India is a diverse country and therefore the weddings of each different part of India come with their own unique set of customs and traditions. Well, talking of customs and traditions, Maharashtrian wedding customs are amongst the most unique and culturally rich ones. The wedding rituals followed in Maharashtrian weddings can be entertaining and have a rich cultural background.
Even the most luxurious and big fat Marathi matrimony weddings follow the poojas and rituals. One of the most important ritual in a Maharashtrian wedding is that ensuring that the bride and the groom do not belong to the same lineage. As it is against the maharashtrian custom to have bride and groom of the same lineage, there are various family and genetic reasons for which they condemn such marriages.
Next is the Kelvan, only when the stars, sun and the moon aligns a date for the wedding of the couple, the respective families agree for the marriage to take place. Next is the Sakhar Puda, which means Sugar Puja which is held a few days later the Kelvan. This is the first wedding ceremony that is conducted in the families. It is the engagement ceremony for the bride and groom. The families of bride and groom give each other a taste of sugar to celebrate the joy of entering the new wedlock for the couple. After the mandatory pooja takes place, a lunch is arranged.
Next in line are the wedding invitations. Wedding invitations are probably the most exciting part of marriages for both the bride and the groom’s families. First of all families go to their Devas for seeking blessings from the gods. Then they visit the elders of the family and start inviting them personally for the wedding. This is a religious and social obligation on part of the families of both the bride and groom in Marathi matrimony weddings.
The wedding week begins with the much anticipated Munja ceremony which is the thread ceremony for the little boys aged between 8 to 10. The grooms who have not had the Munja ceremony in their childhood now get the chance to fulfill it. It is a ceremony to be followed which was missed out during childhood. A groom will sport a thread in his hand which actually indicates that he is a married person.
The haldi ceremony is the next one. Haldi is the turmeric paste which is applied to the bride and groom. The haldi ceremony also starts with the small pooja in order to seek blessings from God and then comes the very vibrant and grand Mehndi ceremony where the brides and bridesmaids get Henna designs applied in their hands. Applying henna on weddings has been an age-old tradition of Indian Brides and no bridal look is complete without the intricately designed henna in both the hands and feet of the bride. A ceremony is conducted for application of Mehndi where the bride and all other females get their hands on beautiful colored henna.