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Maharashtrian Wedding

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Introduction of Maharashtrian Wedding

The first step in the Maharashtrian wedding is the kundali matching of the girl and the boy. Only when this is cleared, the marriage proposal is taken forward. The date of the wedding is decided based on the convenience of both bride’s and groom’s family and their close relatives. Once the date is fixed, the entire families begin preparing for the auspicious event and start the rituals.

One of the first things the family of the groom does is to send a box of sweets and dress meant for the bride to her home. This is called Sakhar Puda and is an indication that the bridegroom and his family have accepted the girl into their family. In a way, this is also similar to the engagement ceremony of the groom and the bride.

The parents of the bride and groom conduct extensive prayers at their respective homes in honor of the family deities to seek the blessings for a happy and prosperous married life for their offspring. These are done individually at their homes and in both cases; parents take care of the arrangements.

The smearing of turmeric is another important ritual in most Maharashtrian Weddings and is done on the day prior to the marriage. The leaves of the mango tree considered to be a very auspicious sign and are immersed in turmeric paste and then this is smeared over the bride in her home and the groom at his place. This is done to ward off any evil eye and as a sign of prosperity.

 

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Pre Wedding Rituals

Sakhar Puda ceremony is the initial ritual which takes place in a Maharashtrain wedding. It can be termed as the engagement, wherein the bride is given a sari, and sweet or sugar, by the groom's family. Next is the Kelvan ceremony, which is performed at both the bride's and the groom's house. It is a small puja of the kuldevta, followed by a meal. After this, the Haldi ceremony takes place, wherein turmeric paste is applied to both the bride and the groom. This is known as Halad Chadavane. This is followed by Simant puja, wherein, once the groom arrives at the bride's place; her parents wash his feet and give him gifts.

 

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Wedding Rituals

Antarpat is a silk shawl used to separate the bride and the groom. The maternal uncle of the bride brings her to the dias, where the mangalashtakas are recited. Then the shawl is removed and the couple sees each other for the first time and exchange garlands. At this moment they are showered with unbroken rice. After this, the couple asks their parents for permission to get married. This is called the Sankalp ceremony. After this, the bride's parents perform the Kanyadaan ritual, wherein they offer their daughter to the groom.

After Kanyadaan, the groom ties mangalsutra around bride's neck and applies vermillion in her hair parting. She in return applies a sandalwood tilak on his forehead. Next is the Vivah Homa, which is conducted by the groom in assistance with the priest. Following this is the Saptapadhi ritual, wherein the couple takes seven rounds around the sacred fire, taking seven vows. The wedding ceremony comes to an end with the Karmasampati ritual, wherein the bride's father, the bride and the groom please Gods to bless the wedlock.

 

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Post Marriage Ceremonies

After the marriage has been conducted, the couple is considered to be Lord Vishnu and his consort Mahalaxmi and the bride’s parent perform the Lakshmi Narayana Pooja for them. After this, the couple takes seven pheras around the fire and this is an integral part of most weddings as this is considered to be the time when the couple actually commits to each other and promise to live together through good and bad times, stand for and with each other until death parts them. It is a very emotional moment and most elderly couples feel nostalgic and are teary eyed as they wish the newlyweds a long and prosperous life.

The bride’s father, brother and other men, gang up together and after offering prayers, get ready to send their girl with the groom and they request him to take good care of the bride who has been a darling of their family until then. The bride gets ready to leave behind her home for many years and bids good bye to her parents and family as she leaves with her man.

The bridegroom’s mother gets the home ready for the arrival of her Bahu and she welcomes her son and daughter-in-law when they come in to start a new life. The mother washes the feet of the newlyweds and requests the bride to put her right foot forward and come into her new home.

 

Global wearability

Indian weddings have an appeal that is spread across the globe. There are many Maharashtrians settled abroad and they still follow the customs and rituals of a Marathi wedding in foreign lands.

 

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