What is it like to be a part of a Big fat Punjabi Wedding?

Punjabi traditions are one of the most fun-filled ceremonies enjoyed and celebrated with the closest families and friends gathered under one roof.

With ceremonies like hiding the groom’s shoes in exchange for money, day drinking during sangeet and Mehendi, old and bald uncles and aunties dancing crookedly, Undoubtedly, Punjabi weddings are the most fun to attend.

An extravagant backdrop, latest fashion trends, high heels, unlimited clicking of pictures, dance music and a lot of fun leaves the image that is nothing short of a happy joy ride, perhaps a larger than life scene from Bollywood movie way of celebrating weddings.

Here is a quick rundown of the wedding ritual plan of a Punjabi wedding.

Roka or Sagai

Roka, this Punjabi tradition is the first in the series leading to the wedding. It is a small ceremony where the groom’s family visits the bride’s house bearing gifts and blessings to formally mark the match. The families then gather together to be showered by gifts also known as sagan. Nowadays, in Punjabi tradition one joint ceremony is conducted where both the families join hands officially and embark on the journey towards the couple’s big day! This Roka ceremony begins with a pooja to seek blessings for this journey.

Sangeet

Sangeet function at a Punjabi weddings is all about food, fun, family and friends. Sangeet is about making merry. Women sing and dance to wedding songs in this ritual. Usually, the Sangeet is accompanied by Mehendi ceremony at the bride’s place.

Chunni ceremony

In the series of Punjabi tradition, one inherently Punjabi ceremony is the Chunni ceremony. The groom’s family gather to meet the bride’s family with gifts including a red outfit, it can be a saree, a red wedding lehenga or anything, and a chunni. Alongside numerous other gifts, including sweets and jewellery pieces,  they also give the bride the Mehndi to be applied on her hand and feet before the big day. These gifts from the groom’s mother is a sign of acceptance into the family.

Chuda

Chuda adds a charm to a Punjabi bride. This ritual that happens in the bride’s house, includes adding beautiful chuda bangles to the bride by maternal uncle or brother. Next, the girl is smeared with turmeric and oil paste with good wishes by her family members. She takes a bath with holy water post the ritual and then wears the bridal attire.

During this intimate ceremony, the bride’s Mama and his wife gift her a set of 21 bangles. These bangles are blessed by elders and cleaned in a milk and rose solution. Traditionally ivory and red in colour, brides now even get bangles in different colours like pink and purple.

The Mama helps the bride wear these bangles as her face is covered at the moment. During this Punjabi tradition, the bride is not allowed to look at the bangles. A shower of flower petals blesses the bride as she adorns the set. Abiding by Punjabi tradition, we often see brides wearing this set of Chura for a minimum of 30 days going all the way up to 2 years.

Mouli for blessings

During the first ritual before the wedding, in Punjabi tradition, a priest ties Mouli or a sacred thread on the wrists of both the bride and groom at their homes to ward off any evil eye and attract only good-luck. The couple has to wear this until it wears down on its own.

Punjabi Kalire 

In the next ceremony, the bride’s sisters and friends gather to tie Punjabi Kalire to the bride’s newly added Chura set. In Punjabi tradition, these umbrella shaped Kalire signify fertility and prosperity for the newlywed couple. In the following move, the bride vigorously shakes the Kalire over unmarried girls who stand below it. On whosoever any part Kalire falls, it is believed she will get married next. We still remember Sonam Kapoor’s fun-filled ceremony where she shook the Kalire over Jhanvi Kapoor’s head. It is similar to the Punjabi Christian bouquet throwing ceremony.

Haldi Ceremony

The morning of the wedding, the bride and groom are lathered in a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, rosewater and mustard oil by friends and family as to bless the couple. Apart from Haldi’s beauty properties, the bride sits facing diyas in this Punjabi tradition to invoke radiance and light in her future. The Haldi ceremony is full of fun, laughter and love.

Ghara Ghardoli 

Almost moments after the Punjabi tradition of Haldi ceremony once the bride scrubs off the Haldi along with her friends and family she goes to a temple. Here, a pitcher of holy water is poured on her following which she prays and seeks the god’s blessings for the big day.  This Ghara Ghardoli is also a ceremony for the boy where his sister-in-law pours water on him before he goes to get ready for the wedding.

Finally!! The wedding day

We all are aware of the fairytale that happens only in the Punjabi tradition, prince charming comes riding down on a horse to get married. But before he can get onto the mare, there is a small Punjabi tradition where the Ghodi too gets a makeover of its own where it is also given food and water by the women of the house known as Ghodi Sajana. After this small custom, the groom rides to the venue along with his grand Baraat. Nowadays, many grooms find it more convenient to ride down on fancy cars instead of white horses.

All of these small and big ceremonies add to intricacies and details of  Punjabi traditions making it so grand and unique. Punjabi weddings are not just about being loud and having fun. It is all about these Punjabi traditions which bring two families closer together as the bride and groom embark on their new journey together.

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