Bengali weddings also called a BIYE is much like all Indian weddings; full of some very significant ceremonies, most of which focus of the bride. It all starts with Aadan Pradan or the Paka Katha or Pati Potro where the priest matches their horoscopes and elders fix the wedding, followed by Aashirbad (where the bride's and groom's family visit each other to bless them and bring some gifts too). Then there are some ceremonies like Vridhi Puja and Gae Halud Tattva which again involve blessings and gifts exchange. For Dodhi Mongol the bride and groom separately go to the nearest pond with their respective relatives to bring back a pitcher of water which is considered to be a form of blessings from Maa Ganga.
Then comes the Sankha Porana where seven married women make the bride wear conch shell bangles known as the Shakha (white bangles) and Paula (red bangles)
Finally on the wedding day there is Potto Basra where the groom is given new clothes by the bride's family bfore he sits at the madap. The Saat Paak is among the most fascinating ritual of the Brngali wedding where the bride sits on a wooden stool called a Pidi or Piri, and is carried to the mandap by her brothers or uncles. The bride keeps her eyes concealed with beetel leaves as she is not supposed to see her groom when she enters the mandap. Keeping her lifted up on the stool, her brothers’ then walk around the groom seven times. After the seventh round the bride and groom finally see each other and this ceremony is the Subho Drishti.
Then the bride and groom exchange garlands and sit at the altar holding hands under a sacred cloth while the priest chants the wedding recitals. Then comes the Saptapadi or pheras and then the sindoor Daan.
Traditionally Bengali bridal wear is about a red and white Benarasi silk saree for her wedding .The saree has heavy golden or silver work which gives the bride a very rich look. She accessorises with heavy gold jewellery and Shakha-paul (red and white bangles). Her must have adornments include Taira & Tikli (Forehead Accessories), Khopa or hair accessories, Kaaner Dul or earrings, nauth(nath), haar (necklace) and atleast one oversized ring called Angtee & Maantasha. She also wears Haater Goyna (Jewellery for hands).
The Bengali groom also wears gold jewellery for the wedding along with his dhoti kurta and topor for a completely traditional look.
Each of the wedding ceremonies end with the Vidaai/ Bidaayi when an emotional bride bids her family goodbye to start a new life among tears mixed with joy.
These are some of the most interesting Indian wedding rituals of India. We shall continue with the wedding customs series in our next blog as well! PEACHMODE has a very versatile and vast wedding wear collection that covers traditional outfits from almost all the states of India. Don't forget to check us out for before you shop for the upcoming wedding season.