Search Indian Maps, Pincodes, Local Info and more...
Buddhist customs have been quite liberal in their dictates about the concept of marriage. It is not a binding for people of this sect to get married. According to the beliefs in this religion, marriage is a choice and not a rule. It is a civil concept, where not rules and regulations have been laid down regarding marriages. Even though there is not encouragement or discouragement about Buddhist wedding, people are bound by certain disciplines in the act of marriage. For this reason, Buddhist wedding is considered to be a social occasion, rather than a religious ceremony. But, it specifies that marriages should be based on personal admirations and mutual respects. To consecrate the marriage, some Buddhist venues have been defined. Still, the format of marriage is up to the couples to choose without any restrictions in conduct, attire and but there are certain rules which need to be followed in Buddhist wedding, if people are aiming to get married in the Buddhist traditions.
Wedding Rituals under Buddhist Wedding
Attire during the wedding should be simple, but grooms can put on suits. Brides are required to dress in a disciplined manner without much revealing. Guests in the Buddhist wedding can also wear simple dresses or suits. This can be changed according to the demands of the venue, such as in temples or wedding halls.
Bridal wear is made of brocade called Bhaku. It is similar to a sarong but is of full length. It is worn with a sleeved blouse called Hanju, which is designed from Chinese silk. A special coat and a scarf are also worn by the bride. Jewellery worn by the bride is made up of special large and semiprecious stones. Traditionally, these are worn on the neck or over the head. Gold bracelets can be worn in the arms. Special hats and shoes can be worn in some customs.
Groom is supposed to wear a Bhaku with sleeves. This is a dress that falls just above the ankles. It is worn with a waistcoat called Lajha which adds to the charm of the Buddhist Groomâ€™s attire. A sash around the waist and the cap made of brocade is also worn.
Match making is an integral part of the Buddhist wedding. Without this concept, there cannot be any progress in the supposed marriage between the boy and girl. To initiate the process of matchmaking, the boy has to choose a girl of his or his familyâ€™s choice. Then, a family friend is sent to the girlâ€™s house with wine or other alcohol bottle. White silk scarf is also taken along, this step being taken to judge the interest of the girlâ€™s parents.
Rituals before the Buddhist Wedding
When the prospective bride and groom are selected by the Khachang method, taking the help of a silk scarf or Khada, the meeting between the two families is finalised. Horoscopes are matched by the two families and the date of engagement is fixed. As per the Buddhist wedding traditions, the boy gifts something to the girl and this could be anything as per the capability of the boy or his family. During this occasion, the attire of the bride and groom is also decided.
Formal engagement ceremony is known as Nangchang, which is presided over by a Rimpochhe or Lama. There is a kind of get together between the boyâ€™s and girlâ€™s families, where important roles are played by the uncles, cousins, and other relatives. Food items are also brought in such occasions. Tsang, chicken and meat is given to the girlâ€™s mother, uncles, brothers and sisters. Again, the kikas or horoscopes are matched and a date for the marriage is finalised. As the engagement is over, the couple remain together in the brideâ€™s or groomâ€™s house.
Some of the fundamental rituals in the Buddhist wedding are common in most of the places. Before the Buddhist wedding, the groom enters into the temple, where the marriage would be solemnised, with 21 beads in hands, which is a representation of Buddha. Vows to be exchanged are to a large extent decided by the couples, but these are in accordance with the rules set down in Duties of Husband and Wife as per the Sigalovsa Sutta.
During the Buddhist wedding, vows are exchanged, along with optional criterion of exchanging rings. As soon as the vows are over, the couple gives thanks to the Buddha statue by lighting candles and incense. Monks chant various mantras, while marking the finishing of the rituals of Buddhist wedding.
Post wedding rituals in Buddhist wedding are not like other marriages, but there are receptions and songs and dance, somewhat like in Christian marriages. In many areas of India, where Buddhism is prevalent, song and dance is part and parcel of most of the rituals. So, it is not surprising that these also are held during Buddhist wedding. Folk dances and monastic ritual dances are prominently seen.
Dinner is quite lavish with meat and alcoholic drinks are quite common. Besides, there are other varieties of foods such as rice, some north Indian dishes, and local folk dishes. As a whole, Buddhist wedding dinners are done basically for enjoyment and the guests can remain enchanted about the different arrangements.