Indian weddings are a huge emotional affair and are known for their extravagant ceremonial display and an incomparable razzle-dazzle. India is a land of diverse people residing together as one nation and each sect has their own set of customs and traditions. Hence, rituals are the foundation and more than the wedding itself, it is these rituals, when followed, that strengthen the bond and make the ceremony meaningful. We know some of them, of course! But, there are others as well which seem outright weird and a little strange. So, let us look through some of them
1. Balancing Earthen Pots On The Bride’s Head.
In a Bihari wedding, the bride’s skills are tested right from the moment she enters her new home. According to the ritual, the bride is laden with numerous pots on her head by the mother-in-law. She has to then bend down and take the blessings of the elders. This is a really scary ceremony, which tests the bride’s stability and her success is a report of how balanced she will be in her married life.
Hence, no ashirwad for clumsy girls!
2. Greeting With Tomatoes.
The tribal people of Uttar Pradesh have their own Tomatino Festival. While usually Baaratis are welcomed with garlands and aarti, in Sarsaul, a small town near Kanpur, the groom and his friends are greeted with flying tomatoes along with a string of swear words. The crowd decides whether the tomatoes are squashed or not. Woopsie!
People believe that a relationship that begins on a bad note ends with love.
3. Marrying A Peepal Tree.
One of the most weird and unusual ritual by the Hindus is the bride marrying a tree or a dog. Yes! That’s right. Dictated by ‘astrological’ time, most Hindus believe that women born at a particular time is Manglik. This is considered a curse and can cause the death of her husband! Hence, in order to ward off this curse, the bride is married to a tree first, which is later destroyed to break the curse. Only then it is safe for her to get married to her human groom.
4. At The Last Minute, The Groom Chooses Asceticism.
Let us now talk about the Kashi Yatra, which Tamil Brahmin grooms popularly undertake. According to this ritual, the groom pretends to change his mind just before he sits at the altar. He has to pretend that he has no interest in Grahastam i.e. a married life, instead he wants to give up materialism and embrace asceticism (sanyasi).
Now, the bride’s father has to go, convince him, iterate the benefits of marriage and finally bring him back to his ‘senses’.
5. Drinking A Foot Cleansing Potion
Marriages in Gujarat have this weird ritual called the Madhuparka. Before entering the mandap, the groom has to go through a process where the bride’s parents welcome the groom by washing his feet with a mixture of milk and honey. He then drinks that potion as a sign of a sweet beginning!
6. Hiding The Bride For One Good Year.
While only a few adivasi communities follow this tradition, this ancient tribe follow this abduction act as a ritual. Right after they are married, the groom is supposed to carry his bride on his back and keep her hidden for a year. This for the entire year, the bride is prevented from any interaction with the outside world. Exactly after one year has passed, the marriage is approved by senior members and then there is a huge function held in the community and they celebrate the wedding.
Usual or unusual, these rituals are a good way of being connected to our roots. For a fact, Indian weddings can never be complete without carrying out age-old traditions and customs that are associated with it!