Bengali Hindu wedding is one of the most gala, colourful and beautiful wedding of all times. With lots of paan or beetel leaves and the sound of conch shell makes the wedding more lively. It lasts for a week. Bengali’s being a food lover, they have loads of dishes from veg to non veg, different kinds of fish curry, chicken curry etc.
Here are some amazing things to know about a Bengali Hindu Wedding.
Things To Know About Bengali Weddings
“Bachelor” is the synonym for “Aiburo” in Bengali. When the wedding is near the corner, would be bride and groom, their relatives or friends invite them for their last meal as a bachelor. The meals are pretty lavish and interesting.
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2Turmeric Ceremony (Gaye Holud)
Turmeric or gaye holud ceremony is done in the beginning of the wedding ceremony. This ceremony begins with the priest or pandit or any eldest male member of the family pays tribute to the deceased ancestors, it is called as Nandi Mukh Ceremony. This ritual is followed by turmeric ceremony, here the family of the groom except the groom, will travel to the brides home, and bride’s family will travel to the groom’s place. They will bless and complete the rituals in the respective place. After the ceremony is over, both the bride and groom takes bath from the Ganga water that the women have fetched in the early morning. The turmeric paste is traditionally prepared by five married women in the family called “Eyo-stree”. They wear matching sarees. The bride sits on “sheel-nora”, while the women walk encircling her. This is basically centred on female friends and relatives
The wedding ceremony is immediately followed after Turmeric ceremony. The bride’s family arranges the wedding. ‘Bor Jatri’ or the groom with his friends or family arrives at the venue for the ceremony.
The groom is accompanied by two elder male relatives, one from his side, known as Borkorta and another from the bride’s side, with a youngest male member dressed as groom called ‘Neetbor’. Before the groom leaves for the venue he is blessed by his mother. When the groom arrives at the venue, bride’s elder female relatives welcome him with ululation and auspicious sound of conch-shells. The bride’s mother feeds him sweets and receives him with the ‘Bor-Boron ceremony’.
The wedding attire is gifted to the groom by the bride’s family, it includes the ‘topor’, ‘jore’ (silk shawl), and a ‘dhoti’. The groom must wear these attires for the wedding rituals. The groom’s family brings the woods, which were required for the yajnas, to signify the authoritative role.
The pundits or purohits from both sides of the families will be present. Groom engage in the rituals much earlier than the bride. She joins the rituals arriving seated on a wedding plank called ‘piri’ in the ceremony accompanied by her brothers or friends. The bride then encircles the groom seven times, called Saat Paak, while seated in the plank and covering her face with paan or beetel leaves.
After the Saat Paak, the bride finally removes the leaves from her face called Subhodrishti, and both their eyes meet. The wedding heads over, as with the eldest male relative performs the Kanya sampradaan or giving the bride.
In the end there is Sidurdaan, here the groom cover’s the bride’s temple (forehead) with sindoor. After this the bride is covered with a saree gifted by the groom, called ‘lojja bostro’.
The ends of the bride and groom’s dresses are tied in a knot called ‘jor bandha’. It is done by groom’s sister. After this the bride’s brother helps the couple in offering anjali of ‘khoi’ to the fire god. Then the guests have a grand feat called ‘Preetibhoj’. After the rituals are over the newlywed sits side-by-side in a ‘Bashor Ghor’, and interacts with the younger relatives and friends, which continues throughout the night.
In the next day, the couple goes to the bride’s home from the venue called ‘Basi Biye’ or ‘Chaturtha-mangal’. In the evening when the bride leaves the house called ‘vidaai ceremony’, she makes an offering of rice known as ‘Kanakanjali’ to her mother. This means she cleared all her debts, she acquired all these years. Now the groom’s family prepares for the further celebrations. When the couple reaches the groom’s home the groom’s mother prepares for the ‘Bouboron’ or welcoming the daughter-in-law. The elders in the family give the bride gifts of gold. That night the bride and groom are not allowed to see each other, known as ‘Kaalratri’.
During the wedding ceremony, both the families give each other gifts, known as ‘Tottwo’. ‘Tottwo’ means gifts in Bengali. This is completely different from dowry, they gift whatever they can. Like fruits, sweets (sandesh), fish, apparels, etc decorated in many creative ways. On the wedding day the groom’s family brings the ‘Tottwo’, and on the reception the bride’s family gets the ‘Tottwo’.
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‘Chandan Sojja’ is generally ‘make up’, but in a traditional way. The bride is adorned with sandalwood paste in different traditional designs.
Paan or beetel leaves plays an important role in a Bengali marriage. Like guarding the face of the bride on Subho Dristi to being used in many parts of the rituals. Paan leaves have its own significance in every stage in the wedding.
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The following second day after the wedding ceremony, in the new home of the bride, they celebrate Bou Bhaat. The bride or Bou serves the lunch, rice with Ghee to all her in-laws. A reception is given on the evening of that day. Many distant relatives along with friends from the groom’s side are invited. ‘Konyajatra’ or the bride’s family members also attend the reception.