Monday, July 15, 2024

The People


Marriage ceremony

After the proposal come, horoscopes of the boy and girl are compared. A new ring is put on the girl's finger as a mark of sealing the proposal .The nuptials start two or three days, ahead. The first day is the Jorondiya,when a party of women from the bridegroom's side go to the bride's house and formally presents her with bridal dresses and ornaments.

From this day till the wedding the bride and groom have to undergo ceremonial baths, every day, known Nowani.For this, water is specialty drawn (panitola) )by women who go in a procession  singing appropriate songs, to the river or a tank. The night of the second day or  the night before the wedding day is Adhivasa. Both the bride and the groom and also their mothers have to observe a fast on these days. A priest is engaged for the rites on this day and he performs the pujas, offering grams and pulses to Gods which are later distributed as prasad, after eating it only  a vegetarian meal can be had at night.

Women then carry on the ceremony of gathiyan khunda in which, inside an enclosure of cloth, they pound a kind of aromatic root  to a pulp and apply it on the boy's or girl's head and add oil to the pulp. This is an act of purification. After, that night's meal, there will be no usual meal for them and their parents till the marriage is over. Early morning of the wedding day, the ceremony of daiyan diya is observed. The bride or the groom is made to sit on the threshold of the bedroom, an elderly women relative sits in front, takes two betel leaves in her two hands, dips them into a bowl of curd and touches his or her cheeks, arms and feet with the leaves.

Then after a ceremonial bath, Shraddha of nine past generations is performed. The groom has to take another ceremonial bath before he gets ready in the evening to start for the bride's house. He and his party arrive at the bride's place a little before Langa  or Auspicious hour. He is ceremonially received at the decorated gate by his would-be mother-in-law. Fistfuls of rice will be thrown at him to drive off any evil spirit accompanying him. Then the groom is led to the place under the pandal where the ceremony is to be performed. Women continue to sing marriage-songs all the while. At the appropriate hour, the bride is brought out and the priest starts the Vedic rites. After all the ceremonies are over, the bride is taken by the groom's party to the groom's house; she need not stay there from that very day, but she must set her foot that day in her husband's house and may go back home. On the third evening with the help of a priest, offerings are made to two imaginary demons named Khoba and Khubuni for smoothening the path of married life. Dowry is not asked for, but the girl's father presents all necessary things which would be required in married life.