By Namrata Arora Last Updated:
Known as Anand Karaj, a Sikh wedding comprises many rituals and functions that usually go on for about a week. Unlike in Hindu marriages, where the pandit fixes an auspicious date for the wedding, a Sikh wedding does not follow such considerations. Instead, it takes place in the morning on a date mutually decided by the families of the bride and the groom. The couple takes pheras in a gurdwara in front of the holy Guru Granth Sahib.
Feeling wonderful already by reading just this much about the beautiful Sikh weddings? So, let us take you through all the pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding traditions of a Sikh wedding.
The Anand Karaj generally begins with the purchase of a set of four pieces of cloth that are used to cover the holy Guru Granth Sahib.
The bhaiji of the gurdwara applies tilak on the groom’s forehead and recites religious rhymes. Both the families give each other gifts, and the bride and the groom exchange rings.
After the engagement, the groom’s family (mostly female members) visit the bride’s house and the groom’s mother covers her future daughter-in-law’s head with a chunni. She also gives her gifts, jewellery and clothes. For good omen, the groom’s mother also applies a little mehendi on the bride’s palms.
This ritual is one of the most awaited ones in the lives of almost all Sikh and Punjabi girls. In this, the bride’s maternal uncle gets her red and white bangles on which golden coloured kalire are tied.
This tradition signifies that both the bride as well as the groom are not allowed to leave their respective houses before the wedding.
In this ceremony, a sacred red thread is tied on the bride’s left and the groom’s right hand, a few days prior to the wedding. This sacred thread is believed to protect the couple from bad omen.
Commonly known as the haldi ceremony in most Indian weddings, a paste made of turmeric, powdered barley and mustard oil is applied on the bride and the groom in the vatna ceremony.
This is yet another fun-filled function of a Sikh wedding. In this, the families of the bride and the groom organise either a combined get-together or separate ones for their close relatives and friends. Mehendi is applied on the hands of both the bride and the groom, and the female members of their families as well. Members of both the families also prepare dance gigs and present their performances on the day of the mehendi function.
In this ritual, holy water is brought from the gurdwara and the bride and the groom are supposed to bathe with this water. This water is brought by the sisters-in-law of the bride and the groom, in an earthen pot (gharoli).
In this ritual, the bride’s family welcomes the groom’s family with gifts or sagan. Sometimes, the relatives of both families also exchange garlands.
The actual wedding ceremony in Sikh weddings is not too elaborate. Both the families go to the gurdwara and attend the main kirtan (hymn-singing). The granthi (priest) in the gurdwara recites the ardaas (holy prayer of supplication). The couple then takes four pheras around the Guru Granth Sahib. The groom leads the pheras and carries a kirpan (sword) in his hand. They are then pronounced married and take the blessings of all elders. After this, karah prasad (sacramental sweet pudding) is distributed to the guests present in the Gurudwara.
This is the most emotional moment of the wedding, where the bride bids goodbye to her family. While bidding her farewell, the bride throws back a handful of puffed rice over her head, making wishes of prosperity and well-being for her parents and home.
A day after the wedding, the bride and the groom visit the bride’s home for the first time as a married couple. The bride’s family receives the couple with gifts and a scrumptious feast is prepared for the groom.
The beautiful rituals and ceremony of a Sikh wedding make it a really beautiful, fun-filled and colourful event. So, which one is your favourite ritual of the entire Sikh wedding? Do tell us in the comments section below!
A wedding is the most sacred ritual in India and every community or religion has its own traditions, ancient as well as modern, i.e., the sheer diversity that makes it even more special. Gujarat is the land of colours, riches, culture and food. Gujarati people are warm and hospitable, and this hospitalityRead More