Soon attending a Sikh Shaadi but don’t know anything about their marriage rituals yet? Well, no worries. The article will brief you about all the functions and rituals in Sikh matrimonial weddings. Keep reading to know!
Sikh Shaadi is one of the most vivid yet simple celebrations among all the weddings in India. However, many people confuse Sikhs with Punjabis but it’s not so! Not all Punjabis are necessarily Sikhs. So, there are considerable differences between Punjabis and Sikh matrimonial traditions. Though they have pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals but the main Shaadi ceremonies are not as elaborative as other religion’s matrimonial weddings. Wish to know in detail about Sikh matrimonial weddings? Read further to find out!
Roka is one of the pre-wedding rituals in Sikh matrimonial weddings. This is the first ceremony of the wedding where the bride and the groom’s families meet at the bride’s home. The two families exchange gifts and clothes with each other as Shagun. Roka signifies the ‘stopping’ of a groom for the Sikh bride. The groom can stop looking for other marriage options after this ceremony.
The Taka ceremony again takes place in the home of the Sikh bride. The two families meet together to finalize the date of the marriage. A Pandit is called to tell the options of auspicious dates to the families and the latter decides as per their conveniences.
Kurmai is one of the most imperative pre-wedding Sikh matrimonial rituals. It is the official engagement ceremony of the Sikh bride and the groom. The ceremony begins with a prayer by the Sikh priest and placing a piece of Red cloth on the groom’s shoulder. This ritual often takes place at the bride’s home or gurudwara. The rigs are exchanged in this ceremony and the Kada (Sikh bangle) is presented to the groom by the Sikh bride’s family. Post the engagement, the food and drinks are served to everyone present in the ceremony.
The Chunni ceremony is the acceptance of the Sikh bride by the groom’s family. The mother-in-law of the bride offers a red chunni to the bride and covers her head with the same. Later, the groom put a little vermillion on the bride’s forehead as a sign of commitment. The whole ritual signifies that the bride is now part of the groom’s family and it is her responsibility to maintain the reputation and respect of the family. After the ritual, the gifts are exchanged between the families and a small celebration takes place.
Maiya (cleansing and purifying)
Maiya is a purifying ceremony before the Sikh matrimonial wedding. It takes place at the houses of both bride and the groom. The couples are made to apply the olive oil on the head and the entire body along with turmeric paste. Also, the ladies performing the ritual have to tie a red band on their wrists.
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Gana is performed is bring all the good luck and fortune to the soon-to-be-married couples. The families tie the red thread on the left and the right wrist of the bride and groom respectively. Also, other auspicious items like cowrie shells, pearls, sugar, etc are put on their palm to signify good luck.
Vatna is performed one day before the Sikh matrimonial wedding. This is another purifying ceremony where the groom and the Sikh bride are made to apply turmeric, sandalwood, floor, etc on the body and wash it thoroughly. This paste is also used for beautifying purposes.
It is the final ritualistic bath of the groom before the wedding. In this ceremony, the groom along with the female members of his family visits a gurudwara or well to fill and Gharoli (earthen pot) and bathe with it.
Karahi Charna is a five-day ceremony that takes place in the house of both the groom and the bride. Savory and sweet items are made in a karahi and are offered to guests as a gesture of blessing to the bride and groom.
NanKi Shak is a formal get-together of both families in the house of the groom or the bride. In this Sikh matrimonial ritual, the gifts the exchanged, and a small pooja is performed by the priest prior to the ceremony.
Mehendi is again performed in the houses of both the Sikh bride and groom. The intricate designs if Mehendi is applied on the hands and feet of the bride. Many dholak professionals are also called on the occasion to play dholak during the Mehendi ceremony.
Choora ceremony is a common Punjabi ritual where the uncle of the bride gifts her a set of 21 bangles (red Choora) after bathing it in yogurt milk and rosewater. The bride is then asked to close her eyes while the uncle puts the Choora on her. Later, the bangles are covered with a piece of cloth to prevent the bride to see it before the wedding.
Milni and Anand Karaj
Milni is the arrival of the groom at the bride’s place and his welcoming by the Sikh bride’s family members.
Anand Karaj is the primary Sikh matrimony ritual that signifies the blissful union. The couple along with their families go to the gurudwara for the marriage ceremony. The families recite and hear a few lines from guru granth sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs.
Laavan pheras is the same as saath phera in other Hindu matrimony traditions. However, the Sikhs only take four pheras and chant 4 prayers to seal the marriage forever. The groom leads the rounds holding a Kirpan (sword).
So, these are all the imperative Sikh matrimonila ritual before the wedding. However, the Laavan pheras are later followed by Kadha Parshad, Doli, reception, Pag Phere, etc.