A tour of Bengal culture
A Bengali wedding is an occasion of massive social gatherings, and the celebration of meaningful rights and rituals. The bride of the occasion is undoubtedly the centre of everyone’s attention, she is also decked up as a real life princess on the day of her wedding.
A land of kind and sweet people, Bengal’s wedding traditions are unique in their own way! Well, we at The Wedding Ensemble will now you take you on a Bengal tour and show you the best of the state.
After the formal agreement between the bride and groom’s parents, the bride is thrown a bridal shower where she is given presents from the family members. One day before the wedding, the bride and groom are fed well with traditional Bengali dishes before sunset because they have to fast until the wedding rituals are over. This ceremony is known as Dodhi Mangal.
Birddhi Puja is another important ritual that the father of the bride and the groom perform in their respective homes that involves chanting Sanskrit mantras, calling out to the seven generation of ancestors to seek their blessings.
On the morning of the wedding, the mothers of the bride and the groom along with a few married women of the family walk to a nearby waterbody to collect some water in a brass pitch which is to be used by the couple to be after the Gaye Holud ceremony. Gaye Holud is the haldi ceremony that all the cultures perform.
Gaye Holud is then followed by the couple proceeding to get ready for the wedding.
Once the bride and groom are ready, the groom proceeds towards the wedding venue with the Bor Jotri otherwise known as Baarat. Once arrived at the venue, the groom seeks blessings from the elders of the families and is welcomed by the groom’s mother. While the groom is then taken to the mandap, the bride sits on a wooden plank known as piri which is carried by 4-5 males that bring her to the mandap. She covers her face with betel leaves till she arrives at the mandap. This is formally known as Subho Drishti. After the arrival of the couple, the priest then performs the further rituals.
We talked about how a Bengali bride is a literal princess on her wedding day, so lets look at what the couple wear for their wedding.
The bride wears a red Banarasi saree with heavy embroidery of golden zari threads. She wears a veil, which is kept in place with her mukut. The makeup of the Bengali bride has one thing, which is essential and that is the application of white sandalwood paste on her forehead in the form of dots alongside her eyebrows with a big red bindi of kumkum.
The groom on the other hand wears a kurta which is known as Panjabi with a dhoti. The dhoti is made of muslin or Bengal handloom called Tant. The kurta can be made of cotton or any other fabric. The groom also wears the sandalwood paste on his forehead making dots. He adorns himself with a garland of roses and tuberoses. As the bride wears the mukut, the groom wears a topor made of shola.
The Bengali bride with her white mukut
Source: Malabar Gold and Diamonds
The Groom’s Topor
The bridal makeup
Some of the essential ornaments that the bride adorns herself with are
Shakha Pola – A set of bangles that the bride wears that symbolizes good health and prosperity.
Pati Haar – A flat gold necklace that is worn to remind the bride that she is as strong and powerful as the Goddess Durga.
Source: Tanishq Rivaah
Ratanchur – A bracelet with rings to enhance the beauty and femininity of the bride’s hands.
Source: A Sirkar Jewellers
While Bengalis love a grand wedding, they also love a feast of tasty fish and meat, with rice as their main serving, and some really mouth watering sweets like sandesh, mishit doi, roshogolla and so on. In all, Bengalis are known to be foodies!
Source: The Better India
And even if you’re not a Bengali but wish to have your wedding there, then here are some of the best hotels to have a wedding you dreamed of!
The Lalit Great Eastern, Kolkata
The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata
Hyatt Regency Kolkata
This is how the humble and foodie Bengalis celebrate weddings, let us know whether you liked this short tour of Bengal! Don’t forget to send in your comments and suggestions.