A Day in the Life of Bengali Marriage

Marriage is a relationship that indicates mutual understanding, emotional dependency and companionship, which, however, means not only the union of two individuals but also to those near and dear ones. The Bengali community is made up of people who are brilliant with joy and enthusiasm that spills to their customs and traditions.

Marriage is, therefore, an opportunity for the Bengalis to exhibit the exuberant and magnanimous customs in their community which support the grandiose of their assets. The Bengalis, who would call for nature curious, the first question that every person will ask is 'Biye Korecho' or 'Tumi ki Bibahito' or are you married? And for any negative response, they will look at you a little frown wondering, 'Kokhon biye K├Ârbe?' i.e. When will you marry?

Marriage is the moment of transition, one begins to adulthood made to work, family, sacrifice, and why not some little extramarital affair. But everything falls happily into the stereotype then everyone, even if not completely satisfied, you adapt. To simplify, I would say that there are 3 types of marriage well the Love Marriage, Love cum Arranged Marriage and the famous Arranged Marriage.

The first two are romantic and usually suffered, every Love marriage has a great love story behind followed by ongoing struggles within the family usually the groom. The second most common and adhering to the tradition that the parents of the future spouses Arrange the wedding. Now the young lovers also have the opportunity to know and Date months before the wedding, which did not happen some time ago. It was not uncommon in cases where the couple didn't see each other's face until the day of the wedding.

Many Indian marriages are arranged, even if guided by love marriages are possible. A traditional wedding is organized by the Ghotok or the matchmaker, who are usually friends or relatives of the couple. Matchmakers facilitate the presentation and also help to agree on the amount. Once the parents conclude an agreement on the wedding, engagement is celebrated with a Misri, or ring ceremony. The couple exchange garlands and rings and are engaged to one another. The bride will then have a bath in the presence of his friends and family.

The occasion of the marriage to the Bengali is an event of great celebrations, music, and ornaments. With magnificent ways for entertainment and celebration, Bengali marriages are a bargain beautiful and radiant. The charm of the rite, the mystery that hides behind prayers recited in Sanskrit as well as ancient as, alas, incomprehensible, the sweet and hypnotic chanting of mantras, repeated gestures so full of meaning, the fumes of incense lit, the fire that burns, betel leaves, sandalwood and turmeric powder.

The wedding day can not be a date to be determined at random. Each year they publish a calendar where panjikas, with dark cabalistic methods, calculate the months and dates conducive to celebrate the wedding. You can choose any of the dates on the calendar or ask a Brahmin to calculate exactly the auspicious date for your wedding based on the dates of birth of the couple.

Every marriage in Bengal is characterized by colorful traditions sparkling in addition to frolic of the occasion. Fine clothing, delicious food, and joyous music add to the grandeur of Bengali weddings. The wedding consists of no less than 4 different days and an endless series of rituals:

Rituals of pre-wedding of Bengalis are extremely pleasant to experience. These rituals include Adan Pradan, Benny, Patri Patra, Vridhi Puja, Dodhi Mangal, Wedding Piris, Gae Halud Tattva, Adhibas Tattva, Snan and Sankha Porano, each of which further enriches the global holiday.

Aiburo Bhaat is on the last day in which the bride and groom eat, each with his family before heading out to the wedding themselves. Aiburo means virgin, and Bhat means rice. The day of aiburobhat is a time of critical step. The young leave a life of ease and lightheartedness to initiate a life of sacrifice and hard work. During the day there are various rituals. While the Brahmin performs old songs of the Vedic tradition there is the offer of good food and Sari to his future wife for the first time wear the Shakha and Pola, the first color white bracelets made of shells and that reflect serenity and calm, the latter made of coral and red are an omen of good health.

On the same day is the Gaye Holud ceremony. On the day of the wedding, the couple separates. The friends of the bride and family apply the turmeric paste to their body, and they all match the clothes, mostly with orange. The same ceremony takes place at the home of her future husband. Only parents and relatives of the groom go to the bride's house the groom does not participate, bringing a range of gifts, including turmeric paste, henna, pastries and various gifts. The sweets are then eaten by the bride.

The couple first bathes in the sacred water from a river, where they go in the morning and before the wedding the bride and groom are helped to wear new clothes.

Biye is the day of the actual wedding. It is celebrated in a Biye Bari ie Wedding House decorated with flowers, ribbons and flashy lights. Both wake up before sunrise, eat Chira, Mishti Doi or sweet curd, Shondesh sweets. The bride wears a Sari, usually red, a series of glittering ornaments, a trick heavy to cover them in the face and a crown or Mukut. Throughout the day she can only eat sweets and drink water.

The wedding ceremony is organized by the bride's family. On the day, the young members of the bride's family make an entrance into the place and demand a price for entry of the groom in return for making him enter.

