What Is A Mehndi Party?

In Indian cultures, a wedding is a series of celebrations before and after the couple exchange vows. The Mehndi party is one of the essential and vibrant customs of an Indian wedding, especially Hindu, Muslim and Sikh weddings. Mehndi and henna are two different terms associated with each other. “Mehndi” is an Indian word for “henna” and “henna” is an Arabic word for “Mehndi.”

On this occasion, an artist uses a paste made from dried henna leaves to design intricate patterns on the hands and feet of the bride and other female members of the family. It is usually held a day before a wedding as a way of wishing bride prosperity and good health.

Mehndi Ceremony

Mehndi vs Henna – Are they different?

The mehndi ceremony is organized by the family of the bride. While mehndi is for females only, male relatives are also invited to join the party that comes after the bride has completed henna on her hands.

Modern Indian weddings have added songs and dance to the mehndi ceremony as some brides celebrate their bachelorette party the same night. Mehndi Ceremony serves as a second sangeet that brings all families together to celebrate the pre-wedding ceremonies.

According to a common belief of Indian tradition, the darker the color of the bride’s mehndi, the more her husband will adore her.

Sikh Wedding vs Hindu Wedding – What’s The Difference?

Every culture has its own way of conducting a wedding. Be it Sikh, Hindu, Muslim or any religion, every religion celebrates the wedding in a unique way.

Sikh and Hindu weddings follow different rituals and traditions. For instance, in a Hindu wedding there is a fire called “Agni” that surrounds the couple and idols, known as “Murtis”, are placed all around. In contrast, there is no idol worship of any kind in a Sikh ceremony. Instead, Sikhs reference their holy book, called the Guru Granth Sahib, when binding their marriage.

Below are some basic differences between these two weddings.

Sikh Wedding

Sikh weddings reflect a strong Punjabi culture that includes various rituals, a lot of dancing, endless food, and traditional dresses. The pre-wedding traditions comprise Rokka, (pre-engagement), Kurmai (formal engagement), Akhand Path, Ardas (prayer), mehndi, etc.

The wedding ceremony takes place at a Sikh place of worship, called Gurudwara. The bride and groom are asked to bow in front of a holy Guru Granth, while the family members sing hymns to seek God’s blessing. Wedding lunch is vegetarian served at the Gurudwara’s congregational hall.

The wedding ends with the grand reception party which is given by the groom’s side to honor the newly-wed couple. Friends and family are invited to enjoy the lavish meal, dancing, and singing.

 

Hindu Wedding

A Hindu wedding ceremony incorporates various customs and rituals. The pre-wedding traditions involve Tilak, Ring Ceremony, Haldi, Ganesh Puja, Mehndi, Sangeet. A traditional Hindu wedding lasts an average of three days. On the first night, a priest performs the Ganesh pooja.

Hindu Wedding

On the Wedding day, the priest offers numerous mantras or chants to Gods on behalf of the couple. After that, the Barat is carried out which is a public ceremony in which the groom’s family and friends sing and dance while reaching to the bride’s residence.

After reaching the bride’s dwelling, the Varmala ceremony is performed that involves exchanging of flower garlands between the bride and the groom. The bride and groom then perform Phere that involves 7 rounds around a sacred fire.

Vidai is denoted as a sad event of marriage which is a ritual of bride bidding farewell. Reception is held after the completion of a marriage. It is basically a fun party where people enjoy music, dancing, and food.

All-in-all the basic difference between Sikh and Hindu marriage is, they are performed by following their respective religions and cultures.

 

What is a Wedding Saree?

India is famously known to have elegant costumes and dresses. One of the most expressive clothing that reflects a woman’s femininity is a Saree. This ethnic attire is beautifully draped around the body, making a woman look graceful.

In most of the Indian weddings, women prefer to wear a saree to get a perfect traditional look. Wedding sarees are usually made up of material like velvet and silk and are enhanced with heavy embellishments such as rhinestones, sequins, laces or beads. Sarees can be worn according to a season, climate or a particular occasion.

