Punjabi wedding is a grand event, as Punjabi’s love grandeur and celebrations. They strictly follow all the rituals as instructed by the Sikh religion. There are many religious and social rituals observed in a Punjabi wedding.
Roka is the first ceremony held for announcing the decision of marriage taken by two families. It is the same as engagement, where the bride and groom officially accept each other as life partner. Hence, both families exchange gifts and sweet boxes to celebrate the occasion.
This ritual is usually observed during the Roka ceremony. The groom’s mother or sister lovingly places a red chunni or decorated dupatta over the head of the bride. Then she is showered with sari or traditional Punjabi clothes and jewelry.
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This is the official engagement of a Punjabi new couple, which is organized either at the groom’s place or the local Gurdwara. The function starts with a short prayer from Guru Granth Sahib and then the groom slips a ring into the finger of his bride. The bride’s family gifts him some symbols of the Sikh religion, like Kada (an iron bangle) and Kripan (a small sword).
Shagun and SaahaPatr (Wedding Invitation)
Punjabis invite their wedding guests with Shagun or a small token gift and SaahaPatr or the Sikh wedding invitation. Thus, they buy Punjabi wedding cards from reputed wedding card makers, adorned with traditional Sikh symbols or unique patterns as cover page designs.
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This is the continuous recitation of Guru Granth Sahib, which is the main religious scripture of Sikhs. It takes more than 2 days at a stretch and the recitation is done by a team of readers from the local Gurdwara. This recitation is conducted for seeking divine blessings for the new couple.
This ceremony is held at the bride’s place, in honor of the bride and her bridesmaids. The groom and his family members are also invited to join the celebration, with dance and music.
This is the first ritual held at the bride’s place, on the day of the wedding. The eldest maternal uncle and aunt of the bride gift her with a set of red bangles, called Chooda. All the elders bless the bride by touching this Chooda and showering flower petals on her.
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This celebration is organized on the evening before the wedding day at the bride’s home. The style of this function depends on the part of Punjab from where the bride hails from. It may consist of several rituals, like Mehendi, Sangeet, and Batna.
According to this Punjabi ritual, a red thread is tied on the left hand of the bride and the right hand of the groom. It is conducted to ward off all evil omens, due to the sacredness of the red thread.
This ritual is the same as the Haldi ceremony of Hindus. Turmeric paste is mixed with mustard oil and applied to the face and body of the bride, by all her female relatives, to make her more beautiful on the wedding day. Four lamps are lit and placed in front of the bride during this ceremony. It is also organized at the groom’s place, smearing the groom with turmeric paste.
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Beautiful designs are made with Henna paste on the hands and feet of the bride. It is usually conducted on the day before the wedding date at the bride’s place. Other female family members, mainly the young ones also adorn their hands with Mehendi.
In this ritual, the sister or the sister-in-law of the bride visits the nearest temple and fills a pitcher with water there. The bride is supposed to be bathed with this water. Similarly, the groom’s sister-in-law performs the same ritual by bringing water for bathing the groom at their home.
This is the introductory ritual in a Punjabi marriage after the groom arrives at the bride’s place for marrying her. The bride’s family members give clothes and cash as shogun or token of good wishes to the close family members of the groom.
This is the main wedding ceremony for a Punjabi couple, which literally means “Act towards a happy life”. It was introduced by Guru Amar Das and 4 laavaan or sacred hymns are recited during this ceremony.
This ritual marks the official farewell of the bride from her home after her marriage when she leaves for her husband’s home. Hence, it is a sad time for the bride and her family.
There are many other rituals at the groom’s place as well, which are conducted after the bride reaches there.