Gujarat holds the pride of being the richest Indian state in terms of culture and heritage. Gujaratis are proud of their religion and cultural values. It is also known as the land of colours due to the large number of festivals celebrated in the state such as ‘navratri’ and specially their ‘garba’ is popular dance form practiced all over the country. They are also very famous for their food like dhokla, khandwi, kachori, khepla, etc. all these food items can be lavishly enjoyed at any Gujarati marriage.
Marriages in Gujarat are full of customs and rituals like any other Indian marriage. Also, there are a lot of fun- filled events and celebrations involved in the marriage process. Gujaratis prefer marrying their daughter in the same community and seek the opinion of both the bride and groom before tying their knots forever with the auspicious marriage ceremony.
The dress for a Gujarati bride is a red saree tied in a different style or lehengas are also becoming a popular bride outfit these days. The Gurjarati groom goes with the traditional dhoti- kurta but with the changing times, people are switching over to designer kurta- pyjamas for the fortunate occasion
A traditional Gujarati marriage begins with the worship of Lord Ganesha to seek his blessings followed by the most popular ‘mehandi’ ceremony, ‘sangeet’ and merrymaking procedures. The most important ritual performed before the final wedding, separately at the homes of both Gujarati Bride and groom’s family is ‘Ghari Pooja’. The ceremony is performed by the priest with the presence of the respective families. The priest enchants the prayers with a number of spices like, turmeric, betel nuts, rice, oil, coconut, wheat grains, etc. for the maintenance of prosperity and growth in the house, married ladies grind wheat in a traditional manner and on the other hand groom donates a handful of wheat and other grains to the priest promising that though his lifestyle will change from now onwards, still he will continue doing the services of donation and charity, thereby, helping the needy and less fortunate.
The blessed day of marriage starts with ‘Ponkvu’, it is the ceremony performed at the door of the Gujarati Bride’s house, in this the Gujarati mother- in- law welcomes the groom, ‘arti’ is performed and the bride’s mother tries to grab the nose of the groom asking him to request her to get married to her daughter. It’s quite a fun- filled ceremony and observes ‘nok- jhok’ between the mother- in – law and the groom. Then ‘jaimala’ is performed after which follows the most awaited ceremony called- ‘Madhuparka’, where the sister- in- law of the groom steals the Gujarati grooms shoes and demands a gift or cash for giving the shoes back to him.
The Gujarati bride is brought by the her maternal uncle to the place of wedding after which both the bride and the groom puts garlands on each other’s neck, then the ‘hasta milap’ is done where the bride’s hand is placed over the groom by her family. ‘Hathialo’ is done by tying the bride’s saree with the groom’s scarf, which is followed by ‘varmala’, after which the bride’s father does ‘kanyadan’ i.e. finally giving away his daughter’s responsibility to the groom. ‘Mangal phera’, the four circles around the sacred fire takes place after this, which signifies the four values of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. These circles complete the marriage and the Gujarati bride and groom are entitled with the responsibilities of being each other’s life partner.
After the wedding the bride, now the wife of the groom leaves her house, a part of the ‘Saubhagyavati Bhava’ or ‘vidai’ ceremony and from there begins a new life journey for both the bride and the groom.
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