Kem Cho? Majja ma? Gujarat! – a land of colors, trade and traditions! The sweetness of Gujarati people, the richness of their delectable vegetarian cuisine and the hand woven exquisite Patola sarees – all can be experienced in fun filled Gujarati wedding.
The traditional Gujarati wedding is a roller coaster ride of three or four days, replete with customs but still enjoyable. Traditional Dhoti Kurta in radiant colors with a Bandhni dupatta and Pagdi, gorgeous Chaniya Cholis and Panetar sarees...you know it's a Gujarati Wedding when you see a palette of colors everywhere. Many pre-wedding and pre-engagements rituals are carried before the union is formally announced within the community. So let’s dive in the colorful world of Gujarati weddings
It’s all started with Chandlo Maatli! 'Chandlo' is a Gujarati word which means red vermillion dot on the head and Maatli means money. Bride's male family memebers visit groom's family and her father applies tika aka Chandlo on the forehead of male members of groom’s family. The groom is presented with some token money aka Maatli as a sign of good omen. The formal union or 'Rishta' is then considered acceptable by both the families and announcement is made in the community. Thus begin the long string of celebration of fun filled Gujarati Wedding!
The tradition of Gol dhana is similar to the ‘Roka’ tradition of northern India. Gol means jaggery and Dhana means coriander seeds. The ceremony takes place at the groom’s house where the bride and groom exchange rings. Coriander seeds and jaggery is then distributed among the guest as a sign of divine blessings and good omen. The ceremonies of Gol Dhana and Chandlo Maatli are generally conducted on the same day itself.
Mehandi ceremony takes place two or three days prior to the wedding. The beautiful intricate designs of henna is applied on bride’s hands and sometimes even on her feet. Mehandi is an integral part of Gujarati wedding. Generally women folks of both the families take part in this ritual which involves lots of dancing and Music.
Graba Nights or Sangeet Sandhya is another fun-filled event unique to Gujarati weddings. Instead of traditional Sangeet ceremony like north India, Gujarati weddings have Garba nights. It usually takes place on the eve of the wedding day. The groom and his family come to the bride’s house for Garba night along with friends and relatives. From Garba to Dandiya and modern pop songs, all can be found on Garba nights! The celebration of Garba night can last way up till mid night. The best way to enjoy it is with Dhokla and piping hot fafda!
Very similar to Marwari tradition of ‘Mahira Dastoor’, the ritual of Mosadu involves a visit from bride’s maternal family headed by her ‘mama’ – maternal uncle. The maternal relatives of bride would gift her with sarees, jewelry, Bengals and sweets etc.
This ritual of Grah Shanti takes place at both the households. This is basically a pooja offered to Lord Ganesha where parents from both the sides pray for removing any obstacles in their children’s wedding. The Pooja is also offer to Mother Earth before the construction of ‘Mandap’- the venue of the wedding. This ceremony is known as ‘Thambhali Poojan’ which is considered the part of Grah Shanti ritual.
The ceremony of Grah Shanti and Mosadu is followed by the ritual of Pithi, similar to the north Indian ‘Haldi’ ceremony that involves applying turmeric paste on a Bride’s face but bit different. Instead of just turmeric paste, a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, rose water and perfume is applied on bride’s face, feet and hands. It’s more associated with bride side but not unusual for grooms as well. The ceremony is generally started by ‘Kaki’ or paternal aunt of the bride by applying the paste on her cheeks.
Now that you have learned all about the pre-wedding festivities of Gujaati wedding, are you excited to attain one? Do let us know!