The word Kanyadaan comprises of two different words, “kanya” meaning girl and “daan” meaning to give away. Basically, the ritual in a Hindu marriage when the father of the bride gives away his daughter to the groom in marriage for life which means that the groom and his family become everything for the bride and the bride in a way has to sever all ties with her own family for life.
A popular tradition in South India, Kashi Yatra is today treated as more of a fun event. And yet, it is an inseparable part of Tamil weddings. Basically, while the wedding ceremony is in full flow, the groom shall suddenly get up amidst everything and decide that his religious studies are incomplete and marriage is not for him. The bride’s father needs to convince the umbrella wielding groom against it.
4. Feet Washing
This is a very common tradition across different cultures in India. Sometimes children need to wash the feet of elders while in some ceremonies like marriage for instance, the parent or parents in law need to wash the feet of the groom.
5. Haldi for the bride
Haldi or turmeric is mixed with water into a paste and applied to the bodies of the bride and the groom too. Of course, the ritual takes place at the homes of both respectively but it really isn’t that simple at all. Some serious hygiene issues crop up in case of some cultures for instance where the turmeric paste the groom has used on his body is collected and sent to the bride’s home so that she can apply it to her body and look good for the wedding ceremony.
7. Name change – first name
This is a tradition peculiar to North India and parts of the West where the bride changes her first name as well as her last name post marriage. A name is supposed to be a person’s identity, a girl or lady cannot be compelled to also change her first name as well as the last name post marriage.
8. Marrying a Peepal tree/dog
In a peculiar but very particular Hindu custom, if the bride is Manglik (person with a certain issue in their natal chart), she is first solemnly married to a Peepal tree or a dog so as to safeguard the health, general well being and the life of her would be husband. All this is done because it is believed that marrying a manglik woman results in the immediate death of the husband.
10. Pot Balancing
In a rather strange custom in Bihar, as soon as the bride enters her new house for the first time, a pot is placed on her head and she starts touching the feet of the elders and doing her chores with the pot on. Every five minutes another pot is added to her head and she has to manage it. It’s all good fun these days but it was taken very seriously in the olden days and inability to manage the pots would mean disaster.
11. Mother banned from the wedding
As strange as it may sound, a Bengali wedding can never be solemnised in the presence of the mother of the bride. It is considered extremely inauspicious for the bride’s mother to be present at the wedding.
13. Food only for the males
In Rabha weddings in Assam, the bride is expected to cook a complete luncheon on her first day. While in most other religions, the bride is expected to only cook sweets on the first day and then rest till her ‘Mehendi’ wears off, this tribe makes the bride work right from day one. The lunch however, is meant only for the male members of the family.
14. Mangalsutra and bangles
While western countries have the wedding band to signify marriage, in India the bride is expected to wear a Mangalsutra (in Western and Northern regions) or Thaali (in South India) post marriage. Men aren’t expected to wear any sort of ornaments or jewellery which signify that they’re married.