Bengali Hindu Wedding

History and Procedure involvement
  • Wedding proposal arranged by the Ghotoks or the matchmakers usually the friends or relatives of the bride or groom.
  • Marriage divided into four parts: Gaye Holud of the bride, Gaye Holud of the groom, Beeye and BouBhaat
  • The first event is informal known as engagement also known as Ashirwaad where groom presents a ring to the bride.
Division of Bengali Hindu Marriage

The division of Bengali Hindu Marriage is divided into:

  • Pre wedding rituals: Adan Pradhan, Patri Patra , Ashirbaad, Aai Budo Bhaat, anandanadu, Virdhi, Gaye Holud, Dodhi Mongol, AdhibasTatva and Kubi
  • Rituals during the weeding: Bor Boron, Potto Bastra, SaatPaak, Mala Badal, Subho Drishti, Sampradhan, Yagna, Saat Pak, Anjali, SindurDaan and Ghomta
  • Post wedding rituals: Bashar Ghar, bashiBiye, Bidaye, Bou Boron, Kaal Ratri, BouBhaat, PhoolSajja, Dwiragaman
  • It lasts for several weeks from the date of proposal.
Procedure involvementand Informative
  • Differences in Bengali Hindu marriage in West Bengal and Bangladesh.
  • Ashirbaad post wedding ritual where the elders from the side of groom and bride bless either sides by sprinkling husked rice and trefoil on their heads along with gold ornaments.
  • Gaye Holud is a post wedding ritual where five to seven married women of the house grind turmeric. The same paste is used by both groom and bride, the first person to use the grind turmeric being the groom. The turmeric paste is sent to the bride’s house along with a new sari, other gifts and gamchha (Bengali cotton towel).
  • Dodhi Mongol: Around the time of dawn on the wedding day, seven married women help the bride put on traditional bangles known as Shakha and Paula which has a pair of red and white conch-shell and feed her a mixture of yogurt and rice. The bride and groom fast for the whole day after this simple dish.
  • BoriJatri, a wedding ritual where the family if the bride send a carriage or presently more used decorated car to bring the groom to the wedding venue. The groom seeks the blessing of his mother before leaving in the arranged transport to seek a new life with his bride. The bridegroom is in the company of two older male relatives one from each side of the bride and groom. The elder accompanying the groom from his side is called Borkorta.
  • Bor Boron is a wedding ritual where the borjatri reaches the bride’s home where thry are welcomed by the bride’s family lead by the mother of the bride. The pooja thali a traditional plate which has holy earthen lamp, sprinkling trefoil, and husked rice placed on a bamboo winnow (kula) is brought forward to welcome them.
  • Potto Bastra is a marriage ritual where the groom is seated at the chadnatolla (wedding altar and canopy) is where the groom is given new clothes by the elder of the bride’s family who does Sampradaan i.e. passing the responsibility of the bride to the groom.
  • Saatpaak is a marriage ritual where the bride, usually seated on a low wooden stool known as pidei covers her face with beetle leaves or paan leaves and is lifted by her brothers and circles around the groom in complete seven circles. This is done to bind the bride and groom securely.
  • SubhoDristi is a marriage ritual where the bride and groom face each other and exchange glances at each other after the bride puts aside the paan leaves hiding her face.
  • Mala Badal is a marriage ritual where the bride and groom exchange garlands thrice. This marks the first step of acceptance.
  • During Sampradan, the bride seats herself at chadnatolla where the elder of the bride’s family places the brides hand on top of the grooms hand and their hands are bound by the sacred thread and they place it on top of mangal ghot while Vedic chants are made.
  • Mangal ghot is a pitcher made with brass that is filled with water that is covered with mango leaves that are attached to a twig and a green coconut is placed on it.
  • Saptapadi, a different ritual from the phere of Indian marriage. After several betel leaves are placed out in sequence the bride steps on them one by one after the groom does. The groom moves forward stepping on a special stone called nora which is made with spices used for crushing.
  • Anjali, where the offering is made to the fire. The brother of the bride puts puffed rice known as Khoi in the hands of the bride and after the groom holds the brides hand they pour the offering into the fire together.
  • Sindoordaan and Ghomta where the bride and groom once again take a seat and groom puts on sindoor or vermilion on the hair parting of the bride. The bride’s head is covered with a new saree given by the family of the groom. This is known as lojjabostro.
  • Bidaay is a farewell ritual where the bride throws rice backwards while her mother collects it in the achal of her sari. This marks the passing of the responsibility of the bride to the groom.
  • Bodhu Boron is a post marriage ritual done once the bride reaches the groom’s house. A plate full of alta and milk is placed in front of the bride’s foot where she stands and enters the house leaving foot prints as she walks in being welcomed by her mother-in law.
  • Kaal ratri where the bride and groom are separated for the night to be refreshed for the next day’s final wedding ceremony.
  • BouBhaat is a ritual where the bride prepares her first kitchen for her new family. The husband gifts sari to the wife and vows to fulfil as the basic needs and responsibility of the bride. A banquet follows the meet and greet of guests who visit the new member of the family.
  • PhoolShojja is the after marriage ritual where the couple share their room. There is a tradition where the friends stay under the bed or by the corner of the door to check if there are any devils before the husband and wife talks to each other.
  • They have a tradition of the younger male member of the groom’s family accompanying him a role similar to best man in western tradition. In Bengali hindu marriage the young man is addressed as Neet bor.
  • The chadnatolla (wedding altar and canopy) is where only the groom, bride and the priest are seated.
  • Their marriage attire consists of Kurta also known as Panjabi Kurta and Dhoti for the groom which is made from fabrics like cotton, silk or Tussar for the top and Muslin or Bengal Handloom known as Tant for the Dhoti. The groom wears dots of sandalwood paste on his forehead and a head adornment known as Topor made of Shola and Indian Cork. The garland is made if tuberoses and roses. During wedding the groom changes into fine two piece silk attire known as Jor. Also the groom carries a round brass object with long handle known as Darpan at all times.
  • As for the bride, she wears Red Banarasi Sari made of silk which is heavily embroidered with gold sari threads. The drapes are made in aathpoure style a traditional Bengali draping style. She wears a veil that covers her head and jewellery. The bride’s forehead has a unique design drawn on her forehead with kumkum and sandalwood paste that centre her big red bindi. She wears a head gear that pairs with the groom’s topor known as Mukut. The Bengali bride carries an ornate wooden container filled with sindoor and a one rupee coin known as GachhKouto. Some customs are seen where the bride also needs to carry Kajal Lata an eye shaped flat metallic container which carries Kohl paste.

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Chyasal Football Ground, Patan, Lalitpur, Nepal