Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Seven Steps (Saptapadi) in Hindu marriages

The most important meaningful ritual, followed in Hindu marriages is the Seven Steps. This is performed after tying the sacred thread called Mangalsutra or Thali.
All the seven steps are taken, invoking the Gods to shower their blessings on the couple.

  • The first step leads to nourishing and pure food.
  • The second step leads to strength.
  • The third step leads to prosperity.
  • The fourth step leads to happiness.
  • The fifth step leads to progeny.
  • The sixth step leads to long life.
  • The seventh step leads to bondage.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Madurai Meenakshi Thirukkalyanam

Meenakshi Kalyanam, the wedding festival of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwarar (Shiva), is one of the most spectacular and most popular temple festivals in Madurai of Tamilnadu (India), celebrated grand for twelve days every year during the month of Chitthirai (April-May).

The magnificent temple is adorned as a bride that adds to the beauty of the already splendid holy shrine. Several Thousand devotees from all over the world gather on this occasion to witness the majestic proceedings. The festival displays royal decorated umbrellas, fans and a variety of traditional instrumental music. Scenes from the Hindu mythology are highlighted and acted. Car procession of the goddess and the god is one of the major colorful features. Women get their Thiru Mangalyam also called Mangalsutra in Hindi (Sacred thread/Necklace of love and goodwill) tied again on this auspicious occasion. Devotees also enjoy eating the temple’s lavishly prepared delicious, ceremonial vegetarian feast.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hindu Marriages In India

Marriage is an important social event in India remembered for lifetime, which bonds two families. An Indian marriage is a feast for the eyes whether conducted grand or simple as it involves not only the bride and the bridegroom but the entire family, friends and relatives. Wedding is considered as a great event, as two souls are uniting together and the bride is leaving her parents to begin a new life with her husband.

Traditional Indian Hindu marriages are mostly arranged. The parents of both the girl and the boy are the deciding authorities. The first step starts with the selection of the bride and the bridegroom by the parents. There are marriage bureaus to help selection of a suitable match. Once they like each other, matching of horoscopes of the bride and the bridegroom is checked. Visits to each others place are arranged for interview. If agreed, further talks are held to finalize details such as date, time and place of marriage, method of conducting, and sharing of expenses etc.
Traditional Hindu wedding ceremony is commonly celebrated grand in three parts namely, pre wedding ceremony, main day ceremony and post wedding ceremony. Each day has its own significance and meaning. The pre wedding celebrations mainly includes engagement. The main function is on the wedding day and the post day rituals include reception.
Hindu weddings usually take place at bride's place or at a common place decided by both the families. The marriage ceremonies generally take place at a decorated hall where family members, relatives and friends gather. The main day of the wedding involves different traditional meaningful rituals. The bride and the groom are dressed in traditional Indian wear, suitable for local requirements. The groom ties the Mangalsutra, a sacred thread of love and goodwill, around the neck of the bride on the day of the marriage, signifying their union.

Now-a-days the number of love marriages is gradually increasing. Some are accepted by parents and conducted as traditional wedding. Some times the parents don’t accept. The boy and the girl simply get married in a Registrar's office legally, with the help of friends.