Sikh Weddings are considered to be the most lavish weddings. It’s an amalgamation of booze, dance, singers, etc. Their rituals are quite interesting and it’s all fun & games. But before getting well-versed with the rituals of Sikh weddings, let’s first understand the basic difference between a Punjabi & a Sikh.
‘Punjabi’ is a generic terms used for all the people who belong and reside in Punjab while ‘Sikh’ is a religion. So, there’s a difference between both of their wedding rituals. Today, we are going to focus on Sikh Wedding Rituals. Let’s start!
‘Kurmai’ is the name given to the engagement ceremony. This is the first wedding ritual which starts with families reading the whole Guru Granth Sahib and then the wedding date is fixed.
In this ceremony, the bride and groom exchange rings. Also, both the family’s gift precious presents to each other. This marks the starting of a new journey for both of them.
2. Chunni Chadai
Chunni Chadai is a small ceremony conducted to officially welcome the bride by offering her gifts, jewellery, etc. The groom’s mother puts a chunni on the bride’s head and that’s the reason behind the name of this ceremony.
The groom’s family head out to the bride’s house for conduction of this ceremony. It’s an event full of joy and laughter.
3. Mehndi and Chooda Ceremony
Mehndi and Chooda Ceremony is all about dance, drinks, etc where the bride’s hands and feet are decorated with mehndi designs. Her design also constitutes the name of her husband. It’s like a tattoo with a heena touch.
The Chooda Ceremony is where the bride’s maternal uncle gifts her a set of red and white bangles which are altogether called ‘Chooda’. This is then dipped into milk and golden kalires are tied to the bangles.
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The after part is quite fun as the bridesmaid on which the bride showers her kalire will be the one to get married next. So, if you don’t want to get married, beware of this ceremony. 😉
4. Maiya & Gana
These both rituals are small and just meant for the bride and groom. In Maiya, both of them are not allowed to leave their houses one day before of their wedding.
In Gana, a red thread is tied to groom’s right hand and bride’s left hand to protect them from bad omen and keep them safe.
5. Vatna & Gharoli
Vatna ritual is quite similar to Hindi ritual. In Vatna, turmeric is applied on the bride & groom’s face and body. This is done to give a natural glow on their face before their special day.
In Gharoli, the sister-in-law brings holy water from Gurudwara in earthen pots. It’s beautifully decorated and the bride & groom are supposed to bathe with the water.
‘Baraat’ is the most fun and enjoying part for the groom side. In this ceremony, the groom dresses up in his wedding clothe. He joins the wedding procession where his friends, family, and relatives are all grooving to their favourite beats on their way to the venue.
As the name suggests, in this the bride’s family greets the groom and welcomes him by offering gifts and money. The often exchange garlands too at the wedding venue.
8. Anand Karaj
Anand Karaj means ‘blissful union’. This is where the main wedding starts and the priest recites a set of prayers called ardas, while the bride and groom are seated. The ardas is taken from the holy book of Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib.
Anand Karaj happens in a Gurudwara where families go to attend the Kirtan.
9. Laavan Pheras
Usually, the Hindu marriages have seven pheras but in Sikh Weddings, four pheras are conducted by singing Laavan, which are the four prayers that seal the sacred bond of marriage.
As the laavan is chanted, the bride and the groom take rounds around the holy book, guru granth sahib. The bride’s pallu is tied to the groom’s shawl to unify them for eternity. The groom leads in the pheras holding a Kirpan (sword) in his hand.
10. Karah Prasad
Karah Prasad is a sweet which you may have tasted in your visit to the Gurudwara. It’s a part of the ritual and is either made by the bride’s family or by the Gurudwara in a special way. Karah Prasad is considered as a blessing and a gift from Guru Nanak to the bride & groom for their new beginnings.
Reception is common in both Hindu and Sikh rituals. It’s an after party conducted by both the families. There’s lot of entertainment, dance, fun among both the sides. Food and drinks are served and it’s a lavish celebration to bless the bride & groom for their future life.
Doli as a ritual carries a lot of emotions. The bride bids goodbye to her family as now she is officially a part of the groom’s family. Tears filled eyes of the bride’s parents makes the vibe a bit depressing as the girl who they raised up with love and care is starting her new life in a different house.
The bride throws rice backwards which represents that she’s thanking her family and, in a way, repaying them. The bride gets really emotional and then sits in the car. This ceremony is called ‘doli’ because earlier the bride was taken to the groom’s house in a wooden structure called ‘doli’.
13. Pag Phere
Pag Phere is the last ritual of the Sikh weddings. The bride gets dressed up so beautifully as this is the first time, she would be visiting her house after wedding. The groom accompanies the bride, and they receive a warm welcome. The feast prepared by the bride’s family is delicious. Both of them receive lots of love and gifts from the bride’s family.
So, these are all the wedding rituals of the Sikh Weddings. Starting from pre-wedding, wedding, and ending with post-wedding rituals. Their wedding is grande and lovely.
The hospitality is something you would always remember!
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