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Bhaat

Written By: Ruchi - Feb• 01•15

This is a ceremony in which mother’s brother aka Mama, brings gifts for bride/groom. This ceremony takes place on both sides. This ceremony is done before the wedding day because some of the gift items from this ceremony are worn by the bride early morning on the wedding day.

Mother doing Tika to Mama
How is it performed

Traditionally a nice place is arranged for the family members of Mama to stay. In old days, the family of groom/bride used to go to Mama’s place to invite them for Bhaat. They used to sing songs and Mama used to give sarees to all the ladies who came. Now the family member of groom/bride just invite Mama for Bhaat while they are already there.

There are certain things that are necessary to be given in Bhaat like bride’s nose ring, toe rings (3 pairs), anklets, bride’s saree, sister’s saree and father’s clothes. Brother covers the sister with her saree during Bhaat. The real Mama does all this. The cousin Mamas give some money in the tilak thali.
On an inside door to the main room, first the choukhat is decorated with rangoli made of wheat flour. Then a low stool (patra) is placed on this rangoli. Mama-Mami stand on this stool. Mother does Aarti of Mama and Mami. Then Mother performs Tilak with 4 laddoos, coconut and some money. Then Mother performs Tilak to all their kids with 4 laddoos and coconut each. Brother gives all the gifts as described above to sister at this time. Then Mother performs Tilak for other brothers.

After Tilak, Mama is taken inside along with their families. At this time Father’s Sister aka Bua stands there with water jug. Mama puts money in that. Mama’s family is served sweets and savories. At this time Mama gives Milni to all the adults of Father’s side.

Kangana

Written By: Ruchi - Feb• 01•15

Early morning on the day of the wedding, bride wears the toe nails brought by her Mama. Then Kangna is tied in her left hand. Kangna is basically kalava, which is tied around the hand. Then seven married women tie seven knots in the thread, one knot each. The mother gives 4 laddoos each to each of the women. Kangna is tied to Groom too. All this happens in the same room where most other ceremonies are performed. Both bride and groom need to be fasting for this ceremony, which is not a problem because this happens early in the morning.

Kangana
These days a lot of readymade kangana threads are available in the market like above. If that’s not available, the plain kalava thread can be used too.
Kangana
How is it performed
After the wedding, both bride and groom take turns to open the knots in each others’ kangana. The belief is that whosoever is able to open more knots, will have the upper hand in the marital life. Of course these are just various fun games to break the ice between the two. Nowadays, since they already know each other well, it is just a fun activity.

Wedding Mehndi

Written By: Ruchi - Feb• 01•15

The day before the wedding, on both sides the mehndi ceremony takes place.

Mehndi
How is it performed

Mehndi is supposed to be auspicious in all Indian celebrations, especially a wedding. Bride’s palms and feet are decorated with Mehndi and the other girls in the family also put mehndi on their hands. It is customary to put a little bit of mehndi in groom’s hands too.

Of course music and dance are part of all ceremonies but there is no formal rule about it.

Ladies Sangeet

Written By: Ruchi - Feb• 01•15

No Indian ceremony is complete without dance and music. Ladies Sangeet is the celebration of the upcoming wedding, in which they sing songs for the bride and the groom.

How is it performed

Traditionally, all the women in the family or neighborhood gather two three days before the wedding and sing the wedding songs and dance on it. Dholak is an essential part of this evening.

Sangeet
Nowadays, instead of singing songs, they just play the bollywood music and dance on it. Towards the end, men are also invited and everyone is served snacks and drinks.

Sagai

Written By: Ruchi - Nov• 26•14

Traditionally Sagai is held a few months before the wedding but these days it takes place around the wedding itself because relatives don’t like to come too many times from far away. Sagai is performed at a place arranged by groom’s family. Groom’s family takes care of all the arrangements like lunch/dinner/snacks depending on the time of the ceremony. Traditionally from bride’s side, only bride’s Chacha, brother and kids go for the ceremony but nowadays the whole of bride’s family goes.

How is it performed

Bride’s family takes with them whatever gifts they want to give to the new couple including any furniture. Tradition is to also give at least 11 thaal (big steel plates) and 1 paraat (a vessel to knead the dough) filled with sweets and boondi laddus but nowadays since these big vessels are not used in a modern kitchen people avoid it and the sweets are packed in boxes since that’s more convenient. At least 11 kg of sweets and 20 kg of laddus are given along with all sorts of dry fruits. Clothes for groom, groom’s father and groom’s younger siblings are also given. It’s also a tradition to give some toys for toddlers.

Gifts from Bride's side
Bride’s brother performs Tilak to groom with roli, rice, coconut and sweets. Gifts like gold chain, watch, ring, cash etc. are also given at this time.
Tilak
Groom’s family sends back at least 4 sarees, jewelry as per ones desire and a makeup kit for the bride. Clothes for younger siblings and sweets are also sent back for the bride’s family.

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