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Maratha Matrimony Traditions & Rituals That You Should Know

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Maratha Matrimony Traditions & Rituals That You Should Know

Maratha Matrimony is possibly the most straightforward and understated in the entire country. There are fewer pre-wedding ceremonies with spiritual importance, and the wedding traditions reflect Maharashtrian culture’s essential principles. Maratha matrimony is vibrant and full of exciting customs that guarantee to liven up the occasion.

Prewedding Rituals

Following are the most common pre-wedding ceremonies in the Maratha matrimony.

Sakhar Puda

Sakhar Puda is one of the initial ceremonies that kickstart the Maratha matrimony process. It’s similar to a traditional engagement ceremony. Usually, it happens a few days before the wedding. As a sign of welcoming the bride to the family, the groom’s mother will give the bride a saree, jewellery, and a packet of sugar called Sakhar Puda.

Muhurt Karane

The family priest determines the exact day and hour of the wedding. After that, the wedding preparations begin in both households by asking five married ladies, or ‘Suhasanie’. The ladies pound turmeric or halkund in an iron pestle tied with mango leaves for later usage. They prepare papads and Sandage (pulses soaked and ground, mixed with spices and dried in the sun). Following these rituals, the bride’s side would sometimes organise a rukhvat — an exhibition of ornamental and culinary items made by the bride.

Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are usually made from both sides months or weeks before the wedding day. It is tradition to offer the first invitation to Lord Ganesha as a symbolic plea for his divine presence on an auspicious day.

Kelvan

A few days before the wedding, both the bride’s and groom’s families do a puja for the family god. It is the Kelvan ritual, and the presence of respective relatives and friends is mandatory. 

Halad Chadavane

This ritual takes place on the day before the wedding. The same five Suhasinis use the turmeric pound at the Muhurt Karane ritual. After that, they’ll apply turmeric paste on the bride’s head, shoulders, hands, and feet using mango leaves. The same thing happens to the groom as well. The ritual begins at the groom’s home, and they’ll give the leftover turmeric paste to the bride’s home. The people from the bride’s home will apply the turmeric paste to her.

Wedding Rituals

Following are the most common pre-wedding ceremonies in the Maratha matrimony.

Sankalp & Ganesh Puja

Previously held the day before the wedding, the Sankalp ceremony now takes place on the wedding day itself. Both the bride’s and groom’s parents announce the marriage in their separate locations. A priest is present to witness this.

Afterwards, a pooja happens on the wedding day morning for Lord Ganesha, the remover of all impediments. They’ll request his blessings for the smooth completion of the wedding. 

Gowrihar Puja

The installation of the Muhurta Patra to measure time marks the start of the wedding ceremony, the auspicious moment of the marriage. The bride, dressed in a traditional yellow or green saree with a half-moon painted on her forehead (for luck), worships Goddess Parvati, the female deity of marital happiness. 

Wedding

The bride is led to the mandap by her maternal uncle when the auspicious hour approaches. Both bride and groom will come to the mandap, where they’ll separate the couple with an antarpat (a silk barrier between the pair). Then they’ll remove the antarpat after reciting mantras. 

The bride and groom exchange garlands and go seven times around the holy fire (Saat pheras or Saptapadi).

Kanyadan or Phirawne

The bride’s father then hands his daughter to the groom to begin a life of Dharma, Artha, and the Kama. After that, the bride requests that he swear to love and honour her. The bride’s parents view the pair as Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi’s avatars. Kankan bandhane is a ritual in which the couple attaches a piece of turmeric or halkund to each other’s hands with a thread.

Post-wedding Rituals

Following are the most common pre-wedding ceremonies in the Maratha matrimony.

Grihapravesh

At the groom’s residence, the boy’s mother greets the couple at the door and washes their feet with milk and water before performing an Aarti. The bride then extends her right foot and tips a rice-filled cup over. At this point, they consider the bride as an embodiment of Lakshmi, the Goddess of riches. And pouring the grains within the marital home is thought to bring prosperity and fortune to the family.

The bride then puts her feet in a watery kumkum paste. After that, she’ll set her foot on a white sheet in front of her. They see this as the steps of Goddess Lakshmi.

Varat

Following the end of the wedding rituals, the bride bids farewell to her family and reaches her husband’s house. During the Gaurihar Puja, the groom picks up the silver idol of Devi Parvati. The Varat is the parade that transports the bride from her father’s home to her husband’s home.

Reception

Last but not least, they’ll host a reception party in which the newlywed couple meets and greets all relatives and friends. The bride wears a saree and jewellery given to her by the groom’s family. Meanwhile, the groom wears the dress given to him by the bride’s family.

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