Things to know about Sindhi Wedding Rituals
When it comes to ‘Big Fat Indian Weddings’, Sindhis never fail to impress anyone! Their weddings are a true reflection of what ‘living life, king size’ means! Their celebrations are filled with grandeur, opulence and everything extravagant, and are a treat to witness. Sindhis begin their fun celebrations a week earlier to D-day, and their weddings are full of immensely sweet and exciting rituals along with a copious amount of drinks and dancing. So, if you have a Sindhi friend, make sure you get invited – anyhow and don’t you dare miss this fun celebration!
Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Sindhi Wedding Rituals & Customs:
Kachhi Misri & Pakki Misri
So, the celebration begins with this, Kacchi Misri is basically the roka. It marks the first meeting between the bride and groom’s families after their match is fixed. The bride’s family gifts sweets, clothes, coconut, fruits, and lumps of misri (sugar crystals) to solemnise the match and for good luck. The most important thing is that the mother of the bride prepares the auspicious ‘Kada Prasad’ and sends it to the groom’s family in a silver dish.
After this, comes the Pakki Misri which is the formal engagement of the couple. In this, the groom’s family visits the bride’s family with gifts and sweets known as the Shagun. The mother of the groom gives a Misri-filled earthen pot to the mother of the bride which she has to open in front of the groom’s family. Further, joined by seven married women, Lord Ganesha is drawn on the pot and the families seek blessings. The priest conducts all the prayers after which the couple exchanges engagement rings. After this, the priest announces the perfect date and time for the wedding in the presence of both families.
This is a prayer ceremony traditionally held by the groom’s family where everyone prays to Jhulelal to bless the couple. It is held to pray so that the wedding functions go on smoothly and are filled only with happiness and peace. Sindhi Ladas which are traditional wedding songs are also sung along with devotional Jhulelal songs.
Dev Bithana, Navgrahi Pooja & Ghari Pooja
Dev bithana or Ganesh Stapana is a Sindhi ritual that embarks on the beginning of wedding festivities. In this, a stone grinder is installed at both the bride and groom’s homes as a Ganesha idol by the priest.
Then the Navgrahi Pooja is held on the wedding day in the morning or the night before. In this pooja, the nine planets are worshipped along with the Hindu Gods. It’s a welcome pooja The Gods are welcomed for gods to both the homes, the bride’s and the groom’s as guests and are offered light, water and food.
Next, there is the Ghari Pooja performed at both the bride’s and the groom’s homes. It is a lengthy ceremony in which the priest hands wheat to seven married women who ground it in flour which is symbolic of flourishing prosperity. Next, an earthen lamp is smashed by the bride and the groom at their respective homes using their feet.
Janeu Or Jenya
It is also known as Upanayana or the thread ceremony. It is a sacred ritual performed at the groom’s house. It is a Hindu ritual that celebrates the groom’s transition from a boy to a man. In this a sacred prayer is also offered along with a traditional yajna ritual, and a sanctified thread is offered to the groom to wear around his body by the priest, this holy thread is Janeu or Jenya.
Sagri is basically a formal introduction for both families. The bride is introduced to each of her to-be in-laws and is given gifts from the newly introduced family members. The cutest part of the ceremony is when the bride is showered with flower petals by the groom’s relatives. The groom’s sister also dresses the bride with beautiful floral jewellery.
Mehendi is just like any other ritual followed in other traditional weddings.
Head Bukki and Saanth
Head Bukki is quite similar to the Haldi ceremony and is performed at the bride’s house. Even this ceremony is done by the seven married women from the bride’s family. They apply oil to the bride’s hair and put haldi all over her face and body. This is done to give the bride a glow before the wedding.
Whereas, for the groom, the head bukki is followed by a unique ritual called Saanth. After being doused with oil, the groom’s clothes are torn away by his family and friends to symbolize entering into marital bliss and leaving behind his single life.
This is a pooja done on the morning of the wedding day where the priest offers prayers to the ancestors of both sides. In this, a red thread is sanctified during this pooja and is tied around the wrists of the couple.
You must be aware of the baraat, it is the ceremony where the groom and his family arrive at the wedding venue dancing, singing, and merry-making in a grand procession. The baraat is welcomed by the bride’s mother and her family by performing a traditional aarti and tilak.
Then a big dupatta or sheet is used to separate the groom and bride to block their view of each other as the bride walks onto the mandap. After this, a customary pooja is performed, after which the sheet is lowered and the couple finally gets a glimpse of each other. Isn’t it cute?
The Jaimala ceremony is done right after the bridal entry. The bride and groom exchange beautiful garlands of flowers called Jaimala three times.
The bride’s parents wash the groom’s feet using milk and water, once the bride and the groom are seated at the Mandap. This ceremony is mainly done to portray that their son-in-law is an embodiment of Lord Vishnu.
Palli Pallo & Hathiola
In this ceremony, the bride’s dupatta is tied with the groom’s dupatta by his sister. Two knots are made connecting the dupattas while tying a few grains of rice within the knots. Hathiyala or Hathiola is a heart-warming Sindhi wedding tradition in which the bride’s right hand is tied to the groom’s right hand gently using a red cloth as they offer their prayers to the Gods together.
This symbolises the blessed union of the couple and then the couple then walks around the holy fire four times as the priest recites Vedic chants.
You must have heard about Kanyadaan too. It is a common ritual across other traditions too. It is the ‘giving away ceremony’, wherein the father of the bride officially gives his daughter to the groom.
The Sindhi ritual is all about togetherness and strength. The bride is asked to take seven steps, stepping over seven small piles of rice that symbolize the hardships that the couple might face in life. The groom holds the bride during this ritual and helps her signifying that they will stay together through thick and thin.
This wedding tradition is quite an emotional one as the bride leaves her parent’s house after the wedding and moves to her husband’s house. The newlywed bride is sent with parting gifts by her family while she steps into a new life.
In this Sindhi wedding ritual, the bride is received with a heartfelt welcome by her in-laws. They wash her feet with water and milk and she is also given some milk to sprinkle all over the house.
This is a Sindhi wedding ritual where the bride places some salt in the groom’s hands and he is supposed to give it back to her hands without spilling any. This process is repeated three times.
This ceremony is performed by the priest on the following day. In this stone grinder idol is removed that was installed before the wedding after which the groom’s mother feeds the couple seven bites of milk, rice and sugar.
This is a lavish affair in which the bride, the groom and his family members go to the bride’s family for lunch or dinner.
This is the reception in generic terms and is hosted by the groom’s family to express their happiness about the wedding.