Simple Yet Endearing Marathi Wedding Rituals
Maharashtrian weddings are one of the most simple and unfussy in the whole country. Contrary to other weddings most of the rituals of Marathi Wedding are performed in the morning. Like in any other wedding, a suitable counterpart is searched and when this quest meets the compeer, the horoscope of both the girl and the boy is matched by the purohit. If sufficient (minimum 18 ) ‘gans’ are matched then the ‘mahurat’ (most auspicious date and time for the wedding ) is taken out followed by preparations and rituals indulged in Marathi wedding.
The first ceremony of Maharashtrian wedding is Sakhar Puda, this is the engagement ceremony where sarees and sweet delicacies (primitively sugar was used) are gifted to the bride by the groom’s family. In this occasion the groom, his family and close relatives come to brides home and perform all the rituals in a very subtle and simple manner. However nowadays, people celebrate this ceremony in a grandiose manner by inviting a large number of guests and booking a party hall. Here the bride is flanked by her parents and ‘karvali ‘ bride’s younger sister, they then sit in a row on a wooden block. Grooms mother applies haldi-kumkum on brides forehead, gift her a saree, in which the bride is supposed to change. After that groom’s mother does the Oti Bharane and gifts her Shakarpuda, a cone-shaped packet filled with ‘pedas’ a sweet delicacy. Then she repeats this kumkum ritual with brides parents and karvali. After this, the bride’s mother repeat the same ritual with the groom, his parents and karvail, after which they both exchange the engagement rings.
Both bride’s and groom’s family starts wedding preparation months before the wedding day. In this occasion, minimum five ‘Suhasanie’ wedded women are invited by brides parents to their home. They pound dried turmeric in the iron mortar to grind them into fine powder which later used in the haldi function. Then they roll out papads ( pulses chapatti dried in the sun) and Sandage (grind pulses, mixed with spices and dried in the sun). After this, that start shopping, which will be gifted to the bride on wedlock day. Then celebrate rukhvat, where they exhibit all the clothes, jewellery, kitchen essentials and other things with five types of dry fruits and sweet delicacies. On a nice day, they give first wedding invitation to Lord Ganesha and then to others.
The close family members and the relatives of bride invite her and her family for dinner. Then the bride’s parents invite close family members and relatives for dinner and present them some gifts as well. The same ritual is celebrated at groom’s side as well.
This occasion is celebrated a day before the wedding day, the pounded turmeric in Muhurat Karane time is used, minimum five suhasnies with the help of mango leaves in both the hand applies this turmeric paste on brides feet, knees, shoulders and head. This ceremony is done at groom’s home as well and his leftover turmeric paste is taken to the bride and is applied on her. After this ceremony, both bride and groom are not allowed to go out till their wedding.
Simant means boundary, in this ceremony the groom and his close family members comes to the boundary of bride’s home and in early days to her village. Nowadays, this ceremony takes place on the wedding day. Bride’s mother does the pooja of the groom. She does the wash his feet, applies kumkum tilak, does aarti and then present him gifts. Then groom’s mother goes to the bride and gifts her five sarees and jewellery.
Rituals on the wedding day
The rituals on the auspicious wedding day begin with Ganpati puja, so that all the Marathi wedding ceremonies accomplish without any hurdle or obstacle. This prayer ceremony is performed in both bride’s and groom’s side.
This is a very sweet ritual, in this the priest asks the bride and her parents to seek blessings of everyone present there and the same ritual is done at groom’s end.
This ritual is also known as kuldevta sthapna, here the family god is invoked and prayed to shower blessings on the wedding couple and this ceremony is also consummated in both bride as well as groom’s side.
Now the bride gets ready for her wedding, she is attired in a beautiful yellow sari gifted by her maternal uncle, mundavalya ( a string decked up with pearls and flowers ) tied on her forehead, scintillating jewellery and facial makeup. Then the bride sits in a room in front of Parvati’s silver idol, kept on the pile of rice. The bride takes some rice in her hand and puts that on the idol and seeks blessings of Goddess Annapurna for happy and prosperous life ahead.
Akshata is given to all who are present in mandap. Groom head is capped with topi and mundavalya and then he is invited in mandap to stand on a wooden pat holding a divine garland for his would be. Now the priest holds a cloth called as antarpat and this is screened in front the groom when he chants for mangalshakta. The bride is then escorted by her maternal uncle till mandap. Then she stands on another wooden platform placed on another side of antarpat facing the groom and holding the same kind of garland in her hand. Now the persist conducts other pious rituals such as Kanya Daan, akshataropan, mangal sutra Bandhan, vivah hom, lajja hom and saptadipadi to tie them in the bond of love forever.
Post Wedding Rituals
Bride’s mother gifts sarees to groom’s mother, sister and other close relatives. Bride’s father presents gifts to groom’s father, brother and other male relatives. The same ritual is followed by groom’s parents.
The bride dresses up in the silk saree and precious jewellery gifted to her by groom’s parents and the groom also wears the attire gifted by brides parents.which is then proceeded by a feast for all the attendants.
Here, everybody’s eyes are filled with tears as the loving bride says goodbye and take blessings of her parents and relatives to start a new life with her husband and his parents. The groom picks that silver idol of Goddess Parvati with him and then they leave the premises to proceed for groom’s place.
Now the newly wedded couple reaches to the doorstep of groom’s house and his does the aarti. Then bride is asked to topple the Kalash filled with rice and enter the house. The couple sits and grooms place that silver idol of Goddess Parvati on rice plate and write his wife’s name on it. The mother of groom sits between the couple and see brides face in a mirror, this ritual is known as soonmukh baghane. Then the couple gives sugar to everyone present there and seeks their blessings for their new life.