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Why do we follow these wedding traditions in India?

Indian weddings never get over in a day. Its intricacies are woven into its myriad functions, all incredibly meaningful and unforgettable.   The marriage ceremonies are fractioned into three parts, mainly pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding observances.  A lot of times we’re unaware of the significance of these rituals. So why do we do what we do in the much anticipated marriage functions that last for days?

Ever wondered why brides wear red?
Hindu tradition is deeply rooted in the colour red. According to astrology, Mangal or Mars is considered the ruling planet for marriages. The colour red is richly associated with piety, love, passion and beauty and lehenga and dupatta in captivating red colour puts a hued spotlight on the bride. With the sunrise dissipating its redness into the sky, the bride’s new life is thereby symbolic of the start of the day- the dawn of her new phase in life.

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Why do saat pheres exist?

Translating into The Seven Steps (Sapta – Seven, Padi- Steps), the Saat Phere is an integral tradition of Indian weddings where the bride and the groom take seven steps (rounds) around the Holy Fire while reciting the 7 vows of marriage. It is an indispensably remarkable tradition, where every promise made by the couple signifies responsibility, commitment, love, the dos and don’ts of marriage. Earlier people believed that marriages were made in heaven and these pheres indicated the oath of staying together for saat janamand not only for being together in this life, but seven such lives henceforth.

What exactly is Juta Chupai?

‘Juta Chupai’ or ‘Juta Chori’ rasam literally means ‘hiding shoes’ and is considered one of the light-hearted customs of Indian weddings. The memory of such a tradition takes us back to the 90’s Bollywood movies and songs which enacted such traditions and left an impact on our minds forever. With the passing time in traditions practices in Indian weddings, grooms have become extremely conscious of the pair of juti they select for their traditional wedding attire. From fine thread work to embellishments, grooms have become particular in what their special day look is going to comprise of. The bride and the groom are initially asked to take off their shoes for the main ceremony in the mandap. During this time, the bride’s sisters steal the groom’s shoes as a trick and promises to give the shoes back only if they get a fetching fee in return. The groom’s side is equally fervent of winning the shoes back. A fun tradition whose origin is now unidentified, juta chori remains one of the most enjoyable practices in contemporary wedding functions.

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Why are safas worn during marriages?

Safas, or Pagdis, are often attached with suspended flowers and beads to cover the groom’s face. A veil, according to tradition, beneficially impedes the groom from glancing at his to-be wife which is in essence considered to be very inauspicious. Safas or Sehras also help in distinguishing the groom from his groomsmen and guests wherein the groom’s safa is generally elaborate and regal with gems and stones or Sarpech acting as a crown on his head.

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Why do married women wear Naths?

According to traditions, women who are getting married have their nose pierced for wearing Naths or Nose Studs because the node or spot (the left side of the nostril) where it is pierced connects to the reproductive system of a woman. Ayurveda also states that this helps reduce the pain the woman experiences during child birth and also eases the agony of menstrual cramps. Worn as a symbol of respect to Goddess Parvati, Naths are considered as a symbol of marriage and as one of the celebrated Solah Sringars for married women.

Weddings traditions are receptive as well as beautiful. Even though most of us remain unaware of the many intricacies of them, they shine as celebrations that are both culturally rooted and fun. The myriad reasons why they are followed are sometimes scientific and wholesome and sometimes absurd, but are undoubtedly so faithfully representative of our culture, that they become innately honourable and beautiful.

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Why are rings exchanged before the marriage ceremony?

Sagai or Mangni is that pre-marriage ceremony where two families formally introduce each other and finalize the date of the wedding, sealing their union. The engagement signifies the exchange of rings as a promise of marriage, a ceremony where the would-be-bride places a ring in the would-be-groom’s right hand that in turn, places the ring on her left. It is said that the ring finger connects to the veins of the heart, an indication of a new beginning, the formation of an intimate relationship.

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