Top 10 Bengali Wedding Rituals

Jul 1


Apoorv Kalra

Apoorv Kalra

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Bengalis have a rich cultural heritage and this is evident from the kind of rituals and ceremonies that are performed during a Bengali wedding.

The Bengali wedding rituals are followed irrespective of whether the wedding is planned on a budget or conducted lavishly. While there are many rituals that make a Bengali wedding,Top 10 Bengali Wedding Rituals Articles the 10 most important ones have been listed below:

1.Al buddo bhaat – This is the bride’s last meal as an unmarried girl. It is a meal that is consumed by the bride in her parent’s house. Among other delicacies this meal includes the delicacies that the bride is particularly fond of and is shared by the extended family.

2.Gai Halood – This ceremony is conducted at the dawn of the wedding day. The bride and the bridegroom, in their respective homes, are anointed with a paste made of turmeric and scented oils. The ritual involves a fair amount of teasing about the wedding night by friends and cousins. Just after this ceremony is over and before the sun rises, the bride is fed with Dahi Mangal, after which she has to fast till all the ceremonies of the Bengali wedding are complete.

3.Shaka Paula – This is a ritual in which sumangalis or seven married women put red and white coral and shell bangles on the bride. This is done amidst Sanskrit shlokas that are chanted by a learned priest. At this time the bride also wears the iron and silver entwined bangle sent by the groom to signify that their relationship shall be tough and long lasting.

4.Boijotri – In this ritual, the bride’s maternal uncle goes to the bridegroom’s house to request him to come for the wedding rituals. He then accompanies the procession back along with the groom and the groom’s relatives and friends. The bijotri or wedding procession starts off with the blowing of the sacred conch.

5.Potto Bastra – Potto bastra is a ritual that involves the welcome of the bridegroom and his relatives with boron or straw colander that contains a lamp, honey, betel leaves and yogurt.

6.Shubh Dhristi – This is the exchange of garlands and auspicious view of the bride and the bridegroom. Once the bridegroom enters the wedding venue, the bride goes around the bridegroom seven times with her eyes lowered and face covered with betel leaves. These leaves are moved apart so that the couple can see each other; an event called the shub drishti.

7.Kanyadaan – A ritual that is a part of each and every hindu wedding, the kanyadaan is the giving away of the daughter by the parents to the bridegroom. This is supposed to be the most precious gift that can ever be given.

8.Hasta Milap – A ritual that immediately follows the kanyadaan, the hasta milap involves the couple holding hands in the form of a symbolic knot.

9.Saptapadi and Sindoordaan – The saptapadi are seven steps that the couple takes together around the sacred fire. Each step is supposed to lead her away from her own family and with the seventh step she becomes an integral part of her husband’s family. With each step the bride and the bridegroom exchange a marital vow. The sindoordaan symbolizes that the bride is now a married woman when the groom puts sindoor or vermillion powder in the parting of his wives hairdo. 

10.Bashar Ghar and Bidaai – Post all the Bengali wedding ceremonies, the bridegroom stays over at the bride’s house. The couple is teased and not allowed to enter the bedroom fro sleep and the teasing continues later, the next day, when the younger generation rags the couple about the events of the night before. The bidai is an emotional and touchy event when the bride leaves her house and is expected to change her allegiances almost immediately.

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