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The Charm of “Kashmiri Wedding”

India 23 August 2016:
With each culture evolving its own ways of celebrations, marriage is an event of lifetime. In Kashmir autumn is the official season of weddings. The Kashmiri marriages is no different in terms of religious rituals, however, culturally they stand out with a unique fervor and luster. The locals consider marriage as one of the most important religious duties and a social necessity. In the past, weddings stretched for about a week, but in today’s fast moving world the ceremony has become shorter.

Kashmiri Weddings undergo strict match makings prior to marriages to under take. Costumes are also different; the bridal dress is very elaborate for the Kashmiri girls. The bride has to wear a headwear, which consists of a long cap called Kalpush. Kashmiri groom usually wears a pheran and the waistband. Other add-ons include a sword at his waistband and local embroidered shoes (paazar) at feet.
The Charm of “Kashmiri Wedding”

The Charm of “Kashmiri Wedding”

The Charm of “Kashmiri Wedding”

The Charm of “Kashmiri Wedding”

The Charm of “Kashmiri Wedding”

The northern most state of India, Kashmir is a valley of beauty and excellence. It is known as  “The Paradise on Earth´ and the people are loving and beautiful. Kashmiri wedding has many similarities with other Indian wedding but one should attend a Kashmiri marriage in his/her lifetime because few traditions are very unique.

The first and foremost requirement in a Kashmiri wedding is the good match of horoscopes or teknis
of the boy and the girl. After matching horoscopes they layemphasis on the background and family status of the family of the prospective match. After finalizing the alliance between the girl and the boy, the formal commitment is made between the two families which are known as  Kasamdry. After few days the close relatives from paternal and maternal side from both sides exchange flower bouquets with each other. After affirmations the snacks and drinks are served from the bride side which includes milk and crispy naan along with matthi and traditional tea known as  Kahwa.

After initial ties the wedding date is decided after which for few day ladies on both sidessing songs every evening till the wedding day, this ritual is known as Wanvun . After singing all the guests are served pink salted tea known as sheer chai. The pre-wedding celebrations in Kashmiri matrimony involve a ritual where both the houses are cleansed completely to make it holy and this ritual is known as  Livun. Then a married woman from grooms side and bua or pof  from bride side makes Var for its relatives and neighbors.

Var is a dish made of ghee and is garnished with lots of almonds, cardamom and other dry fruits and is served with kulchas.

Lets talk about the rituals now:

Wanwun or music sessions are held every evening at the houses of the bride and the groom. Relatives and neighbours participate in these sessions.

The maanziraat  ceremony takes place a week prior to the wedding. It begins with krool khanun, a ceremony that involves decorating the door of the houses of the prospective bride and the groom. In the evening, the bride-to-be follows an elaborate bathing ritual, during which her maternal aunt washes her feet. After the bath, her eldest aunt decorates her hands and feet with maanz  (henna).

The devgon  is a ceremony that marks the transition of the bride and the groom from brahmacharya ashram  to grihastha ashram . The girl's family and the boy's family in their respective homes observe the ceremony separately. Before participating in the rituals, the relatives of the bride and the groom observe a fast.

The purohit  conducts the ceremony in front of a sacred fire. The ornaments and utensils that will be given to the bride by her family are also placed in front of the fire. An essential part of the rituals is the kanishran . This involves bathing the boy / girl with a mixture of water, rice, milk and curd. Flowers are also showered over the boy / girl.

They change into a new set of traditional attire following the kanishran . An essential item of the jewellery is the dijaru , an ear ornament, which is the sign of a married Kashmiri woman.

On reaching the groom's house, they are given nabad to eat and the mananmal, the thread tied on their heads are exchanged. Two pigeons are also freed to rejoice the occasion. Then they are led to the kitchen where they have food, fed by the aunt.

The following custom is Satraat, as per which the bride along with groom and some kids visits her parents’ house.

Phirlath is the ritual wherein the couple visits the bride's parents second time and once again they are given presents. "Phirlath" is a tradition where the couple is invited again for lunch or dinner by the girl`s parents.

The next is Roth Khabar ritual which is held on a Saturday or Tuesday after the marriage. According to this ritual, the bride's parents send, one meter long and two and a half meters wide cake, decorated with nuts, to the groom's house. Usually an odd number of cakes are sent. Then the bride visits her parents with the person who brought the cakes. After this, the groom's family sends somebody to bring the bride back.

(The article is shared by Majesti Events)

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