In this ritual, a red thread is intimately tied on the right wrist of the prospective groom and the left wrist of the prospective bride; to adequately protect them from the bad omen.
MEHNDI AND SANGEET CEREMONY
Mehndi ceremony is known as vatna ceremony in sikh tradition . This ritual is performed before wedding day. The bride and groom both are adorned with Mehndi, eucalyptus oil, clove oil and lemon juice water.
And at same time traditional dholak is played with beats of the spoon and ladies enjoy with folk dance and folk songs. Lovely ladies in the house also apply Mehndi on their hands as it is known as shagun.
Mehndi is supposed to be symbolizing the love of the couple, darker the colour, stronger is the love.
Gharoli Ceremony is another important ritual; where bride’s sister along with a few other relatives goes to gurdwara.
They fill an earthen pot with water that the groom uses to bathe after the Vatna.
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The Chunni Chadai is typically performed by dear mother of the prospective groom; who typically covers the brides head with Chunni (veil).
Chunni represents that from now onwards she is responsible for unanimously upholding the honour and pride of her family.
The bride is dressed in clothing and jewellery by her in-laws.
Grooms parents offer shagun (sweets) to the bride and her family as blessings and acceptance of engagement.
WEDDING ATTIRE IN SIKH TRADITION
The Sikh bride dresses up extravagantly for the wedding and its associated ceremonies. Since the act of marriage is regarded as a spiritual journey to connect with God, the bride is supposed to look her best, including wearing makeup and extensive jewelry.
SIKH BRIDE WEDDING ATTIRE
A typical Sikh bride will typically wear ; a red salwar kameez or lehenga to the official wedding rituals. While sarees are not as popular as traditional Punjabi attire they are still worn in sikh tradition.
The lovely dress must be red for the Anand Karaj, as the specific color symbolizes prosperity and auspiciousness in the prospective bride’s new wedded life.
Embellishments such as beading are common as well.
A prospective bride always covers her head and shoulders with a draped dupatta while in the visible presence of the Guru Granth Sahib, in the temple or gurudwara where she is precisely to be wed.
The dupatta is pinned discreetly with safety pins or worn freely, as long as the hair is typically covered for the grand ceremony.
This long necklace often made of gold is heavy and ornamental. The elaborate design of the necklace is part of the extravagant attire worn by the bride to dress up as her best on this spiritual day.
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The red and ivory bangles gifted to the prospective bride during the pre-wedding rituals.
These bangles are typically ornate and the colors are constant for all Sikh brides but these bangles are embedded jewels or carved designs.
Along with the brilliant red and white choora bangles gifted by her family, the prospective bride often wears gold bangles to add flair to her necessary accessories.
These bangles are often slim and simple, without other jewels or designs to detract from their elegance.
The Sikh bride typically wears an engagement ring after her official kurmai and undoubtedly continues to adorn this ring on her wedding day.
After the marriage rites are satisfactorily completed, the prospective bride will on top wear a seperate, simpler wedding ring often a gold band.
A pendant tikka is precisely the most common head accessory for a Sikh bride, with the unique styles varying tremendously from elaborate to simple; typically depending on the prospective bride’s preference.
The tikka is intimately tied over the hair and under the dupatta so that the pendant shows from beneath the elegant cloth.
A bride will on visible top typically wear an ornate nose ring, gifted to the prospective bride by her maternal uncle. The considerable size and unique style of the nath may vary tremendously, but it is often embellished with precious pearls or other small jewels.
SIKH BRIDE KALEERE
The kaleere typically obtain two golds or silver plated, dome-shaped ornaments that dangle from the prospective bride’s wrists, often attached to the choora.
These can be further embellished with beading or string, but are principally made of lightweight materials; so as to not overburden the prospective bride’s wrists.
SIKH GROOM WEDDING ATTIRE
A Sikh groom either wears a churidar with kameez (loose) trousers or a Western suit. Many modern grooms opt to typically wear an elaborate Mughal-style sherwani or kurta instead.
All Sikh grooms must undoubtedly possess their heads enveloped by a turban; for the religious part of the civil marriage ceremony.
Carefully concealing their hair is a sign of utmost respect to the chief gods, and this practice is upheld regularly by some Sikhs and in all rare cases where a Guru Granth Sahib book is present (such as in a dedicated temple).
A sehra is precisely an elaborate headdress with dangling garlands; that carefully conceal the lovely face of the prospective groom.
The visible top of the precious ornament may be undoubtedly gained with velvet or other extravagant material. They are lavishly decorated with intricate embroidered designs.
