Rajasthani Marriage Rituals

India is popularly known as the land of cultures, the only place where you find unity in diversity. The country has 28 states with a number of languages and customs practiced in each region. The availability of variety in almost everything from food to clothes, religion to language, has helped in making the lives of the people more lively and interesting.

Among all the states, Rajasthan is a place which is popular for the prevalence of its colors and food. Rajasthani dance is also famous all over the world with the different and
Vibrant lifestyle these people have. Rajasthan is also famous for its forts, havellis, palaces which are the major source to attract a large number of tourists. The colors and the majesty of Rajasthani culture can be witnessed in a Rajasthani marriage.

The marriages of Rajasthan are directly proportional to the colorful, strong and vibrant nature of its natives. The wedding food of Rajasthan constitutes of mouth watering dishes like Gattee ki sabzi, Dall Bati Churma, Papad ki sabzi, missi roti, daal makhani, shahi kadi chawal, shahi paneer, moong ka halwa, motichoor ke ladoo and saunth ke ladoo. The Rajasthani bride and groom are dressed in their traditional manner with the bride wearing dark color mostly in red ghaghra- choli and the groom wearing kurta- pyjama of any color with a dupatta complementing the color of the grooms dress.

Following is a brief description of the common ceremonies practiced in Rajasthani matrimony:

Pre- marriage rituals:
Engagement: Engagement is the ceremony, which marks the beginning of the courtship period of the couple. In this the Rajasthani bride and groom exchanges rings between each other, accepting the bond formed for a life- time. The ceremony takes place in front of all the relatives and friends to seek their blessing followed by feast and celebrations.

Ganpati Sthapana: Blessing from the god of intelligence, Ganesh ji is taken by bringing his idol home and getting that placed the temple inside the house. The ceremony takes place at the house of both the parties i.e. bride and the groom.

Pithi Dastoor: In this ceremony, turmeric paste is applied on the hands and the feet of the bride and the groom. The ceremonies take place in their respective places, after which the Rajasthani bride and groom are not suppose to move out of their houses, till their matrimony ceremonies are complete.

Mehfils: This basically corresponds to the gathering of the Rajasthani bride and the grooms families in either of their houses, where they celebrate their bonding with taking part in the famous Ghoomar, Dance of Rajasthan. All the family members dance together, which is followed by a lavishing dinner.

Jnaeva Ceremony: In this ritual, the groom is made to wear a pious thread in the Havan or the pooja in front of the sacred fire, signifying that either the groom will enter the married life or will take renunciation from the materialistic world.

Palla Dastoor: The father of the groom visits the brides house with the wedding dress and jewelry for the bride.

Toran or Toranchar: On the day of the Rajasthani matrimony, the entrance of the brides house is decorated with colorful flowers and straws, which are hit by the groom to prevent his, would- be bride from the evils eye. This ceremony is called Toranchar.

Wedding Ceremonies:

Granthi Bandhan: The brides father gives away the responsibility of her daughter to the groom, called kanyadan, after the application of turmeric paste on the brides hand.

Paani Grahan: This is the ceremony, where the groom takes the responsibility of the bride by taking her hand into his, signifying the acceptance of the relation.

Phera Ceremony: The Rajasthani bride and groom take the seven circles around the sacred fire symbolizing their oath for being together for the next seven lives.

Satapadi: This is the ritual where both Rajasthani groom and bride takes seven steps towards the direction of the Sun God, signifying each others support in all walks of life, whether its good or bad, happiness or sorrow. From here onwards, they are declared husband and wives.

Bidai: After the completion of all the marriage ceremonies, bride moves towards the house of her husband leaving her maternal home to lead a new and happy married life.

Few useful links:
http://www.jeevansathi.com/
http://www.jeevansathi.com/matrimonials/rajasthani-matrimonial/