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Every wedding has attached with it, some customs and traditions that may have their roots in an old-wives tale or superstition, or it could be just something that might have started as a fun wedding game generations back and exists as a popular custom to date. We went happy hunting and spoke to our subscribers across various communities to gather a list of some such fun Indian wedding trivia.
• Some Hindu families practise the custom of giving the bride a knife or some other sharp metal object to keep with her at all times from the time she gets engaged to the wedding day, to protect her from any unwanted male attention or advances.
• In many cultures and communities across India, it is actually considered good luck if it rains on the wedding day.
• Muslim weddings traditionally include a custom called ‘meher’. It is a formal statement of a sum of money that the groom hands over to the bride. Meher is given in two parts, the first being handed over before the marriage is consummated and the second given in parts as cash, jewellery or property. This gift is for the bride to do with as she pleases.
• In the Punjabi community, the brides wear a ‘Chudaa’ (a set of red and white bangles) for a few months into the marriage, to bring them good luck in their new home.
• Christian weddings are preceded by a fun ceremony called the bridal shower. This is an event usually hosted by the bride’s female friends. It’s a lively all women gathering, with music, dance and games. All guests bring gifts for the bride to be and give her their blessings for a happy married life. The bride serves a pink cake to everyone present with a piece of thimble hidden inside. It is believed that if an unmarried girl gets this piece of thimble, she will get married soon.
• During the olden days, in Kerala, the concept of a “mock wedding ceremony” was prevalent in some communities. During this ceremony, the bride was married to a man who was a perfect astrological match for her. Since this was a mock marriage, the bride and groom could go their own separate ways after the ceremony was over.
• ‘Mangala Snaanam’ or the purification bath, is a pre-wedding custom in many Indian communities. It is done at first light on the day of the wedding , for the purification of the bride and groom’s physical self, before they begin the wedding rituals.
• Sikh families have after wedding games to welcome the new bride to their family. One of them is the knotted string game, where the sister of the groom ties several knots in a long string and the bride and groom are supposed to use one hand each and work together to pry open the knots. It is believed that the sooner they untie the knots, the smoother their wedded life will be.
• An old wives tale for the ‘Bidaai’ ceremony states that if the bride sheds a tear or two, she will never cry again for the entire duration of her marriage.
• The Gujrati community performs a custom, where the mother of the bride tries to catch the groom’s nose when the Baraat arrives, to remind him that since he is now taking away her daughter, he will be responsible for her well-being and happiness.
• Sikh weddings have a pre-wedding ‘Vatna’ ceremony, usually done a day before the wedding, where the women of the family apply a paste of haldi and besan to the bride’s body, and sing traditional songs.
• As per tradition, both Hindu and Sikh brides, before taking the first step into their new homes, tilt over a vessel full of wheat. This is symbolic of the prosperity and abundance that a bride is believed to bring to her new home.
• Islamic weddings have their own version of the purification bath, which is performed on the day of the Nikaah, or in some Muslim families, is a ritual performed every day, starting five days before the wedding. The bride may be accompanied by some women in the family amid music and dancers, making it a festive procession.
• Christians consider it good luck if the bride finds a spider in her wedding gown.
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