Apr . 25 . 2016
How a Bengali Wedding is Unmatched and a Unique Festivity?

A Bengali wedding ceremony is a combination of unique traditions and rituals from customs to traditions and food to catering, every part is a celebration

A Bengali wedding ceremony is unmatched in its unique traditions and festivity. Although many customs have infused into the traditional ceremony based on regional norms, but still there are some traditions without which the ceremony is incomplete.

The wedding usually extends for several days so two families have ample time to bond with each other during the exciting pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding rituals.

Pre-wedding rituals

Groom’s family and close relatives visit bride’s place along with ornaments, henna, turmeric paste and other gifts. The pre-wedding rituals start by remembering deceased ancestors of both bride and groom. Elders of family bless the couple with husked rice and trefoil. Turmeric is applied on bride’s body by married women of the family which gives bride’s skin a glowing look. Afterwards, henna is applied on hands and feet. Bride’s family performs the same ritual at groom’s house.

Bengali Wedding Rituals

Bengali Wedding Rituals

On the day of wedding, seven married women make the bride wear red and white bangles. She is bathed before wearing her wedding dress and the adorned with beautiful jewelry, head-crown and traditional sandalwood paste.

Wedding rituals

Groom along with his family, dressed up in rich attire, go to bride’s house in the form of a procession where they are cheerfully welcomed with the auspicious sound of conch shells and ululation. Turmoil and husked rice are showered over the guests and later they are served with sweets and drinks.

Baran Dala (a plate) is touched to groom’s forehead then to the ground and then again to the forehead. After that he is escorted to the mandap where the wedding takes place. Mandap is beautifully decorated with flowers, lights and two banana trees. Banana trees are a symbol for continuation of race as they produce large quantity of fruit at a time.

Baran Dala

Baran Dala

Saat Paak is a ritual that interests everyone the most. The bride is not allowed to see her groom yet and has to cover her eyes with betel leaves. She is seated on a wooden plank and lifted by her brothers. The bride is circled around the groom in this seated position hiding her face. When seven rounds are completed, bride and groom exchange garlands and they can finally see each other. This ritual signifies union of the couple.

Bengali Pre Wedding Rituals

Bengali Pre Wedding Rituals

The couple is seated in front of the holy fire while a priest chants mantras. Then they circle around the holy fire seven times. After being seated again the groom and bride together offer puffed rice in the holy fire and the groom marks bride’s hair with Sindoor. It is a symbol of being a married woman. Bride’s family says her final goodbyes with tears in eyes and the bride goes to groom’s house.

Post-wedding rituals

Bou Baran is a ceremony for the bride, welcoming her as a new family member. The bride soaks her feet in a mixture of milk, red dye and leaves at the door step and then steps into the house leaving footprints as she walks.

Post Wedding Rituals

Post Wedding Rituals

A welcome dinner is arranged for the couple and the bride makes a special rice dish, Bahu Bhaat and serves to all family members. The married couple visit mandap and offer special prayers to the Sun god.

This article is written by David Carr of Grand Sapphire, a wedding venue in London that specializes in Bengali weddings.

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