Kumaoni style of wedding is practiced in Jharkhand. These Pahadi weddings are a delight to watch. Himalayan weddings are very much straightforward, and they have a unique culture which is a worth to see. If you want to enjoy the Pahadi style of marriage, you should arrange it for your friend, or any family member. All the rituals and customs are different from other weddings in India. The matrimonial ceremony of Kumaoni wedding tradition is very different and lavishing. Kumaoni weddings are done in three different ways:
- Aanchal vivah: In this commonly practiced marriage style, the groom’s family and relatives visit the bride’s home with a procession and aanchals of the couple are tied together. Then the bride’s father performs Kanyadan and hands over his daughter to the groom.
- Sarol vivah: Also, known as dola or bada in Kumaoni language. Nowadays, it is not much performed. In this, the bride goes to the groom’s house with a lot of pomp, and the other wedding rituals are performed at the groom’s home itself.
- Mandir vivah: The rituals are performed in the presence of the family members in Golu Devta and Ghorakhal temple. All the ceremonies are conducted during day time.
Like other Indian weddings, this Kumaoni wedding also gets started with an engagement, but with a twist. In Pahadi wedding, not the bride and groom, but rather their father’s exchange rings with each other. After this, Mehandi ceremony takes place, in which both the bride and the groom applies henna paste on their hands. The bride applies heavily designed henna on her hands and feet, but the groom uses a simple pattern on his hand. It is a belief that the darker the henna stain is, more profound will be the love.
Beforehand an important pooja is held, to remove all obstacles in the way of the wedding and for this Ganesh, Pooja is performed to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha. Next comes the Suwal Pathai. This is a unique ceremony in which wheat flour is kneaded in a dough with water, and after dusting it with regular flour, it is sun-dried. Then it deep fried in oil and offered as Prasad to the Gods.
When the groom reaches the bride’s house along with his family, friends, and relatives. In Kumaoni tradition, the groom is treated like a Lord Vishnu, and the bride’s father washes his feet and worshiped by him and the priest. Then pithya is offered to him. Then in the presence of all, Jai mala is exchanged between the bride and the groom.
After this, the bride’s father performs Kanyadaan and other holy rituals. The bride’s parents are on fasting that day. All the wedding ceremonies performed as per the horoscope of the couple. The next comes Saptapadi, in this the couple takes a round of the holy fire. The oribital movement around the fire, the first four rounds the bride leads the groom, and in the next three circles, the groom leads the bride. Hence the marriage is completed, and the couple seeks blessings of their elders.