Wedding is a very important function in west Bengal; here in west bengal traditional wedding is arranged by some people known as “Ghotoks” (the meaning of Ghotoks is matchmakers). These Ghotoks are generally friends or relatives of the parents of the bride or groom or any some other known person. These matchmakers are very important because they are known to both families and all kinds of settlement are done by them. So these ghotoks are very much important.
Traditional Bengali weddings are mainly divided in three Rituals.
- Pre-wedding Rituals.
- Wedding Rituals.
- Post-wedding Rituals.
Let’s discuss all rituals in details.
First consider about pre-wedding rituals. These are the activities before marriage. This pre-wedding ritual is also divided in to some parts known as:
Ashirbaad – Ashirbaad is a very special day, on this day the elders people of the groom’s family go to the bride’s home for bless her and alternatively the elders of bride’s family go to the groom’s home to bless him. They bless them by sprinkling husked rice and trefoil on their heads and giving gold ornaments to them.
Gaye Holud – This is another important ceremony in which, five or seven married women of the household grind turmeric with mortar and pestle and anoint the bride with turmeric paste. This is the process which brightens up the bride’s complexion and makes her skin glow and the bride loom very beautiful at the time of marriage. Gaye Holud ceremony is also celebrated on groom’s house.
Dodhi Mongol – this function happens on the day of marriage, here seven married ladies adorn the bride’s hands with the traditional bangles Shakha and Paula. Here one pair of red and one pair of white bangles are used and then feed the bride a meal of curd and rice, the only meal after which the bride and her parents fast the whole day before marriage.
Like pre-wedding rituals these are a lots of rituals are celebrated in marriage and after the marriage. The rituals celebrated at marriage are: Bor Boron, Potto Bastra, Saat Paak, Mala Badal, Subho Drishti, Sampradan, Yagna, Saat Pak (couple), Anjali, Sindur Daan and Ghomta. And the rituals celebrated after marriages are: Bashar Ghar, Bashi Biye, Bidaye, Bou Boron, Kaal Ratri, Bou Bhaat, Phool Sajja, Dira Gaman.
So these are some rituals and the steps of a traditional Bengali marriage celebrated.