The first thought that comes to everyone’s mind on seeing a Marathi wedding is, “Simplicity”. Rituals like Sakhar Puda, stress free ceremonies like Halad Chadavane i.e. Haldi and a bride dressed in a vibrant Navari Sari these elements are easily identified in a Maharashtrian wedding.
The Aaple Lagna -a.k.a- wedding – takes place with the guidance, role and support of members of the family, as the familial bond is a strong thread in Marathi culture.
Pre Wedding Rituals
The first ceremony of a Maharashtrian wedding is Sakhar Puda, this is the engagement ceremony where sarees and sweets are gifted to the bride by the groom’s family. In this occasion the groom, his family and close relatives come to the bride’s home and perform all the rituals in a very simple & sophisticated manner.
The groom’s mother applies Haldi-Kumkum on the bride’s forehead as a blessings and gifts her saree, jewellery, and Sakhar Puda or sweets. The mother of the bride follows the same rituals with the groom. After this, the couple exchanges engagement rings.
After the wedding time and date is fixed, the preparation for the wedding starts months before the wedding. On this event, at least five ‘Suhasinis’, i.e. wedded women are summoned by the bride’s parents to their home. These women then batter dried turmeric and grind them into a fine powder which is later used in the ‘Haldi’ function.
Afterward, they roll out papads and Sandage (grind pulses, mixed with spices). Then they celebrate Rukhvat, where they show all the clothes, jewelry, kitchen essentials and other things with five types of dry fruits and sweets. The first invitation is offered to Lord Ganesha for his blessings. After that, the other invitation cards are sent out.
This is done a few days before the wedding where close family members and the relatives of the bride invite her and her family for dinner both the families then perform a Puja to their Kuldevata or family deity for blessings.
Halad Chadavne is an occasion that takes place a day before the wedding day. During this function the battered turmeric in Muhurat Karane time is used where minimum five suhasinis, with the help of mango leaf, put the paste on the bride’s feet, knees, shoulders and head.
This ceremony is performed at groom’s home too; plus, the turmeric paste that is leftover by him is taken to the bride and is smeared on her. Both bride and groom are not allowed to go out till their wedding after this occasion.
These are the rituals and ceremonies that take place before all Marathi weddings. There are other elaborate wedding rituals but those take place during and after the wedding.