There is more to Punjabi weddings than music, dancing, and Patiala pegs. However, a Punjabi wedding involves multiple rituals.
We have provided a comprehensive list of the Punjabi wedding rituals so that you will know what to expect the next time you attend one.
Listed below are all the exciting Punjabi wedding day rituals in the Punjabi culture.
The bride and groom each have a mouli, or religious thread, tied around their right hand at their respective homes. This ritual is performed early on the wedding day. It is for the good luck charm.
The Vatnaa ritual is a.k.a. the Haldi ritual. A paste of turmeric and mustard oil is put on the bride and the groom to help them look radiant for the big day.
In the Gharoli ritual, the bride's family member (primarily female) visits the nearest Gurudwara and returns with a pot (Gharoli) of water. After the Vatna (Haldi), the bride will bathe in this water as she prepares for her wedding. After that, the bride gets dressed for the wedding.
The Chooda, or set of red bangles, is a wedding gift given to the bride by her maternal uncle (Mama). Mama soaks the bangles in milk and rose petals to cleanse them and then helps the bride put them on.
But the bangles are quickly hidden under a white cloth so the bride won't see them. It is said that looking at bangles before a ceremony is bad luck. After this, the bride's other relatives attach the Kalire to her Chooda.
As the wedding ceremony begins, the groom and his family gather for an Ardas (pooja). During this Ardas, the priest blesses the Sehra (a headgear that covers his face), which is then placed on the groom's turban by an elder male relative.
The groom traditionally leads the baraat (wedding procession) on a horse (or a mare), followed by his family and friends, who dance at the wedding venue. The mare is dressed and given a mixture of chickpeas and jaggery before the groom starts the journey.
The bride's family performs an aarti ceremony for the groom as he and his Baaraatis show up at the wedding venue. Following this, all members of the groom's family will meet their equivalents in the bride's family. For instance, the groom's brother might meet the bride's brother.
The ritual occurs during the daytime at the Gurdwara. The priest in charge of the wedding reads the four Lavan hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Book).
After the first hymn is recited, the groom leads the bride on a slow clockwise walk around the Guru Granth Sahib. The Lavan Pheras is done a total of four times.
The wedding ceremony in Punjabi culture ends with the Vidaai ceremony. It's an emotional ritual that means it's time for the bride to leave her parent's house. The bride then throws rice over her shoulder to express her gratitude to her family.