Marriages in India reflect all the regional colors overlaying the basic religious rites. Hindustanlink.com present you info on  Marriage Rituals in India

Gujarati Wedding Ceremony

A typical Gujarati Wedding starts with the arrival of the groom - "ponkvu" - who is welcomed by his mother-in-law at the entrance. While performing the "aarti" she tries to grab his nose, symbolizing that finally he has arrived, rubbing his nose at her door to ask for her daughter's hand in marriage. All this is in jest.

The "madhuparka" ceremony is performed after "jaimala" in which the groom's feet are washed while sitting under the "mandap" and he is offered honey and milk. Meanwhile the groom's "saalis" - sisters-in-law steal his shoes which at the end of the day the groom has to retrieve by offering her a suitable amount of money which she agrees to.

The "mama" - maternal uncle - carries the bride to the "mandap". Now the curtain seperating the bride and groom - "antarpaat" - is lowered and the couple garland each other. The ritual of "hasta milap" then starts wherein the hand of the bride is placed over the groom's. The "varmala" ceremony also takes place in which a cord is tied around the couple’s necks to protect them from evil influences. The father of the bride gives her away to the groom in the ritual called "kanyadaan". The couple then circle the auspicious fire during the "mangal phera" signifying the four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.

The "saubhagyavati bhava" is an interesting ritual wherein several elderly, married women from the bride's side of the family whisper "aashirwaad" - blessings - into the right ear of the bride. After the "vidaai" the couple leave for the grooms' residence where a game called "aeki-beki" is played, wherein several coins and a ring are placed in a tray of water covered by milk and vermilion. Belief is that the person who finds the ring four times first, will be the ruler of the house.

The day is wrapped up with prayers to God requesting happiness and love for the bride and the groom.

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