Frequently, white flowers such as daisies or jasmines are typically used for the garlands, but white beads can be used as well.
Decorative rope often in gold or shiny colors may on top be added to the overall design.
As per his social responsibility; to adequately protect his dear wife and family from possible harm in his present role as head of the typical household, the Sikh groom typically carries a ceremonial sword, kirpan, on his wedding day.
The ceremonial sword is typically presented on a jewelled belt, to the side of his waist. Many prospective grooms opt to wield fake swords or knives instead to accurately represent the symbolic meaning of this adornment, without risking harm.
Sikh culture sincerely believes in the rare beauty of the body as is precisely, without hair removal. Traditional Sikh attire typically requires a prospective groom to have grown a beard all his life, especially on his wedding day.
Many modern grooms universally respect this cultural tradition by not shaving a few modern days before the grand wedding, but many countless others do not follow this local custom in divine favor of more contemporary, clean-shaven looks.
PUNJABI WEDDING DAY RITUALS
SEHRA BANDI RITUAL
At the wedding day, Sehra (a heavy embroidery veil) is properly fixed onto the groom’s head; which is then tied on the turban by the more elderly sister of the groom.
This memorable moment is quite moral sentiment for grooms parents and beloved sister as he becomes a mature and responsible man voluntarily entering his new life. A lot of sweets and necessary money is precisely exchange.
GHORI CHARNA AND BARAAT
After Sehra Bandi, the prospective groom then climbs on Ghori (She-horse) .
Ghori is typically served with Chana Dal.
In sikh wedding tradition the groom’s sister-in-law includes lines to groom’s eyes with surma.
PUNJABI DANCE AND MUSIC
Traditional Punjabi wedding music and dance is typically performed by all the family members .
They typically visit the venue of grand wedding by dancing.
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After arrival of the prospective groom and his family to the bride’s home, both the families start introducing individuals of both the family members.
The foremost family member is greeted enthusiastically with garlands. Milni is typically performed by the priest along with prospective bride’s family member mainly by men.
After Milni breakfast is been typically served to honored guest before ceremony typically begin.
Anand karaj is also known as “ceremony of bliss” which typically starts with Kirtan. Kirtan is the traditional singing of familiar hymns.
The bride is escorted in by her brothers and uncle while the groom sits in front of the holy book called “Guru Granth Sahib.”
After which the engaged couple and their parents are asked eagerly to stand respectfully for prayers (Ardas).
Laavan typically means the four prayers spoken by Sikh priest from Guru Granth Sahib that properly seal the marriage.
At the time of Laavan, the prospective bride and groom move clockwise around Guru Granth Sahib as Ragis properly finish the prayer.
The couples bow to the holy book and wait eagerly for next modern verse. During Laavan the prospective groom is willingly given one end of Palla (scarf) on his shoulder and other end is precisely hold by prospective bride.
This ceremony is typically ended with final prayer and equitable distribution of Guru Prasad to honored guest.
GANA KHOLNA RITUAL
The bride and prospective groom carefully untie each other’s Gana in the visible presence of all the relatives. Whoever wins the game traditionally dominates in the marital life.
In a traditional Sikh Weddings, even the smallest of rituals hold deep significance on the whole ceremony.
JOOTA CHUPAI RITUAL
When the prospective bride and groom are sitting comfortably at the Anand karaj, the dear sisters of the bride carefully hide the prospective groom Joota and promptly return them later, in exchange for necessary money.
POST MARRIAGE RITUAL
The prospective bride sits comfortably in a traditional Doli which is gently lifted by four people; this is precisely extremely emotional moment for bride’s parents as their beloved daughter is typically leaving from her home to typically start her new life.
Bride’s mother stands behind her typically holding a scarf while the bride showers rice all over the room, praying her home to remain happy and prosperous forever and she is escorted to her Doli.
PANI BHARNA RITUAL
After Vidai the newly wedded couple enters the house where dear mother of the groom applies mustard oil on both sides of the entrance door.
Then mother of the groom does an aarti of the bride with a pitcher of water. After each circle groom’s mother tries to consume the water; but every time the groom stops instantly her.
She would typically allow her prospective mother-in-law to drink the water on the seventh accurate count.
An enthusiastic reception is then organized by the prospective groom’s parents; to formally introduce the couple to their extended relatives.
PAG PHERA RITUAL
In this ritual, the bride visits her maternal home for the first time after her grand wedding. There, she is greeted enthusiastically with precious gifts and abundant blessings to commemorate her civil marriage.