Significant Rituals Of A Traditional Hindu Bengali Wedding

A big fat Indian wedding definitely counts on the list of rituals that any traveler would love to capture in his memory. Indian wedding, is thus, considered as the hub of long trail rituals. Traditional yet significant, the rituals give you a fair idea about the culmination of a bachelor or spinster life. It is true that the aftermath of a wedding might be of tremendous responsibilities. However, the customs (especially the rituals) make the new journey more adventurous. Unlike all the other Indian weddings, Bengali wedding speaks true glories of how a Bengali girl bids adieu to her family. And how the man offers his hand and promises to hold it forever.

Traditional Rituals of a Bengali Wedding

Earlier Bengali wedding ideas were entirely based on arranged marriages. And every wedding had its own cupid in the name of Ghotok (the matchmaker). However, as the modern-age world’s way of approach has changed, this role has been taken over by the online matrimonial applications. Regardless of whether it’s an arranged or love marriage, the rituals remain constant in every Hindu Bengali wedding. To know more, keep reading on.

palki chore bou
Photo of “palki chore bou” by mayeesherr. under CC BY 2.0

Pre-Wedding Rituals

A traditional Bengali wedding is incomplete with the major pre-wedding rituals. Some of them have been mentioned below.

  • Ashirbad – A Bengali engagement is better known as ‘Ashirbad’. During this ceremony, the bride and the groom engage rings. This is one of the most important Bengali wedding ideas which also consist of the family members giving blessings to the would-be couple.
  • Virdhi – Right before the day of the wedding, this ritual is practiced. This ritual includes the families giving blessings to the couple. The couple also seeks blessings from their ancestors.
  • Ai Buro Bhat – Ai Buro Bhat is an exclusive ritual that is practiced by the ‘Aedeshis’ (meaning the people whose forefathers resided in Kolkata). However, the East-Bengal people (the refuges of Bangladesh) known as Bangals living in Kolkata also practice this ritual nowadays. Here, the bride and groom separately are offered their bachelor meal for the last time.
  • Shankha Paula – This is a ritual entirely based on the bride’s family. Here, the woman wears the conch shell bangles and lac bangles right before the day of the wedding.
  • Tatva – Tatva is a gift-giving and gift-taking session between two families. All the family members are offered gifts through the medium known as Tatva.

The Gala Day Rituals

Photo of “Gatchora” by swarnendu ghoshdastidar under CC BY 2.0

A Bengali wedding dress is one of the most important parts of all the rituals. After all, the rituals revolve around a bride and groom. And who wouldn’t want to look absolutely the best in his or her wedding? But apart from the elegant Bengali wedding dress, there are other rituals that are practiced during the gala day. To know more, keep reading on.

  • Dodhi Mongol – This ritual is practiced in the morning by both the bride and groom separately. Both the families invite Goddess Ganga by taking a pitcher of water. And then, delicacies are served to the couple separately with rice flakes and curd.
  • Gaye Holud – The bride and groom are offered a plate of turmeric, sandalwood, and mastered oil which is applied all over their body.
  • Welcoming the Groom – The mother of the bride or a woman of the family welcomes the groom. And then all the rituals are practiced such as Subho Drishti, Mala Bodol, Sampradan, Yagna, and finally Sindoor Daan.

Post-Wedding Rituals

Bengali Bride
Photo of “Bengali Bride” by swarnendu ghoshdastidar under CC BY 2.0

  • Bidaai – The bride bids adieu to her paternal house and starts the new life eventually.
  • Bou Boron (Welcoming the bride) – In this ritual, the mother of the groom or a married woman of the house welcomes the bride. The bride is asked to keep her feet on the plate comprising milk and lac dye. Some families also practice the ritual of Bengali wedding games.
  • Kaal Ratri – During this time, the bride and groom are kept separately for the night. They also participate in some Bengali wedding games separately right after the bride is welcomed.
  • Bou Bhat – The next morning, the bride prepares Ghee rice for everyone. She serves it to all family members. It is a kind of the introduction ceremony of the bride.
  • Phool Sojja – The third night of the marriage, the bride and the groom spend time together. The bride and the groom spend time in a room decorated with flowers.
  • Dira Gomon – The newly-wed couple visits the house of the bride for the first time. This ceremony is better known as Dira Gomon.

A wedding is not only between two families but also between two souls. The rituals aren’t just traditional beliefs but also hold importance in delivering happiness in the couple’s life.

Photo of “Bengali Bride” by swarnendu ghoshdastidar under CC BY 2.0

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