India is home to diverse cultures and as a result there are diverse marriage rituals in India. Different marriage rituals are something that we can all picture like the differences we may see from a catholic wedding and a Hindu wedding. But the Indian population is so diverse that there are different Hindu Weddings!
But the most baffling thing of them all is the fact that these weddings have certain customs unique to them. Read on to find out the incredible marriage customs in incredible India!
Stealing the Groomâ€™s Sandals
In some northern parts of India, stealing the groomâ€™s sandal or footwear is a part of the marriage customs. When the groom enters the dais, he must remove his footwear. At this time, the brideâ€™s relatives make a beeline for his sandals and steal it. The groom cannot leave the dais without his footwear and as a result must pay the brideâ€™s house with money, gold or silver trinkets. In some places however, things are taken a step further. The groomâ€™s house guards the sandals while the brideâ€™s house tries to steal it! Obviously its war!
Groomâ€™s change of mind
Imagine a day when everything is set and as the groom enters the wedding hall he has a change of mind and decides not to get married! Heartbreaking? Soul crushing? Well, this isÂ a ritual performed in Tamil Brahmin weddings called Kashiyatra. A Brahminâ€™s life is mainly divided into four phases. They are, Brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and Sanyasa. In order to become a Grihastha the groom must marry. But eventually according to the Vedas he must go for Vanaprastha which is a hermit stage. So the groom supposedly sees no point in the marriage and decides to walk away. But then the brideâ€™s father must cajole him back to the dais and convince him to change his mind.
Things like an umbrella, sandals and other accessories are used during the ritual. Talk about Drama!
The fish that decides the fate!
In Manipuri weddings, fishes are used to predict the fate of the marriage. During the marriage a person from the brideâ€™s side and a person from the groomâ€™s side release two fishes into a nearby pond. If the fishes swim side by side then it is considered a good omen. And if they donâ€™t? Oh wellâ€¦
Potatoes and tomatoes! And a lot of cussing!
We are all familiar with the scene where the groom and his relatives are welcomed with flowers being showered on them and warm notes of welcome are said from the brideâ€™s side. But the folks of Uttar Pradesh do the exact opposite. When the groom and his family enter, the brideâ€™s side throws potatoes and tomatoes at them! Ouch! As if this wasnâ€™t enough, there follows a lot of cussing by the brideâ€™s side!
Why? They believe that a relationship that starts on a bad note ends with love.
If you say so!
Nope. This isnâ€™t another save the trees movement! Indians can get really superstitious and this superstition can make them do weird things. Some women are considered to be Mangliks. This is by virtue of their time of birth and a lot of astrological calculations. A Manglik woman is said to cause the death of her first husband. So she first marries a tree. The tree is destroyed and she marries the real groom saving his life!
Pile of pots on the brideâ€™s head
In Bihar, an interesting ritual is performed using a pile of earthen pots. They are stacked on the brideâ€™s head by the mother in law and then the brie has to bend to take the mother in lawâ€™s blessings. The number of pots the bride can handle indicates her capability to manage the house.
Nope! Not in a bachelor party! In a ritual called Saanth in Sindhi weddings, an ankle ring is put around the bride and groomâ€™s foot before the marriage. The seven married women pour oil over the coupleâ€™s heads. Then they are made to wear new shoes and smash an earthen lamp with their feet. As if this doesnâ€™t sound crazy enough, the brideâ€™s house strips the groom off clothing to ward off any evil eye!
Procession with flags
Other than national parades, you can see wedding parades in Himachal Pradesh that uses flags. Before the marriage the procession starts with a white flag indicating the groomâ€™s house followed by a red flag indicating the brideâ€™s house. But after marriage the red flag takes lead followed by a red palanquin of the bride, a white palanquin of the groom and the white flag in the end.