Like in most Indian weddings, many Bengali weddings are arranged matches that are solemnized with tradition and wedding customs. When it comes to Bengali matrimony it is all about family, tradition and joy. They comprise of a spate of rituals and customs that both the bride and groom participate heartily in. Read on to learn about some of the very special rites that a traditional Bengali groom is involved in during the course of his nuptials.
• The Bridegroom’s Gaye Holud
Quite similar to the Haldi in North Indian weddings the Gaye Holud is what the groom participates in a few days prior to the nuptials. At this time, the bride’s family visit’s the groom’s ancestral home bringing gifts and sacred holud. The bride is not a part of this visit for she is forbidden to see the groom before the wedding. Her family carries the blessed holud along with gifts that are known as Adhibas Tattva.
The holud is liberally applied to the groom who has to settle down on a seat wearing a cotton dhoti while his family members carry out the ritual. Most of his female relatives use the turmeric and spread it across his torso with leaves of the mango tree. After this, there is a fabulous home cooked meal for the bridegroom and all of the attending relatives.
• The Bor Jatri to the Bride’s Home
At the time of the wedding, the bridegroom heads off with a fantastic procession that takes him to the bride’s house. He is accompanied by a long line of relatives, friends and family members who are all invited to the wedding. They are all carrying out a procession and saying to music playing as they hasten to the bride’s house or wedding venue. At the end of the Bor Jatri the mother of his wife to-be invites the groom and his family into the house.
The Bor Jatri is quite similar to the baraat in North Indian weddings; however, the Bor Boron is carried out soon after the groom and his family arrives at the venue.
• The Welcoming Ceremony or Bor Boron
The entourage arrives at the venue to see the entire family of the bride ready to invite them in. The girl’s mother holds a mud pot that is full of fluffed rice grains while the sound of conch shells being blown is heard. The pot is tapped at the bridegroom’s temple after which he is welcomed inside by his future mother-in-law. He is taken to the stage where the ceremony is to begin with his entire clan in tow with a lot of fanfare.
The stage or mandap is traditionally adorned with a couple of banana branches at each end for they are known to signify affluence and fruitfulness.
• The Offering of Potto Bastra
The groom waits at the stage where he is offered a chadnatolla to settle on and presented with brand new attire by the bride’s family as a part of the tradition. Bengali weddings are much cherished occasions that are celebrated with a lot of flourish and the role of the groom is indeed very interesting and multihued.