Unique wedding rituals practised in India

When traditions get quirky

Culture

December 5, 2019

/ By / Kolkata

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Weddings in India is an emotional affair with family and friends coming together for three-four days to have great fun with the various rituals and traditions. Many of these traditions are quite unique and weird which are still in existence till today.

India is a multi-cultural land with a mixture of communities co-existing in the same space. Indian celebrations are always colourful with so many diverse culture and religions, so it is needless to say that Indian weddings are also an eventful occasion. And as we know weddings are made up of a lot of rituals, Indian weddings for different communities have their unique traditions which define their celebration. Here are a few such quirky and unusual rituals which are still followed:

Sudden decision to be an ascetic

In Tamil weddings, mostly in Tamil Brahmin families, here is a ritual where the groom for a moment pretends to change his mind before getting married and decide to be a sanyasi (ascetic)! The ritual follows that the father of the bride will need to convince the groom to stay and marry his daughter. This ritual is known as Kashi Yatra (journey to Kashi) and the groom is provided with only bare essentials like a walking stick or umbrella for his journey.

Welcoming with tomatoes

While La Tomatina is a festival celebrated in Spain every year, in certain parts of the north-Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the groom and his wedding party are welcomed by hurling tomatoes at them! Normally even in India, the wedding party is mostly welcomed with flowers, but in these small towns, it is believed that if the marriage starts on such an unfortunate and weird or strange note, then it will ensure that the relationship will end up to be a tale of true, deep and joyous love. How this transformation happens, no one has a clue.

Mothers not allowed

In a traditional Bengali wedding, the mothers of the bride or the groom don’t attend the wedding ceremony. It is a belief that if the mother watches the proceedings of the wedding, it will bring bad luck to the couple! Apparently the logic behind this tradition is that the mother loves them so much that she may be saddened on seeing them expressing feelings for some other person! While it has seen a change with the mothers travelling with the wedding party, but they still don’t attend the ceremony.

Pulling the groom’s nose

A groom in the west-Indian state of Gujarat needs to be prepared to have his nose pulled by his mother-in-law. After the grand welcome given to him with aarti and sweets, the mother-in-law mandatorily pulls the groom’s nose. The significance of the ritual locally known as Ponkvu or Ponkhana signifies that the message that the groom has come to their house to marry their daughter and so needs to be humble and grateful.

It’s a fishy affair

In the north-east Indian state of Manipur, a traditional wedding has a ritual called Nga Thaba where ladies from the bride’s and groom’s side, release two fishes in a pond. The letting of the fishes into the pond at the same time is symbolic of the start of the newlyweds’ married life. And it is considered as a good sign, if the fishes move together.

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