Shubh Mangal Savdhan: Moments of Joy at Grand Lotus
Maharashtra is the land of saints. Maharashtra is also known for its art and craft like the weaving of fabrics, Paithani saree, Kolaphuri chappal. One of the interesting elements is the Warli paintings that have a story in themselves, so is the culture and traditions of this State. The word Maha – meaning big in the name of the State, itself signifies the vast richness of the land. Apart from art, craft and food; Maharashtrian weddings have their charm filled with a lot of emotions, traditional values, family bonding and elegance.
Hindu weddings are symbolic of ancient beliefs and every tradition is unique and rich. When it comes to cultural exquisiteness; Maharashtrian weddings are a grand celebration. One will certainly get attracted to Rukhvat, an art exhibition of crafts, jewellery, saree, utensils and sweets at any Maharashtrian wedding.
What comes to your mind when one thinks of the Maharashtrian wedding?
The first thought that might strike anyone while imagining a Maharashtrian wedding is the bride dressed in a Yellow Navari saree. Her hands are adorned with gold and jingling green glass bangles. She is wearing a crescent moon shaped bindi on her forehead. Her nose ring or Nath adds beauty to her face. This description itself gives a pleasant feeling of a traditional Maharashtrian bride and further defines Maharashtrian weddings as an occasion vibrant yet blended with simplicity and ardent beauty.
The first leap towards Maharashtrian wedding:
No matter one is preparing for a marriage that is either arranged or loved, a Maharashtrian can’t escape the minuscule yet detailed rituals that any wedding ceremony follows. A series of ceremonies glorifies the rich Maharashtrian tradition. Like any Hindu marriage, a Maharashtrian wedding is fixed after matching the horoscope or Patrika, as called in the Marathi language.
Once the matchmaking is done, the priests or the pandits would fix an auspicious wedding date and time. The marriage cards, known as Lagna Patrikas are sent to all guests. Do you know which is the best part before a Maharashtrian wedding? One would love to see that the first wedding card is offered to Lord Ganesha, considering that the Lord is invited to the wedding to bestow his divine blessings on the newly wedded couple. Ganesha, the destroyer of the obstacles is believed to eradicate evils and hurdles, paving the way to a happy marriage.
Kelvan and Sakar Puda mark the sweet beginnings:
All the rituals performed at Maharashtrian weddings are distinctly harmonious. One of the ancient cultures is Kelvan, which means prayers offered to almighty- Kuldevta, the family deity. This function is followed by offering traditional meals to close family and friends. In most cases, Kelvan marks the beginning of the Maharashtrian wedding. The ambience created in this ritual is divine with the hope of new beginnings.
Engagement is another grand ritual that marks the agreement of marriage in Indian culture. SakharPuda is the official engagement ceremony performed before a Maharashtrian wedding. SakharPuda as the name suggests is about sweet moments. In this sacred ritual, the would-be mother-in-law offers the bride with sweets, gifts, jewellery and a saree. She applies Haldi-Kumkum (Turmeric and vermillion) on the bride’s forehead and blesses her. As a common ritual, the Maharashtrian couple exchange rings. Both the families of the bride and the groom unite in this warm celebration to cheer their children who will be soon getting married with a promise of love and togetherness forever.
Halad Chadavne for a golden future:
The traditional Haldi or Turmeric function is common in most Hindu weddings with a belief that Turmeric is auspicious and removes evil. In the case of the Maharashtrian wedding, it is named Halad Chadavne. This ritual begins with the application of turmeric paste with mango leaves on the forehead, shoulders, hands and feet of the groom. This same paste is then taken as a ritual to the bride’s home. The same Haldi is applied to her. Haldi function is a great celebration in Maharashtrian families. It is believed that the girl or the boy who is coloured in hues of turmeric, immediately after the bride or the groom will be the next lucky person to get married.
The Maharashtrian wedding walkthrough:
Every Indian wedding culture speaks avidly about prayers and vows. Maharashtrian weddings too follow these principles. The wedding day begins with an invocation of Lord Ganesh, the God of wisdom. The bride then prays to Goddess Parvati for her prosperous married life. After this ritual, the beautifully dressed bride heads towards the wedding venue. The bride and the family eagerly wait for the groom and his family.
The groom is given a royal welcome with the ritual of Aarti. A tilak (vermillion) is applied on his forehead and he is asked to relish a bite of sweet. After the welcome, the groom enters the wedding mandap. The wedding function starts with Antarpat(curtain)laid in between the bride or the groom to restrict them from seeing each other. Every ritual is symbolic of ancient beliefs and the cultural significance behind it. When the curtain is removed, the bride and the groom exchange floral garlands (jaimala) The guest and the family shower them with Akshata (whole rice) as blessings.
Rituals rhythm with the realm of tradition:
The rituals like Kanyadan follow by witnessing the sacred fire. With some chanting and mantras, the couple now perceived as forms of God Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, tie a turmeric thread on each other’s hands. Finally, the groom ties the Mangalsutra around the bride’s neckline and puts Sindoor on her forehead. Mangalsutra and Sindoor is an embodiment of beauty. It symbolizes prosperity and grace, power and strength in Maharashtrian marriage.
The wedding mandap decorated with flowers and the ceremonial fire depicts the beauty that traditions are respected; they are still prevalent in this modern world. The Maharashtrian weddings too involve revered rituals like walking around the holy fire, reciting vows seven times. Maharashtrian weddings do follow Saptapadi, which is symbolic of making vows and promises according to the Hindu culture.
Karmasampti, as the name suggests, is the last ritual in a Maharashtrian wedding ceremony. It is all about concluding with Lakshmi pooja and holy fire is later put off. There is a smile on every face as it is the time for the bride’s brother or cousin to pull their new brother-in-law’s ears. It is a funny banter yet again a time where they remind the groom to take care of the bride and responsibly do his marital duty towards her.
The bride wearing a traditional saree, shimmering silk; adorned with jewellery, steals the limelight of any wedding reception. Colours play an important role in Maharashtrian culture. The bride is dressed in shades of yellow, orange, green or purple. These colours indicate prosperity, strength and purity. The groom too dresses either traditionally or with a modern outlook. Well, we spoke of traditions, colours, the joy of Maharashtrian weddings but with the changing thinking patterns, one can feel some twists, turns, a fusion of modern and traditions blending even in Maharashtrian weddings.
Creating evergreen ambience with Grand Lotus:
A Maharashtrian wedding is infused with flavours of grace, elegance, simplicity and culture. One could even grab a chance to get return gifts in most Maharashtrian weddings, isn’t it a treat? Marriage is a lifetime vow and imagine while watching your wedding album you notice a bunch of people making faces and standing in a row at the buffet counter. There is no variety of food, it is scorching hot and the ambience created is dull. You later realize your wedding was bizarre for your guests. Gone are the days when the pandals were erected in the verandah and the mandaps were designed by carpenters and family members. The foldable metal or wooden chairs welcomed the guests. The waiter struggled between the legs of the guests, avoiding stamping to serve orange-flavoured juice.
Weddings are no longer a homely affair with family and friends. The current trend is all about a grand celebration with proper event management and mesmerizing décor.
Grand Lotus a premium banquet hall in the heart of Navi Mumbai is about an alluring ambience, luxurious feel, comfort and of course appetizing food catered to the family, friends and all guests with mouthwatering traditional cuisines is a sheer delight.
Yah, aaple lagna la utsav banva!