The customs of marriage in India are changing

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Wedding customs in India

Importance: Weddings have a very special meaning in India. The festivals are often very splendid and expensive, as they also represent the financial prosperity of the families. Since the wedding in India is supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, people often save for the big day from an early age - many Indians even set up so-called "wedding savings contracts". Anyone who is invited to an Indian wedding should also return the favor and so it is absolutely not important to be thrifty.

Customs / Traditions: In India, it is still common today to arrange marriages within the framework of Hinduism. The parents of the bride and groom choose a suitable partner for their child according to their social class and caste. The weddings usually take place between December and February, when it is wedding season in India. The exact date is determined by the bride and groom's horoscope. The so-called "Sangit" traditionally takes place two to three days before the wedding. Sangit literally means "to sing together". It is a celebration where the women of both families meet to sing, celebrate and eat together and get to know each other in an informal way. While the Sangit used to be a purely women's celebration, it is now common for the groom and other male guests to join the celebration at a late hour. Henna decorations have a great tradition in India. During the bride's "Mehndi", a festival that can last up to three days, the bride's hands, feet and ankles are artistically painted. As long as the paint has not been washed off (approx. 2 weeks), the woman does not have to help with the household. It is said that the darker the henna color is applied, the more the mother-in-law likes her son's future wives.

Dress: Since red is considered a lucky color, it is a tradition in India for women to wear a sari in some shade of red. This can be from pink to brown or dark red to any color that contains red. The sari is very richly embroidered and elaborately made. A combination of skirt, blouse and scarf, the so-called Lehnga, is also possible. In both robes, however, the arms are lavishly adorned with red and white bracelets and the wedding jewelry is put on. Finally, the bride receives a scarf around her head that is attached to her hair. The groom does not necessarily have to wear red, he can choose between black, blue or earth colors. He wears a long coat with a mandarin collar, the so-called Achkan, or a slightly shorter coat, the Sherwani, which, however, has a much thicker lining. These robes are combined with cotton trousers.

Ceremony: Often times, weddings in India take place in the home of the bride's parents. On the day of the celebration, the groom goes there together with relatives and friends and is ceremoniously received with a drink made from honey and yogurt, which is supposed to bring good luck. A pavilion will be set up in the inner courtyard of the house, in which the actual wedding ceremony will take place. This is divided into two areas, which are separated from each other by a curtain in the middle. The bridal couple enters the pavilion from different sides. In the course of the ceremony, the curtain is then removed so that the bride and groom can see each other, sometimes for the very first time. Particularly important in the ceremony is the sacred fire into which the bride and groom throw rice and butter oil as an offering. Next, the couple's clothes are tied together and they have to walk seven paces around the fire. The wedding celebrations in India are very large, often up to 1000 people come to a celebration and so, depending on the wealth of the family, the celebrations are very extensive, sometimes for several days.