Weddings are fun. But some are more fun than others. The stranger the wedding rituals, the more fun and memorable the wedding. With a country as diverse as ours, we have a zillion, trillion customs that make weddings in every nook and corner, a vibrant story in its own right.
- The Balancing act
Bihari brides are tested in strange ways. No sooner does she bend to take the blessings of the elders, her mother-in-law begins to place a set of earthen pots on her head. The more pots she manages to balance prove her skilfulness in balancing home matters.
Sindhi community have wedding rituals like Saanth where an anklet is tied on the right foot of the bride and groom by the priest. They’re then anointed with oil by seven married women who pour it on their head. After this, they wear a new shoe and break an earthen lamp. As if this didn’t make things strange enough, the groom’s family tear his clothes right off him in order to ward off the evil eye.
Yeah, you read it right. A few ancient tribes believe in all-out conquest – and not just of the heart. The man kidnaps his bride and carries her away on his back. He keeps her hostage for a year after which a ceremony takes place with the consent of the bride’s family.
- Something Fishy
Manipuri weddings like to put things to the test. During the wedding, a woman from both the groom and the bride’s side release a Taki fish each in a pond. If the fish get along and swim together, it prophesies marital harmony.
- Bava’s Bride
Before the Kodava groom can lead his wife to his house, the bride’s bava or cross-cousin, who’d have married her, blocks them at the threshold claiming rights to her hand. After a playful banter and bargaining, the groom buys his way out by giving the bava a gold coin .
- Vegetable Showers
In a UP tribal village called Sarsaul, weddings can get downright rude with the groom and baraat being welcomed with potatoes, tomatoes and a round of choice abuses instead of flowers and aarti. They believe that a relationship that begins on a bad note always ends in love. So much for first impressions.
- Kaashi Yatra
Tamil Brahmin grooms pretend that they’re overcome by a last-minute urge to go to Kashi and choose asceticism over marriage, right at the mandap. The bride’s father requests him to stay and marry his daughter instead. Cold feet, much?
- Jooti Chupana
Punjabi bridegrooms might just find himself missing his expensive wedding shoes. The girls on the bride’s side go all gangsta on him and steal his shoes, which is only returned to him upon paying a ransom in full. Talk about brigandry.
- Lord/Lady Of the Rings
The aeki beki ceremony that takes place in many Hindu weddings is romance turned on its head. The wedding rings are dropped in a pot filled with milk, rose petals and vermillion. The bride and groom must blindly find their rings and the one who scores the best of seven is believed to have the upper hand in the marriage.
More Fishy stuff
Trust Bengalis to make things very gastronomically interesting. The Gaye Holud or the haldi ceremony is graced by two fish that are dressed up as the bride and the groom. Interesting or what?
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