Bihar as a part of India is laden with elaborate and colorful celebrations, including the most important and highly celebrated Bihari weddings. People celebrate the occasion with a lot traditional rituals that they follow along with the bright lifestyle of today. Their deeply rooted traditions make up for ceremonies that last for around 45 days unlike the past where Bihari marriages used to be a long affair which lasted over several months.
Even today the wedding is fixed by the elders and the to-be-wed boy and girl agree to them as a symbol of their respect. The first and the foremost thing that a hindu Bihari wedding witnesses is a Satyanarayan Katha that is done at the groom’s place for the would be groom. In this special prayer all the relatives of the groom keep a fast and ignite a sacred fire that is kept burning till the wedding is over. After deciding on a propitious day known as ‘Cheka’, which is the engagement ceremony, the bride and groom exchange rings. On the next day itself members from the bride family visit the groom’s house and present them with gifts known as ‘shagun’. This is an important day because on this day they decorate their house for the coming celebrations.
For the ‘Haldi’ ritual the mother of the groom and bride grind turmeric paste with the help of their hands and send to each other’s house. This paste will be applied on the ‘lagan mahurat’ to mark the beginning of the wedding rituals. Applying of this paste signifies the purification of the bride and groom before their wedding. The Haldi ceremony is also repeated on the final day when the wedding will happen. Dead ancestors blessings are also taken on the same day by rituals named as Matripoojan and Dhritdhari.
On the day of wedding, the mother of the groom performs a ritual known as Paricchavan to ward off any evil effects after which the groom leaves for the bride’s place in a ‘Baraat”. The groom is welcomes by the girl’s relatives with an ‘arti’ and garlands. The groom dons a ‘Dhoti-kurta’ and the bride a yellow saree. Both of them then move ahead for the ‘mandap’ where the priest ties them with a bracelet made with mango leaves. A barber is also called, who cuts the toe and finger nails of the couple. As all the ceremonies end ‘Kanyadaan’ is done by the father of the bride that signifies the official handling of girl’s responsibility to the boy. Seven pheras are taken by the couple around the sacred fire following which the groom applies vermillion on the bride’s forehead five times and ties a ‘mangal sutra’. This completes the wedding for the couple and all relatives bless them with their wishes.