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Wedding » Indian-weddings » Gujarati-weddings-070108
 
Grand Gujarati weddings Grand Gujarati weddings
Where progressive minds meet traditions
 

The Gujarati community reflects unbounded enthusiasm in the affairs of matrimonial alliance. Their weddings are organised on a grand scale and their rituals are very colourful. It is important to note that like all Indian communities, there maybe a slight differentiation in matrimonials and rituals performed amongst different Gujarati sects like the Gujarati Patels and Gujarati Naagar Brahmins. However, the difference is negligible.

It is interesting to note that unlike most Indian communities where dowry plays a vital role, the Gujaratis have proved to be quite progressive. In case of the Naagar Brahmins, their girls are often married off with no expectations of wealth from the in-laws side. This is called kanku-kanya, meaning that the bride is welcome only with a vermilion mark on her forehead.

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Pre-wedding rituals

Chandlo Maatli
The chandlo (applying the vermilion mark on the forehead) announces the acceptance of the alliance between the two families. The bride's father and four other male members from her family visit the groom carrying auspicious items and the bride's father applies the chandlo on the groom's forehead and gives him a shagun (a blessing symbolised by a token sum of money).
An astrologer is consulted and the wedding date is fixed.

Ganesh Sthapan / Ganesh Matli
The Ganesh puja signals the start of all the festivities. A small family function is arranged wherein the priest invokes the blessings of Lord Ganesha. The puja is performed in both homes by the paternal aunts who receive lavish gifts.

Mehendi
This is an intimate gathering of the bride's female relatives and close friends two days before the wedding. While the mehendi (henna) is applied in fine patterns on the palms and feet of the bride, songs specific to the occasion are sung and lunch is served.

Garba & dandia raas
On the evening of the mehendi, family and friends gather together dressed in traditional finery and sing and dance to the beat of the dhol (drum). The women form a circle to dance the garba and the men join in later in an energetic dandia raas, a rhythmic dance performed with sticks or dandias. The garba is normally held after 8 p.m. until midnight.

Mandva Mahurat & Griha Shanti
This ceremony bears a deep religious significance because the parents of the couple seek the blessings of Mother Earth and ask permission to commence with the digging of the soil to erect the mandva or mandap (platform erected for the wedding rites covered with a canopy). Griha Shanti, a ceremony conducted to seek the blessings of all the nine planets, immediately follows the mandva mahurat. This is carried out in the respective home of the bride and the groom.
 

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