Indian rituals and their hidden meanings

Dowry system:

Although dowry is a sin still this is a part of any marriage ritual. The bride’s parents have to give some or other thing to the groom, somewhere it is because of the demand and sometimes it is because of love. But actually, no one thinks that if two people are earning why they will need these things and if the bride is not earning, then in the groom’s house he doesn’t have any necessity then why he is getting married. So this ritual is definitely not good.

This is Funny because NO one knows Why this has to happen.

Bidaai/Vidaai/Giving Send off to bride :

Coming to this, the bride has to cry on her Bidaai no matter what! Nowadays girls have become so practical and logical, that they are excited to start their new journey of life and they don’t feel like crying. Then it is the problem because many people will ask why is she not crying! This is really a funny ritual as if your parents are emotional and you are not then this will feel a little odd. But In general, bride and her family do cry. Sometimes groom also cry as she’s become apart of his life from that moment.

Sindoor or Vermillion.
(applied as a dot on the forehead or in the parting of the hair of married Hindu women) :

Carrying a physiological significance not many know about, the application of sindoor by a married woman is a must. This is so because Sindoor is prepared by mixing turmeric-lime and the metal mercury. Due to its intrinsic properties, mercury, besides controlling blood pressure also activates sexual drive, one reason, why widows are not allowed to put sindoor.

Right Footed:

A commonly followed Hindu ritual, after the wedding ceremony the bride arrives at her husband’s home and is ceremonially ushered in by her mother‐in‐law.

The bride must take care to enter the threshold with her right foot first, which she uses to gently knock over a vessel filled to the brim with rice that has been placed there strategically in order to ensure good luck and plenty for her new family.

No Black and White
As these are considered colours of mourning, it is considered inauspicious to wear black or white to the Hindu wedding. Different shades of white are however quite popular today and many modern brides choose white lehengas or sarees with colourful borders and embellishments. Neither complete black nor complete white should be worn by the bride, groom or any attendees to Hindu weddings.

Handing the Knife:

Some Hindu families practise the custom of giving the bride a knife or some other sharp metal object to keep with her at all times from the time she gets engaged to the wedding day. This is to protect her from any unwanted male attention or advances and is a ritual about Indian wedding not many people know about. Sometimes both will be handed a knife each or only bride or only groom.

Hiding Groom’s footwear :

Being the most fun ritual, the sister-in-law hides the shoes of the groom and asks for a hefty ransom in return for the shoes on the day of the wedding. The friends and cousins of the groom try their best to find the shoes. A great deal of attention is focused on this event. As no groom would want to disappoint his bride’s sister on this day, the sister-in-law usually gets her price for, irrespective of the conclusion.

Deeper the colour:

An Indian bride applies henna or mehndi to her hands and feet before the wedding. The belief is that the deeper the final colour, the more she will be loved by her husband or some say, her mother‐in‐law.

She is also forbidden from doing any housework as long as the colour of the bridal mehndi remains on her hands, making the longevity of the henna all the more desirable. But in general, she do some housework or something.

Bride kicking rice filled vessel:

There is a practice of the bride entering the groom’s home for the first time in most of the Indian marriages. A vessel filled with rice or wheat (depending on what is the staple diet of the people) is placed at the doorstep in this particular ritual.

She enters the home after kicking the vessel with her right foot. The act in itself symbolizes the abundance and prosperity the bride is getting to the home she is entering, as right foot is considered sacred and auspicious. It is one of the most popular Hindu marriage facts and is followed with great significance.

Fishing the Ring:

This ceremony is vital in Telugu weddings (Telugu is my mother tongue). The couple is made to sit opposite to each other. The priest performing the ceremony would recite vedic shlokas. The couple would apply the paste on each other’s head. Cumin seeds have a slightly bitter taste and jaggery has a sweet taste. Both of these are ground together as a paste and they become inseparable. This signifies that the bride and the groom should be together and inseparable throughout the life’s sweet and bitter times. It is believed that, the couple interchange each other’s thoughts and destinies interlinking their lives, by applying the paste on each other’s heads.

Significance of Toe Rings

The significance of Toe Rings
Wearing toe rings is not just the significance of married women but there is science behind it. Normally toe rings are worn on the second toe. A particular nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. The uterus is strengthened when you wear the toe ring on this finger. Regulating the blood flow to the uterus and regularizing the menstrual cycle, it keeps a woman healthy. As Silver is a good conductor, it also absorbs polar energies from the earth and passes it to the body.

Significance of Bangles:

Bangles are such an important part of an Indian wedding. Normally, the wrist portion is in constant activation on any human. Also, the pulse beat in this portion is mostly checked for all sorts of ailments. Its constant friction increases the blood circulation level as the Bangles used by women are normally in the wrist part of one’s hand. Furthermore, the electricity passing out through the outer skin is again reverted to one’s own body because of the ring-shaped bangles, which has no ends to pass the energy outside but to send it back to the body.

Saptapadi:

The word, Saptapadi means “Seven steps”. After tying the knot, the newlywed couple take seven steps around the holy fire, that is called Saptapadi. After the seventh step, the couple legally become husband and wife. Each step has a different vow, which is read out by the priest before the couple becomes husband and wife.

Meaning of 1st step : food and nourishments

2nd : strength
3rd : prosperity
4th : family
5th : progeny/offspring/children
6th : Health
7th : Live a life of love, sacrifice, friendship and mutual trust.

Haldi ceremony

Haldi(Turmeric) ceremony:

Few positives of turmeric ceremony:

  1. Auspicious
    Turmeric is considered extremely auspicious for Hindu rituals. There’s a role for turmeric in every ritual as it signifies purity, fertility and good health.
  2. Divine Glow
    Turmeric is extremely good for the skin. It gives the skin a healthy glow and ensures the bride and the groom look fresh during the most important occasion of their lives. The beautification property of haldi makes the haldi ceremony an important ritual in Indian weddings.
  3. Relaxes the Mind
    Massaging the ubtan onto the skin relaxes the body and takes the mind off the tension. It also has an antioxidant called curcumin that acts as a mild counter to depression and anxiety which helps the bride and the groom stay calm for the wedding.
  4. Purifies the Body and Soul
    Turmeric is considered a cleanser and a purifier both literally and symbolically. As the bride and the groom take a step towards the new beginning, the haldi ceremony is a purifying ritual.
  5. Peace and Prosperity
    The colour yellow is indeed associated with new beginnings, peace and happiness. It is considered an auspicious colour after the colour red in Indian culture. In the ceremony, the bride and groom are made to wear yellow clothes to invite peace and prosperity in their married life.

Significance of three knots:

The couple will only be regarded as husband and wife once the groom ties the sacred thread around the bride’s neck, with exactly three knots. The groom only ties the first two knots, while his sister or anyone in similar relation ties the remaining one knot. However, in some instances, the groom ties all the three knots. These Three Knots have been interpreted in many ways. The meaning I find most relatable: the first knot symbolizes the union and commitment of the couple, the second the union and commitment of the two families and the third an assurance from the groom’s family to ensure the bride’s well-being.

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