Colorful customs and intricate rituals are all about Bengali wedding. Bengali matrimony is always filled with immense festivities which are celebrated with the family members and friends of both families. Each custom has its own importance and charm which are performed with dedication and faith. Bengali wedding customs can be categorized into three sections – Pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding.
Pre-Wedding Rituals –
Pre-wedding rituals include Ashirbaad, Ai Budo Bhaat, Dodhi Mangal, Bridhi Puja, Piris, Gae Halud, Snan, Sankha Porano, each of which adds to the ceremony.
Ashirbaad – The groom’s family visits the bride to bless her with gifts. This is the formal confirmation of wedding alliance.
Ai budo bhaat – Before the maiden gets married, this ritual refers to be the last rice at her own house. She along with her cousins and sisters is offered with traditional Bengali delicacies.
Vridhi Puja – Vridhi puja is performed in both the houses of the bride and groom by paternal uncle. Vridhi puja is practiced to pay honor to all the ancestors.
Dodhi Mongol – A group of women from both the sides go to nearby lake/pond to invite the God formally.
Piris – This ritual involves the wedding piris or wooden seats are brought to the wedding venue or chatnatola by blowing conch shells and ululations. These piris are beautifully embellished with alpana or swirls.
Gae Holud – This custom is about applying turmeric paste to the groom. The same paste is again sent to the bride’s place along with gifts for her and her family members also known as tattava.
Snan – This ritual involves bathing the bride and groom in their own places on the wedding day.
Sankha Porano – Sankha porano is the ritual of wearing conch shell bangles of the bride in her maternal home.
Various rituals are observed on the wedding night which moreover adds to the charm of the occasion. And the rituals go as –
Bor Boron – This ritual comprises of traditional welcome of groom with aarti with ‘boron dala’ in the hands of bride’s mother along with other members of the family. After that is done, groom is offered with sweets before being welcomed to the bride’s house or wedding venue.
Saat Paak – The bride is lifted by her brothers being seated on a wooden stool commonly known as ‘piri’ is turn around in seven circles.
Mala Bodol – This custom is about exchanging garlands amidst of the purohit chanting mantras.
Sampradan – Father or any of the uncles makes sampradan or hand off the responsibility to the groom to take care of her being there beside her throughout the whole life.
Sindoor Daan – This ritual has its own significance where sindoor is smeared in the hair parting of the bride by the groom.
Since no Bengali wedding ceremony is completed without a grand treat, all the guests are welcomed and offered with traditional Bengali cuisines. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian lip smacking food is arranged on this special occasion. Some wedding ceremonies also have witnessed fusion cuisine now a days.
Post Wedding Rituals
Basar Ghar – Here the groom has to spend the night at the bride’s place with along with bride’s sisters and groom’s friends. This custom is more of fun and celebration.
Bidaai – This ritual is all about the bride leaving her maternal home.
Bou Baran – This ritual includes a formal welcome of the newlyweds in the groom’s house. The couple is welcomed by blowing conch shells and ululation which is believed to be auspicious.
Bou Bhaat – Bou Bhaat signifies the serving of rice by the groom in in-laws house for the first time. After she is done with that, bride gifts ser sari and vows to be with her forever.
Phool Sojja – As the name signifies that the bedroom of the newlywed is beautifully embellished with fresh flowers and is the last ritual of a Bengali Wedding when they dress up in new clothes.
The exuberant customs and tradition are still strictly followed which upholds the rich culture and grand Bengali heritage.
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