The traditional welcome of the groom is with the baran dala in the hands of the mother of the bride where the plate is raised to touch the forehead of the groom and then lowered to the ground. Since then, it happened again in front of the groom. He is then welcomed into the home of the bride with sweets.

The bride wears a Dhoti and a Kurta, together with the Topor, a hat made of paper and of conical shape. He leaves the house with the permission of his mother, who traditionally do not participate in the wedding day, to protect the couple from a possible evil eye. The groom then leaves his house and, along with family and friends, goes to the house of the bride.

Once there, he is greeted by the sound of shattering shankh or conch shells, and the cry of ulu, a kind of howling emitting from women, and water is poured on the threshold of the door to mark this important moment. Upon arrival, the groom is also a victim of a series of jokes, he is made to drink water with salt or sweet chili among the most common.

Brides usually wear red saris and shiny, draped on the body and hair, but white is also an option. The groom wears a long shirt and leggings. Depending on your faith, he can also wear a turban. The couple and guests traditionally wear flip flops or sandals. Footwear is not allowed under the mandap and all shoes must be removed before entering. The bride's side of the family tries to make some kind of joke with the bride like stealing the groom's shoes.

The bride and groom sit separately, and a priest performs the wedding rituals.

Shubho Drishti, Bedini Mala, saat paak and then Sampradan ritual is followed in which the couple exchanges garlands along with the chanting of mantras by the priest. The brother of the bride then raises the Pidi after the maternal or paternal uncle of the bride to the groom's family hands away. This custom is called sampradan. The bride is made to take seven circles with the groom around a fire. This ritual symbolizes the Sacred Union of the pair.

The sacred fire is lit and confined under the tent, while the group waits for the groom. Once the bride and her crew arrive, hymns are recited by a priest and vows are exchanged.

At the beginning of the ceremony is the exchange of garlands and the bride's father offers his daughter's hand to the groom while the priest officiates the puja chanting of mantras. After the Puja, the bride, with her eyes closed covered by two betel leaves, the chair is raised by 4 friends relatives is spun around the groom 7 times. A time facing each other, the bride removes the betel leaves and that is the moment when the bride and groom meet for the first time looks Shubho Drishti.

The couple sits on low seats while the fire is lit, the Brahmin tie the part of the pallu of Sari to a flap of Kurta and small Alpona are drawn on the floor and on each is given a betel leaf. Then the bride is standing in front of the groom's hand and together they hold in Khoy popped rice. Together make 7 laps around the fire, the first steps of their life together, and with every turn of the Khoy pour into the sacred fire, queso ritual is called Shat Feras.

With this ritual, the bride and groom are promising to share with 7 lives. To close the series of rituals the Sindur Daan, the groom holding a jar of clay impregnates the red ocher and uses it to mark the front of the red and the bride's head, while the head is covered by a new Sari. From that moment on, they are officially husband and wife. After this whole series of rituals, the bride's family offers dinner for all the guests, usually several hundred.

The ceremony takes place outside under a tent, or mandap, which is decorated with flowers. Being under the mandap usually means being on the floor or carpet. The four pillars that support the mandap signify the four parents who have helped to raise the new couple. The bride and groom can also eat at each other with sweet and exchange garlands of fresh flowers.

After marriage, the daughters go into the house of the boy. The post wedding rituals like Basar Ghar, Bashi Biye, Bou Baran, Bau bhaat, Kaalratri, Dira Gaman and Phool Shojja further amplify the magnitude of the marriage in Bengalis. The reception is usually organized by the groom's family, the majority of caregivers are family and friends of the groom. The next group members may attend the wedding, but the reception is traditionally used as an opportunity for the bride to get acquainted with his new family. The celebration is full of good food, music, and dance.

The Bashi Biye is one of the several rituals that occurs on the day after the Biye, and then on the third day the night of the wedding the bride and groom are not yet sharing the same bed, it will start only from the evening of Bashi Biye. The rite consists in applying sindoor on the forehead of the bride looking at the image reflected on a mirror.

The Bou Bhaat is the fourth and final day of this series of rituals that mark the Bengali wedding. Bou means bride, or the wife and is, in fact, the bride, who is at the home of his parents her new home and offers the rice to all the relatives and friends present. During the evening there is a dinner in a different Biye Bari but no particular ritual is officiated. A throne is prepared for the bride who sits and welcomes the gifts brought by several guests.

The food that is served in Bengali weddings can vary from region to region. Indian festivals are always generous and have several dishes. The meal can begin with a variety of light fare and vegetarian dishes and nonvegetarian. Rice and roti, a type of bread are almost always present on the table. Many of the popular main dishes include mishti doi, a sweet curd, Macher Kalia, a fish dish and Dal Makhani, a dish of cooked lentils. Depending on the preferences of households, alcohol can be served.

Bengali weddings are nice opportunity to bring the whole family together, to make a bit of adda or gossip and celebrate the birth of a new life as a couple.