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    Pre – Marriage occasions in the wedding of Maratha tradition

    As in almost all the wedding traditions that take place in India, in Marathi wedding also the engagement ceremony takes place prior to the wedding ceremony. The engagement ceremony is named and called as Sakharpuda by the people here. This ceremony is done after matching the horoscopes of the bride and the bridegroom. Prior to the engagement ceremony the bride is gifted with a saree along with bangles of green color by her in – laws. She wears the gift on the engagement day. After the ring ceremony is over, the bride is again gifted by her in – laws, but this time it is a packet of sugar. This gift indicates that the bride after she comes to the in – laws place will spread sweetness in the house.

    This is the way the engagement or the Sakharpuda is completed. Now almost 15 days prior to the actual wedding one more special occasion takes place. This is known as kelven. On this special day a special meal is arranged at both the houses of the bride and the groom. Both the families host each other on this particular meal on this special day of kelven.

    The day of marriage

    The day of the wedding starts with the Chuda ceremony. This takes place in the morning time of the day. During this time, the bride is provided by her in – laws with a chuda that is a special Indian jewellery of bangle.

    Now this particular tradition of chuda ceremony is followed by the Ganpati puja. It is said that before any good work it is required to invoke Lord Ganesha as he is the god of good luck. Maharashtra has a special impact and special devoting for Lord Ganesha.

    This is again now followed by welcoming the groom by the bride’s family. This is done by washing the feet of the groom and then providing him with gifts that mainly has silverware in it. This welcoming tradition is called Seemant Puja.

    The ceremony that takes place after this is the Lagna Muhurat. In this all the guests and the family members stand in the mandap where the marriage is going to take place. Everyone is given with akshat, a special type of rice. The groom stands facing towards the west along with a garland in his hand and the priest makes a screen of clothe in front of the groom. The bride arrives and behind her stands the groom’s mother with a black bead’s string that also has a gold bead in her hand. At this time the relatives and other people present at the moment sings the traditional songs sung for the wedding ceremony. The groom’s mother finally ties the string that is called eksari in the bride’s neck. This is done by tieing and knot on the stanzas of the traditional song mangalashtaka. On the last stanzas of the song the priest removes the cloth screen and the bride and the groom put the garlands in each other’s neck.

    After this ceremony, the ceremony of Lajahoma takes place in the evening time of the same day. This tradition takes place in front of fire. Here both the bride and the groom take oath for lifetime. It is after the taking of oaths that the groom ties an Indian necklace that is worn by the married Indian women the mangalsutra around her neck and also puts sindoor or vermillion on her hair parting.

    The very last ceremony is the saptapadi. In this ceremony the mandap is surrounded by seven heaps of rice along with betel leaves and the fire on put on at the centre of the mandap. The bride follows the groom and touches the heaps of rice with her right foot. After it is done, the couple offers the parched grains along with the betel leaf to the fire and thus completing the marriage at a happy note.

    Thus, may be the Marathi wedding is the simplest wedding but the experience is rich and unforgettable.
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