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Marwadi Wedding

Marwadi Wedding is a traditional and elaborate affair. Pre and post wedding ceremonies stretch for days where tradition and customs take precedence over everything else. Match-Making : Matchmaking is the foremost part of the Marwari wedding process as most Marwaris prefer to go in for arranged marriages. To ensure a perfect alliance Marwaris follow the following criteria-1. Marriage alliance should be made within the community. 2. The social and financial status of the families has to be at par. 3. The horoscopes have to be tallied by the family astrologer.

Pre-Wedding Rituals: A number of pre-wedding rituals take place in a traditional Marwari Wedding. Please read on to know more about them. Engagement (Tika) Ceremony: Engagement ceremony takes place at the home of the groom. The ceremony makes match making official and binding for both bride and groom. Only the bride's father, brother and other close relatives attend this ceremony. Ladies not even the bride accompany men folk 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 and other presents including clothes, fruits, sweets etc are also given to the groom. Ganapati Sthapna (installation) and Griha Shanti Ceremony: Ganapati sthapana and griha shanti is the second most important ceremony of any Marwari wedding performed usually a few days prior to the wedding. In this, a havan is performed by the groom or bride's parents to propitiate the gods. An idol of Lord Ganapati is installed. All ceremonies commence only after the sthapana. Pithi Dastoor Ceremony (Ban): The pithi dastoor is one of the first important ceremonies, which involves the bride/groom and continues until the day of the wedding. The actual ceremony consists of application of turmeric and sandal wood paste to the bride/ groom. Custom goes that once the pithi starts the bride and the groom cannot leave the house. The pithi dastoor at the bride's house is an elaborate affair. The bride dresses in a traditional orange poshak and is then brought under a silken canopy, which is held with the help of swords on 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 house as well, although it is not as elaborate. Dholans (women singers with dholak) sing auspicious pre-wedding songs while the ceremony is in progress. It is interesting to note that dholans are omnipresent in throughout the Marwadi wedding celebrations. They are accompanied by the Shehnai and the nagara players. Mehfils: Mehfils are the integral part of a Marwari wedding. These are usually held in the evenings. 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: The mahira dastoor is yet another important ceremony, common to both the bride and the groom's families. This ceremony is performed by the maternal uncle (Mama) of the groom/bride, who, along with his wife and family, arrives with much fanfare, and is received by the bride/groom's mother with the traditional welcome. The uncle then gives clothes, jewellery, sweets etc., to the entire family and relatives. The ceremony signifies that since at the time of a wedding there is considerable expenditure, it is the duty of the brother to help his sister at her child's wedding. Janev Ceremony: Following the custom, the groom has to be dressed in saffron robes like an ascetic and perform a havan before wearing the thread. The saffron robe signifies that the groom now has two choices before him. That is 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: On the day of the actual wedding, or maybe a day prior to it, the palla dastoor is brought in by a few of the groom's relatives to the bride's house. The palla dastoor consists of clothes, jewelery and gifts from the groom, which the bride has to wear during the wedding ceremony. Nikasi: In a Marwadi wedding, the groom wears a padgi or headgear which is tied up by the jija (sister's husband). The groom also wears 'pecha', 'kalgi' and 'tani'. A sehra either of flowers or of pearls is tied on the pagdi. The sister in law (brother's wife) of the boy applies kajal in his eyes. Later, groom's sisters tie golden threads to the reins of the mare in a ceremony called 'vaag-gunthai'. While the sister is performing the ritual, her husband holds the reins of the horse. As a custom, the groom pays a visit to the temple first before proceeding to the girl's house. Toran: The entrance of the girl's house is decorated with a 'toran'. As a custom the groom hits the toran with a stick of neem. This ceremony is called 'toranachar' and is symbolic of warding off the evil eye. After this the girl's mother does 'aarti' and 'tilak' to the boy. Jaimala: The groom is escorted to a dais prepared for the Jaimala ceremony. As is customary in Hindu marriages, the bride and groom exchange garlands. This is the first step of the wedding rituals.