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The Marwaris are supposed to be a very high income group of people and their marriages are occasions where they splurge the resources either for dresses or jewelry and it is a common sight to see both the bride and the groom decked from head to toe and truly enjoying a once in a life time day. The wedding is preceded by the engagement which is also a very high profile affair in general but much smaller than their marriages.
Applying Tikha to the Groom
The engagement is a close family affair and only men are part of this celebration. Still most of the traditional Marwari families do not bring the women of their family to this ceremony. The brother of the bride applies the tikha or the tilak of kumkum on the forehead of his would be brother in law. This marks that the two groups are a family now and the bride groom is presented with many gifts that include a dress, sweets and a sword.
Installation of the Ganesha
This is the Ganesh Sthapana or the installation of a statue of Ganesh who is considered to the god who prevents all obstacles. This is done in the homes of the bride and groom individually. The respective parents do this ritual and pray for the wellbeing and long marital life of their children.
Applying of Turmeric Paste – Pithi Dastoor
This is a common ritual in most north Indian weddings and finds its place in the Marwari wedding as such. This is performed one or two days before the wedding and is done individually for the bride by the women and for the bridegroom by the men. The bride’s is a more extensive ritual and takes longer time. Once this is done, the bride or the groom is generally refrained from leaving the house until the marriage is solemnized.
Rituals Performed in Marwari Wedding
Arrival of the Groom on the Horse
On the day of the marriage, the groom along with the members of his Baarat arrives at the marriage venue. The bridegroom is attired in traditional Marwari costume complete with a head gear which has a string of pearls or flowers attached to it and arrive on a horse. The head gear of the bridegroom is traditionally placed by the sister’s husband of the groom. When the groom arrives, the women from the family of the bride arrive to welcome him with lamps lit and offer prayers and welcome him inside.
The Marriage -Kanyadan
The bride and groom are made to sit next to each other and the father of the bride holds her hand and gives the hand to the groom indicating a change in guard in the responsibility of the bride. The bridegroom accepts the hand of the bride in a way to assure the father that he would take good care of his daughter. After this the tying of the mangal sutra happens and the bridegroom applies the sindoor on the bride’s forehead. After this, the couple moves around the holy fire seven times with the dupattas of their dresses tied indicating unity to live through all the hassles in life.
After this, the bride is made to put her feet on the stone that is used to grind and this is to denote that the bride is ready to face all the challenges of the life and then the bride’s brothers and the couple offer poha or puffed rice in the holy fire.
Seeking Blessing from Elders
A common ritual in most weddings is to take the blessings of the elders from both sides of the family. The couple falls at the feet of the elders and take their wishes for a long, happy and blissful married life where they stand through each other through good and bad times.
Leaving for the New Home
The most emotional part of the Marwari wedding after all the fun and happiness is the part where the bride leaves behind her home and goes with her husband and his relatives to start a new life altogether. Almost all of the relatives are teary eyed as the bride leaves her father, mother, sisters, brothers and all other members with whom she has spent her entire life and looks forward to a new life with her new home and family. The ceremony of Bidaai of the bride completes the Marwari wedding.