Marwadi Wedding Rituals

Wedding process in Marwaris, is usually traditional elaborate affair. Marwari weddings are eloborate and the pre and post wedding functions are well stretch for days. In Marwari weddings tradition and customs take precedence over everything else. The wedding process follows age-old customs.

The Engagement Ceremony Palla Dastoor
Ganapati Sthapna & Griha Shanti Ceremony The Baraat
Pithi Dastoor Ceremony Wedding Ceremony
Mehfils Bidai
Mahira Dastoor Grihapravesh
Janev Ceremony Pagelagni
The Engagement Ceremony
The engagement ceremony takes place at the home of the groom. Only the bride's father, brother and other close relatives attend this ceremony. Ladies not even the bride do not accompany the menfolk for the tika. The ceremony is so called because the bride's brother actually applies a tilak to the groom's forehead and makes the alliance or engagement official. A sword, other presents, clothes, fruits, sweets etc., are given to the groom.
Ganapati Sthapna & Griha Shanti Ceremony
Ganapati sthapana & griha shanti is the second most important ceremony performed usually a few days prior to the wedding. A havan is performed by the groom or bride's parents to propitiate the gods and an idol of Lord Ganapati is installed. All ceremonies commence only after the sthapana. 
Pithi Dastoor Ceremony
The actual ceremony consists of application of turmeric and sandal wood paste to the bride/ groom who cannot leave the house once the pithi starts. The pithi dastoor at the bride's house is an elaborate affair. The bride dresses in an orange poshak and is then brought under a silken canopy, which is held with the help of swords at the four corners by four ladies who must belong to the same clan as the bride. She is brought to the ladies gathering, who then apply the paste to her. A similar ceremony takes place at the groom's as well, although it is not as elaborate. Dholans (women singers with dholak) sing auspicious prewedding songs while the ceremony is in progress.
Celebrations move into full swing with the women involved in merrymaking, playing dholaks and singing pre-wedding songs in the courtyard. Separate mehfils are organised for the women and the men. At the ladies' mehfil, all the womenfolk gather at a central place in an enclosed courtyard or hall. Dressed in dazzling dresses, they perform the ghoomar (a special dance done in a group). The bride at the mehfil is given an important position to sit and watch the proceedings. Of course, the men have their own mehfil, where singers perform and these are strictly all male parties. 
Mahira Dastoor
It is believed that since a wedding is a time for lavish spending, the bride's and the groom's maternal uncles must help their sisters with the expenditure. A ceremony called Mahira Dastoor, in which the uncle arrives amidst gaiety and celebration, and distributes gifts and money amongst people of the house. The maternal uncle has an important role to play in a Marwari wedding.
Janev Ceremony
The groom has to be dressed in saffron robes like an ascetic and perform a havan before wearing the thread. The significance of saffron robes is that the groom now has two choices before him; either he renounces the world and becomes an ascetic, or he accepts the institution of marriage and its responsibilities. After the havan is completed and the thread given, the groom has to make a mock attempt to run from the chains of marriage while the maternal uncle must catch him and convince his nephew into accepting marriage.
Palla Dastoor
The bride worships the Goddess Gauri by performing Gauri Pooja. The Goddess Gauri is highly revered as it is believed that she is a manifestation of Shakti, the mother of the universe and the power and energy by which God creates, preserves and destroys the world. She symbolises motherhood, fertility and the victory of good over evil.
The Baraat
A Rajput baraat consists entirely of male members. The bridegroom is usually dressed in a gold achkan, with an orange turban and a churidar or jodhpurs with jootis. The baraat members also must wear achkans or sherwanis with jodhpurs and safas (colourful turbans). The procession to the bride's house looks rather regal as there is absolutely no dancing on the streets by the baraatis. In fact, all members, including the groom who rides an elephant or a horse, carry swords. The horse is important for the Rajputs. 
Wedding Ceremony
The groom is taken inside to the ladies section where he is received by the bride's mother with the traditional aarti, and then taken to the mandap for the wedding ceremony. The bridegroom is accompanies at this stage by only one married make relative and maybe his younger brother or a younger male cousin. The wedding ceremony is similar to a Hindu wedding. The bride must at all times through the wedding ceremony keep her face covered by a long veil. While the wedding is in progress, the baraat is entertained outside by the bride's male family members. Therefore, it is mostly the women members of the bride's family who attend the wedding ceremony. 
At the time of the bidai, a coconut is placed under the wheel of the car before the ride lifts her veil for the husband after the wedding is an important ceremony. At this stage, the groom usually gives a piece of jewellery to his bride. 
Once the baraat returns with the newly weds, the grihapravesh takes place. The bride still wears the veil while the puja and other ceremonies take place. 
The day following the grihapravesh, the pagelagni takes place. This is a ceremony where the bride, still in veil, is formally introduced to all the family members of the groom who bless her and give her gifts. The veil is then finally removed. 
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