Some Rituals and Superstitions associated with Marathi Weddings
A Marathi Matrimony is a simple affair interwoven with rituals and customs that take place before, during and after the wedding. Being an auspicious occasion everyone wishes that no bad luck befalls the couple and to that extent it has its share of superstitions too.
A few days before the wedding the engagement ceremony called “Sakharpuda” is held. The “haldi” ceremony takes place a day before the wedding in which the bride and groom are anointed with turmeric paste. On the evening before the wedding “Simant’ puja is performed where the two families meet each other for the first time.
The first ritual is the “Gaurihaar Puja” performed by the bride where she sits in a room and prays to goddess Parvati for a happy marriage. After this, puja is the important and solemn ritual of “Mangalashtak” where the bride and groom garland each other. Following this is the emotional, “Kanyadaan” ceremony where the parents of the bride hand their daughter over to the bride groom and his family.
“Lajahoma” is then performed where the couple sits down for some prayers. After the taking of oaths they would be partners for life. It is here that the groom ties the mangalsutra and applies sindoor (vermilion mark). “Kaan pilne” is one light hearted moment in a Marathi Matrimony where the bride’s brother pulls his brother-in-law’s ears as a mock warning that he better take care of his sister! “Sunnmukh bhagne” is a humorous ritual in which the mother-in-law seats her daughter-in-law and son on her lap and looks into the mirror symbolizing that she would consider her to be like her daughter.
Post wedding Rituals
“Grihapravesh” is the first ritual conducted after the wedding when the couple is welcomed at the groom’s house by the groom’s mother. After performing “aarti” the bride knocks down a tumbler of rice kept at the threshold. The couple then enters the house.
A wedding is considered to be a very auspicious occasion but some superstitions and beliefs invariably creep in. Some of the common superstitions are:
During the period from engagement to marriage, the bride and groom are asked to carry some sharp metallic object in the belief that this will protect them from evil spirits. The colour of the Mehendi applied to the bride also has some bearing. Superstition has it that darker the henna the stronger their marriage will be.
Rain on the day of the wedding is considered auspicious. Spilling of milk during the wedding is considered a bad omen. While crossing the threshold during “grihaparvesh” it is considered unlucky to enter left foot first. The bride wears a black dot on the back of her ear, called a “drushti”, to ward off evil spirits.
A Marathi Matrimony is a solemn but happy occasion where every ritual has its importance. The belief in superstitions makes us take all possible measures to ward off the evil eye in order that the newlyweds have a blissful life together.