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8 Things you must need to know About Bengali wedding rituals and traditions.

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Indian weddings are always known for their grandeur and charm. Especially Bengali Wedding Rituals. The classic traditional touch infused with little modernity, these weddings are a feast for the eyes. 

Bengalis love to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Hardly anyone can beat them in the game of celebrations. Be it celebrating East Bengal’s victory or KKR’s winning sixer Bongs never miss a chance of a grand celebration. 

Speaking of celebrations, what is the biggest celebration if not that of love? Bongs are pretty darn good at that too. If you have had the good fortune of witnessing a Bengali wedding, you must be aware of the splendid nature of them. The colours, the outfits, the food, everything makes these weddings an affair to remember.

Bong weddings or as Bengalis call them ‘biye’, are a unique blend of traditional and modern customs. Millennials might find it difficult to remember these many rituals. So, we have got you covered. Here’s a list of all the pre and post-wedding rituals so that the next time you attend a Bengali ‘Biye’, you can proudly show off your knowledge about these rituals.

Bengali Pre-Weddig Rituals

  • Adan-Pradan

The whole process of the wedding starts with this custom. AdanPradan translates to ‘give and take’ in English but give and take here doesn’t mean the exchange of gifts or money. Once the bride and the groom decide to marry each other, families meet to give their consent to the wedding. The families bring along priests who match the horoscopes and finalises an auspicious date. 

However, with changing times, this custom too has evolved. Some families decide upon a date over phone calls while some choose to skip this ritual. 

  • Aashirbad: 

What the ceremony of engagement is to some communities, aashirbad is the same in Bengali Weddings. In this ceremony, both the families gather together and shower blessings on the bride and the groom. The groom visits the bride’s family along with his friends and family and vice-versa. 

The family members bless the couple by sprinkling trefoil leaves and rice. Meanwhile, the ladies of the family continue to play the conch shell trumpets. After this, the bride and groom get greeted with delicious sweets like Roshogolla and lots of gifts to bless the new union. 

  • Ai BudoBhaat

Ai Budobhaat is relishing the last meal before marriage as a bachelor or bachelorette. This tradition is by far the most enjoyable custom as one gets to savour so many delicacies. Many dishes are prepared right from different types of fries to the infamous ‘IlishMaach’ to a delicious platter of sweets. 

In today’s time, this ritual is arranged more than once by friends or relatives or family members to celebrate the bride or the groom. 

  • DodhiMangal

DodhiMangal is the first Bengali Wedding Rituals  that takes place on the day of the wedding. This ritual is performed both by the bride and the groom. The bride and groom with their respective families go to the nearby water body, preferably a river to seek the blessings of Goddess Ganga. They carry a ‘Kalsi’ or a pot to fetch water from the nearby river. Then the bride or the groom are fed ‘Dodhi’ or yoghurt and ‘Khoi’ or puffed rice. 

  • Nandi Mukh

Nandi Mukh takes place on the morning of the wedding day at both the bride’s and groom’s place. A small puja takes place where the families pay their respects to their ancestors and seek blessings for the soon to be married couple. 

  • Gaye holud and Snan

Gaye holud is the ‘Haldi ceremony’ performed before the wedding. ‘Holud’ is Bengali for Turmeric and is an essential element of any Bong wedding. This ritual first takes place at the groom’s house. Family and friends apply ‘holud’ on the groom’s face and body. Then, the same turmeric paste is sent to the bride’s house and smeared on the bride. The water brought in from the river is then used for bathing the bride. This ritual is all about fun and frolic with everyone having a gala time. 


Gaye holud
Photo courtsey : Two Heart
  • Tattva

Tattvas are gifts sent by both the families to each other as a mark of love and respect. The groom’s family and friends bring the tattvas along with the turmeric paste just before the bride’s ‘gayeholud’ ceremony, while the bride’s family bring in the tattvas on the day of ‘boubhaat’ or reception. The families present gifts on a copper coloured plate and colourful cellophane papers. The tattvas contain a variety of presents from sarees, jewellery, makeup for the bride to gifts for other members of the family as well. 

  • Sankha-Polaporano

Red and White conch shell bangles are popularly known as ‘Sankha’ and ‘Pola’ in Bengali. Sankha-Pola is considered to be an essential ornament of a married woman. During this ritual, seven married women help the bride to wear the sankha and pola. 

Bengali Wedding Rituals

After all the pre-nuptial rituals, the main event is about to begin. The wedding evening is the most exciting part of the day. 

  • BorJatri and Bor Boron

The groom’s friends and family accompany him to the marriage venue is what is called ‘BorJatri’ where the ‘bor’ or the groom arrives with his clan to marry the bride. The groom meets the mother-in-law at the entrance of the venue. The bride’s mother welcomes her son in law by a ‘boron dala’ and performs an aarti. 

  • PottoBostro

Once the groom arrives at the ‘mandap’, an elderly member of the bride’s family gifts new clothes to the groom that he will wear during the wedding rituals

  • SanthPaak

The SanthPaak is undoubtedly the most fun of them all. In this ritual, this bride seats on a ‘Piri’ and all her brothers lift her while she is seated. Then they carry her around the groom seven times in a row. 

  • SubhoDrishti

You must have seen a Bengali bride covering her eyes with two betel leaves. Shortly after the ‘santhpaak’, the bride removes the leaves from the front of her face to establish eye contact with the groom. 

  • MalaBadal

In the ‘mala badal’ ritual, the bride and the groom exchange garlands or ‘mala’ three times. During this ritual, the bride is still held by her brothers on the ‘pidi’. The brothers add to the fun by lifting the bride higher and higher. 

  • Sampradan

Sampradan is the ritual where an elderly member of the bride’s family gives the groom the bride’s hand. 

  • Yagna and Saptapadi:

Saptapadi is when the bride and groom take seven rounds around the pious pyre. It symbolises the union of the newly-weds for eternity. 

The priests carry out the ritual of ‘Yagna’ and chant prayers to please the gods and goddesses and seek their blessings. 

  • Anjali

The bride and the groom pay their respects to the God of fire by offering puffed rice or ‘Khoi’.

  • SindoorDaan

After all the rituals, the groom adorns the forehead of the bride with ‘sindoor’, without looking at her. After this, the bride places a new saree over her head gifted by the groom’s family. SindoorDaan marks the end of all the bengali wedding rituals and traditions

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What sets apart a Bengali wedding from other Indian weddings are its rituals and traditions. The week-long festivities include a lot of different customs that are enjoyed invariably by the family and friends. Bengali wedding traditions are not only beautiful to witness but very enjoyable. These traditional ceremonies take place before and after the wedding. One can’t help but notice their aesthetic and ornamental nature. When it comes to weddings, the bongs know how to do it right. Comment down your favourite bengali wedding rituals. 

Author: Aratrika Biswas

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