Rituals of a Sikh Wedding

The customs followed by Sikhs during their wedding ceremonies are more or less similar to those practiced by the Hindus.

Pre Wedding Rituals

Like all other weddings, shopping is an integral part of a Sikh matrimonial. Sikhs begin their shopping for the wedding with the purchase of Rumalla Sahib – a set of four pieces of cloth that are beautifully embroidered and are used to cover the Granth Sahib. In a Sikh wedding, a lot is spend by the bride`s maternal grandparents and uncles on clothes and jewellery. They also host a meal during the wedding ceremonies.

Kurmai or Engagement:

The engagement ceremony or kurmai is usually a family affair. The bride’s family visits the groom’s house with gifts that include sweets, clothes and jewellery. The bride`s father gifts the groom a gold ring, a gold kara (bangle) and gold mohre (coins). Later on, these coins are strung into a black thread and given to the bride. She wears this around her neck and it is akin to the mangalsutra which is worn by Hindu women. But amongst Sikhs, this thread is worn by brides only during special occasions.

Chunni ceremony or the wedding veil:

After the engagement, it is time for the groom’s family to visit the bride’s house. For this ceremony, only close relatives and friends of the bride and the groom are invited. The groom’s mother and aunts give the bride a phulkari (traditional embroidery of Punjab) chunni. In this ceremony, the groom’s mother applies mehendi or henna on the palms of the bride. She is also given jewellery and clothes. Till sometime back, Sikh weddings were a long drawn out affair and after the engagement or Kurmai, the bride and the groom were confined to the house till the actual wedding took place. However, the trend has changed now and this period of confinement is just a day. Maiyan (when the bride and the groom wear just normal clothes to look brighter on the wedding day) signals the beginning of the confinement among the ladies of the household singing songs to the beat of dholkis (drums).

Vatna Ceremony:

The vatna ceremony takes place just a few days before the wedding. In this ceremony a paste of turmeric, sandal, cream and rosewater, called ubatan, is applied on the bride’s body. Under the shade of a bagh (a piece of handmade cloth with phulkari embroidery), the bride is scrubbed clean. Bagh is a piece of hand-made cotton cloth with phulkari work. A similar kind of ceremony takes place in the house of the groom as well.

After that, Mehendi is applied on the hands of the bride and other girls of the family too apply mehendi, which is followed by singing and dancing.

The Wedding Day:

A Sikh wedding usually takes place before noon.

On the wedding day, the groom’s sister-in-law (bhabhi) and other female relatives go to a gurduwara and fill a gharoli (earthen pitcher) with water. The groom uses this water to take bath. A similar ritual is performed at the bride`s house as well. After taking bath, she is made to wear the chura that constitutes of 21 red and white bangles. Then she adorns her bridal attire, which is a heavily embroidered salwar-kameez or lehenga-chunni

Meanwhile the groom’s side gets ready to leave for his bride’s house or where the matrimony ceremony has to take place. He usually wears a brocade ashcan (long coat) or a suit. When everyone is ready to leave, the groom’s sister-in-law (bhabhi) applies surma (kohl) in his eyes and the groom gives her money as a token of love.

The baraat arrives at the bride’s house or the location of the wedding amidst singing and dancing. The family members of the bride welcome the baraat. This small reception is called milni. A raagi (professional bard) recites the holy verse. Gifts are exchanged by the members of both families. After that, the groom is taken inside and this is the time for the bride’s sisters and friends to engage him in a session of teasing.

Then the actually wedding ceremony takes place. The families of both the bride and the groom assemble at the gurudwara. Raagis (professional bards) sing asa di var or the morning hymn. The couple is made to sit in front of the Guru Granth Sahib. The priest first recites the various obligations of a married life. After that, he sings the hymns of marriage from the holy book. During lawaan, the groom and the bride hold one each end of the scarf, which is usually of pink color. The bride is led by the groom around the Granth Sahib. After the fourth round, the groom and the bride are pronounced as husband and wife. All those who are assembled bless the couple and give them gifts and shagun. A big and lavish feast follows the ceremony of lawaan.

Source by Sukhpreet Kaur Sawhney

Top 10 Bike Trips in India for Every Bike Lover

A car drive may enliven you physically, but a drive on a two wheeler enlivens you spiritually. At least, that’s what motor biking enthusiasts have to say. It is fine that you are a biking enthusiast, but have you gone out on your two-wheeled friend to explore some of the choicest destinations across India. If you are yet to take the plunge; then, it is the high time that you do so. The country boasts of plenty of road routes which you will love adventuring, as a passionate biker.

1. Highway connecting Manali and Leh

The snowy glory of the highway that is almost four hundred and seventy-nine kilometers long is worth looking forward to. If you are not that confident about using your personal vehicle, you can enjoy the fascinatingly picturesque road trip on bikes for rent in Bangalore.

2. The route leading to Gokarna

If you are keen on exploring a nearby location on bikes for rent in Bangalore; then, you have reasons to head towards Gokarna. The latter happens to be an ideal destination for relaxation. Not only that, cruising along the road that connects Bangalore with Gokarna makes for an amazing experience, as the connective stretch is ideal for biking.

3. Route connecting Pollachy to Chalakudy

While Pollachy is located in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu, the other finds its presence in Kerala. The connective route is marked by the presence of tropical rainforests and cloud forests. If you happen to be a lover of wildlife, then, you can also halt at the tiger reserve at Anaimalai that falls on the way.

4. The road connecting Visakhapatnam to the valley of Araku

The pristine beauty of the linking stretch which is almost 116 kilometers long will leave you mesmerised. The road with its curly twists, hilly serenity and gentle elevation sets the tone for an amazing ride in your chosen motorbike. If you belong to the southern part of the country, then, you should not miss out on the trip that connects Visakhapatnam to the valley of Araku.

5. The expressway connecting Mumbai and Pune

All along the trip through the expressway that is almost ninety-three kilometers long, you will enjoy the company of a surrounding that is poignantly picturesque. If you are under stress, strain and tension, then, you will find comfort in the lusciousness of the green foliage that lies on the way.

6. Trip to Gangtok and Darjeeling via Shiliguri

Sikkim as well as, West Bengal may not be that popular amongst the bikers, but once you make your way through the hilly greenery, you will see how the destinations are perfect and spectacular for the lovers of nature and adventure.

7. Head towards Pondicherry from Chennai

For that, you have to trudge along the “East Coast” stretch that connects both the destinations. The stretch that extends over one hundred and sixty kilometers offers perfect conditions for the cruiser biking.

8. National Highway to Konark

If you ever visit Puri, the religious destination that lies in the state of Orrisa; then, don’t miss out on the prospect of visiting Konark through the National Highway 203. You will enjoy being on beautiful roads in the company of misty breeze.

9. Trip to the forest at Bandipur

The latter happens to be one of the most amazing trips to enjoy and avail in South India. You can make your way through the charming highway that is almost two hundred and thirty-five kilometers in length.

10. Make your way through the desert sand

You can bid goodbye to the mundane mediocrity of the day-to-day life if you head towards the Khuri sand dunes located in the Thar Desert. You have to ride through the stretch connecting Barmer and Jaisalmer to make your presence felt amidst the dotted dunes of the desert sand.

Make up Your Mind

Now that you are aware of the options and avenues, you will have little or no problem in making up your mind, and rushing headlong towards one of these destinations, in the company of your two wheeler friend.

Source by Dinesh Patel