Indians are known for their pomp and an incomparable razmattazz that very much explains their need for extravagance. When it comes to celebrations, no one can beat the ceremonious opulence that we indulge in only to show off our riches. A wedding is the most ornate splurge of anyone’s life and if you are an Indian, it has to be excessively flamboyant. India is a home to a number of religious sects that reside together as one nation. Every sect has its unique traditions and customs that individuate them from the others. Marriage holds the same ecstatic value for each and every sect of our society. Nonetheless, the rituals surrounding the wedding are quite distinct in style. More than the wedding, it is the rituals followed that strengthen the bond and make the ceremony meaningful. Every custom has its own relevance! While some of them bring tears in the eyes, the others evoke fun and laughter owing to their unusuality. So taking the fun part forward, today I am going to bring in to your knowledge some of the most bizarre customs of marriage that are religiously followed by the different sects of India. Here we go:
1. Hindu Weddings
One of the most unusual wedding ritual carried out by the Hindus is that of marrying the bride to a tree! Yes, a tree! Most Hindus believe that a woman born as a Manglik (an astrological combination of Mars and Saturn both under the 7th house) is cursed and can cause her husband’s death. Therefore, in order to ward off this curse, she is married to a tree first, which is later on destroyed to break the curse.
Other interesting rituals include stealing and hiding the groom’s shoes by the bride’s sisters. The groom is supposed to pay an amount in order to get the shoes back. Usually, he has to come prepared with cash, gold or silver trinkets etc.
2. Bihari Wedding
This is a very curious post-wedding ritual wherein the newly wed bride is supposed to grapple earthern pots on her head. The already nervous bride is ladened with a huge set of pots by her mother-in-law, which she is supposed to balance while she bows down to take blessings from the elders. The number of pots she manages to balance are an indicator of her skills to maintain a balance in the family!
3. Sindhi Wedding
This is one of the strangest ritual one can come across in India. A ritual called Saanth is performed before the wedding wherein an anklet is tied on the right foot of the bride and the groom by a priest. Seven married women then pour oil on their head, after which both of them are supposed to wear a new shoe and break an earthen lamp with it. Not only this, the groom’s relatives then tear off his clothes to ward off the evil eye. All this is supposed to be a good omen for the marriage.
4. Tamil Brahmin Weddings
For most of us, a groom refusing to marry right before the wedding is the scariest thing possible. But this is exactly how the Tamil-Brahmins marry! Confused? In a Tamil wedding, right before entering the mandap, the groom has a change a of mind and decides to follow asceticism. The father of the bride has to perform a ritual called “Kasi Yaatrai” wherein he reaches out to the groom and tries to convince him to take up family life. Unusual things like an Umbrella, Sandals and Hand-fans are used to woo him back.
5. Manipuri Weddings
During a Manipuri Wedding, a woman from the groom’s side and the other from the bride’s side releases a Taki fish in a pond. It is considered to be a good omen only if the fishes move side by side in the water.
6. Tribal weddings in Uttar Pradesh
A small town called Sarsaul performs a candidly funny ritual at the wedding. Here the groom and the baraat are welcomed by potatoes and tomatoes instead of flowers and aarti. They are also greeted by a round of abuses as an age-old tradition which is based on a belief that a relationship that begins on a bad note always culminates in love.
7. Kumaoni Weddings
Himachali weddings are characterized by the use of white and red flags. The marriage procession of the groom is traditionally led by a white flag representing the groom and a red flag at the end representing the bride. After the wedding ceremony, the red flag takes the lead followed by a red palanquin of the bride,a white one of the groom and a white flag at the end of the procession.
8. Ancient Tribal Wedding
Some ancient tribes follow abduction as a ritual. The man is supposed to carry away his lady on the back and keep her hidden for an year. After which, a normal ceremony is carried out with the consent of the bride’s family.
Usual or unusual, these rituals are a good way of being connected with our roots. For a fact, Indian weddings can never be complete without carrying out age-old traditions and customs!
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