15 Aug A Complete Guide to Maharashtrian Weddings
A Maharashtrian marriage is one of the simplest weddings in India. The wedding rituals in a Maharashtrian wedding tend to focus on displaying the core values of the Maharashtrian culture over having a grand ceremony. However, that is not to say that a Maharashtrian marriage is boring or plain, in fact, it is full of colors and fun rituals.
In a typical Maharashtrian wedding, most of the wedding rituals take place during the day. The Maharashtrian wedding rituals start by matching of the bride’s and groom’s horoscopes by their respective families. If the horoscopes match, an auspicious date is fixed for the wedding as well as the other ceremonies.
Some of the main pre-wedding rituals that take place in a Maharashtrian wedding are:
Lagnaach Bedior- This is also known as the ‘matchmaking ceremony’, which is followed by matching the horoscopes of the bride and groom by the family priests of their respective families.
Sakhar Puda- The ‘Sakhar Puda’ ceremony can be considered as a formal engagement, where the families of the bride and groom gather, and the bride is given a saree, some jewelry, and a packet of sugar called the Sakhar Puda, by the groom’s family. The same ritual is performed by the bride’s family for the groom and is considered as a mark of acceptance of the couple from the opposite families respectively.
Muhurt Karane- In this ritual, both the bride’s and groom’s families invite five married women, known as ‘Suhasinis’ into their homes. These women then help in preparing turmeric pound or halkund as well as roll out papad and make Sandage, which is made of pulses that are soaked and grounded and mixed with spices and is later dried in the sun.
Kelvan- A few days prior to the wedding, puja is offered to the family deity by both sides, followed by a meal for the family and close friends.
Halad Chadavane- The turmeric pound or halkund prepared during the Muhurt Karane ceremony is applied by the five married women or Suhasinis to the bride and groom using mango leaves. This is believed to provide freshness and glow to the skin on the day of the wedding.
After the pre-wedding rituals have taken place, the wedding ceremony begins with a few pujas, followed by the wedding ceremony and finally, bidding farewell to the bride by her family and friends.
In a Maharashtrian wedding, the various rituals take place as follows:
Ganpati Puja, Devdevak Puja, and Gaurihar Puja- A typical Maharashtrian wedding usually begins with the worship of Lord Ganesha, followed by a Devdevak Puja which is the worship of the family deity. Lastly, the Gaurihar Puja is performed by the bride, where she prays to Goddess Parvati for a happy and prosperous future.
Seeman Puja- When the groom and his family reach the wedding venue, the mother of the bride comes to welcome them and washes the groom’s feet, applies tilak to his forehead, and performs an aarti.
Sankalp- In this ritual, the priest chants the wedding vows while the bride is led to the mandap by her maternal uncles. The Antarpat, or the cloth which prevents the bride and groom from looking at each other is then removed, and the couple exchanges garlands.
After these wedding rituals, the bride’s father performs Kanyadaan, or the act of giving away one’s daughter to her husband, followed by Satapadhi in which the couple take seven rounds around the fire and say the seven wedding vows. The last ritual is known as the Karmasampati ritual, where the couple pray to the holy fire until it is extinguished.
After the wedding ceremony is over, the following rituals take place:
Varat- ‘Varat’ means the farewell of the bride and is a procession that follows the bride until she reaches her in-laws’ house. The groom, on the other hand, carries the idol of Goddess Parvati from the Gaurihar Puja.
Griha Pravesh- After the bride reaches her in-laws’ house, the groom’s mother welcomes the newly wedded couple and washes their feet with a mixture of milk and water. This is followed by aarti and later, the bride enters her new home by knocking down a glass of rice with her right foot.
Reception- A few days after the wedding, a reception party is usually organized where the newly wedded couple meets with their family and friends. A Maharashtrian bride in reception wears a saree and jewelry gifted to her by the groom’s family, while the groom wears an outfit gifted to him by the bride’s family.
The weddings in Maharashtra are thus filled with joy and contentment, complete with the blessings of the elders and the heartfelt wishes of all those who attend to witness. The wedding planners in Maharashtra make them all the more fun and successful with all the top-notch services they offer.