Mostly in Indian weddings, women choose to wear embroidery sarees, printed sarees, georgette sarees or chiffon sarees. Today, this attire is also inspired by the latest Bollywood trends. These days, Golden zari work sarees are in high demand as it makes the saree look vibrant and rich. A wedding saree sets apart the lavish tradition in India and adds sophistication to the personality of those who wear them. Precious moments like uniting in wedlock must entail gorgeous wedding sarees that blends together artistry, creative designs, and diverse culture.

 

How To Drape a Wedding Saree?

Wearing a wedding saree in the right way and right style is an art. Just a little practice and you can master it. There are different ways to wear a saree. The traditional way to wear a saree is with pleats in the centre and then fix pallu pleated or freely, depending on your personal choice. You can either drape the pallu around or let it fall. By making pallu rest on the wrist will give a royal touch to your personality. Be smart on your choice of accessories and jewelery. Bundle up, and you are ready to go, girl!

A wedding saree can be put on in different styles – every region in India has its own distinct way of wrapping a saree and that’s what makes it an appealing attire!

Muslim Wedding vs. Ismaili Wedding

Islam is one of the noble religions in the world with billions of zealous followers of the religion. By the holy Quran, wedding is one of the primary duties of a Muslim and an integral part of Islamic culture.

Sunni Muslims and Ismailis are the two Islamic communities having different faiths and beliefs. Sunni Muslims follow the teachings of the last prophet while Ismailis believe in the seven Imams, and therefore is called the “Seveners”. Though the practices of both communities are technically a sect of Muslim, many Muslims don’t consider Ismaili as Muslims. And because of differences in their beliefs, their weddings are also a little bit different.

Muslim Wedding

Like most weddings, Muslim wedding has two aspects, one is religious and the other is social. The wedding ceremonies are usually short and sweet. Nikah which is the significant ceremony of the wedding takes less than an hour.

In this ceremony, the bride does not present herself rather sends her two witnesses to the drawn-up agreement. The ceremony is officiated by a Muslim cleric and involves reading from the Quran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad. The vows are exchanged in front of witnesses for both bride and groom.

Since the marriage is declared publically, a large feast is served to guests.

 

Ismaili Wedding

Similar to a Muslim wedding, the Nikah ceremony is an important part of every Ismaili wedding. Islamic custom has the bride and groom sitting in separate spaces, not together. They are approached by the person who recites the Nikkah, who is known as the Qazi. The bride is approached first and is asked if she accepts the marriage. If she says “Kabul” no less than three times, then this indicates she has accepted the marriage. This ritual is then repeated for the groom in exactly the same way.

Witnesses aren’t as important in an Ismaili wedding as they are in an American one. However, alimony is! Part of the Qazi’s duties is to inform the groom that, in the case of divorce, he must pay the bride a sum of money called the “Mehar.”

Both weddings are the same to some extent, however, the major differences are between their religious beliefs.

What is a Langar Meal During an Indian Wedding?

Marriages are a grand event in India. They are held in different ways, depending on religions, traditions, and cultures. Every religion in Indian has a set of rituals and traditions when it comes to marriage. For example, a langar meal is an important part of a Sikh wedding.

Langar, also known as Maha Prasada, is a ceremony in a Sikh wedding that takes place after the main wedding ceremony called Anand Karaj.

The Karah Prasad is given to everyone and then the couple seeks the blessings of the elders. Before the doli and after the shagun ceremony, the wedding guests are served with a simple food called Langar meal. The meal is completely vegetarian as there is no alcohol or non-veg food is allowed in Gurdwara. Usually, the meal is served at Gurdwara’s congregation hall.

After removing shoes outside, guests sit on the floor and eat the langar meal together. Seating is open, once guests are served their food they can sit anywhere they like in the hall. Lunch is served in buffet style comprises roti, daal (lentil), sabji (vegetable), yoghurt, salad, and other traditional Indian dishes. Nowadays, some families organize langar meal at a commercial place too.