After pre-wedding celebration of the marriage, times come for The Day. And on the wedding through rituals two people become life partner along with the two families. The rites and rituals conducted on the wedding day are celebration of a new life. And they help in forming new relationship.
The prescribed form of Sikh marriage is known as ANAND KARAJ. The literal meaning of the word is “Blissful Soul”. It is unification of two souls and not of two people of same caste, creed, race, and lineage. REHAT MARYADA is the OFFICIAL CODE OF CONDUCT of the Sikhs that specifies that no thought should be given to specific caste, race and religion. This also forbids the dowry arrangement. The Sikhs believe in unification of soul and not in any kind of business transaction. This official code also discourages consulting horoscope or any kind of superstition. Even no auspicious time is maintained in a Sikh wedding. It generally takes place in the morning.
The ANAND KARAJ ceremony takes place in the local Guruduwara or in the girl’s home, or in a place where the sacred Sri Guru Granth Sahib has been respectfully installed. But it cannot take place in any banquet or hall.
This ritual is on wedding day itself but early in the morning. On this day the groom’s sister-in-law and other females go to the nearby well or to the Gurduwara. They then fill an earthen pitcher or a pot. The groom then bathes with that water.
The groom wears crown or a turban on the wedding day before going to the bride’s place. But before going there the groom need his elder’s blessings, as because taking blessings of the elders in the family before going to any important work is very important in an Indian culture. And so when the groom takes his ‘voyage’ to the bride’s house his turban or the crown is blessed by the elder member of the family.
SARBALA – The groom’s nephew or cousin is being dressed in groom’s attire and he is called the Sarbala or the Shabala or one can say he is the caretaker of the groom.
GHODI, VAG GOODTI, AND DUPPATA VARNA
The wedding is a time of fun and enjoyment of decoration and color. On the marriage day not only the bride but the groom too should look beautiful. And who else than his own relatives, should do this job more perfectly. And so the boy’s bhabi (brother’s wife) lines his eyes with surma (kohl). The boy goes to the girl’s house riding on the back of a mare. In this ritual the mare is feed and decorated by the groom’s sister and cousin. Any ceremony can only be celebrated if it is being freed from the clutches of the evils. And so a ritual called “Varna” is conducted. In this ritual cash is given to the poor to ward off the evils. So not only the bride or groom’s family, but the poor mass of our country also become a part of this happiness and this celebration.
After the groom’s family reaches the bride’s house they receive a warm greeting from her family. They are greeted with garlands from the bride’s family. Gifts increase the happiness of the celebration. The bride’s family presents gifts to the groom’s relative. These gifts are known as Shagun.
This ritual is common in every cultural community. In this ritual an exchange of garland takes place between the bride and the groom.
KANYADAN, PHERE AND LAANVA
It is common in almost every Hindu marriage ritual. In this ritual the bride father’s puts a ring on the boy’s finger and then gives his daughter hands to the groom’s hand, both literally and metaphorically. After Kanyadan, both the bride and groom circle the sacred fire or Agni seven times. And then the groom puts the vermillion in the bride’s partings of the hair. After that the boy puts the Mangalsutra or a beaded necklace around her neck. And then both the bride and the groom take the elders blessing. These rituals are almost same if compared with other Hindu marriages. What is different is the ritual where both the bride and the groom circle the GURU GRANTH SAHIB with their toe four times. This ritual is known as Laanva.
Few years back there was a hit song which has the line “Joote de do, paise lo” in it. In this song the groom’s brother ask for the shoe and the bride’s sister ask for the money. It is a very funny ritual full of teasing and leg pulling. Here the bride’s sister hide the groom’s shoes and ask for money in return of the shoes. This ritual creates a strong bond pulling. And full of fun and laughter.
The marriages in the east are generally a three days affair, where the Baraat (groom’s family and friend) sets for the girl’s house and reaches there in the evening. The ceremony takes place on the following day in the morning. In the west it is a one or two day’s affair. This is because there is a constraint of time and because people had difficulty in coordinating such a number of men and women.
Among Muslim Punjabis the wedding that takes place is called Nikah, an Islamic term, for the marriage. This ceremony is a contract between the bride and the groom, where they both agree to marry each other in front of the priest.
But the anxiety towards a new life! The joy for a prosperous future life, is same between both the religion and here it breaks all the boundaries of religion and become a fairy tale. In the end, where Snow White had Prince Charm and they live happily ever after!
A celebration of all kind of love is commonly known as marriage!