Newar wedding

Introduction

The Newari Wedding symbolizes the beginning of a new chapter in the couple’s lives. Newari weddings are as rich as their culture; rich in rituals, following and honoring their Gods and blissful experience throughout the process. But after the invasion of Gorkhali Shah Dynasty, the Newari community moved from Kathmandu and spread over the entire valley, the traditions have been altered and revised.

Involvement

Besides the groom and the bride, there are many important people in a Newari wedding whose involvement is very important.

A “Lami” is the matchmaker in these wedding. They are the ones who become a communication bridge between the families in the initial stages. The “Baje”, who is responsible to carry out all the rituals of the ceremony. The bride and groom’s maternal uncles along with their fathers are also very important people involved in the wedding.

The Procedures

The marriage starts off when the groom side of the family along with their “Lami”, who is the matchmaker, visits the bride’s family with gifts and food items and asks for the bride’s hand. If the bride side of the family accepts the request, dates are fixed and words are given. 

Just 4 days before the wedding, the groom-to-be’s family with few relatives, maternal uncle and an elderly,visit the bride-to-be’s home with twelve areca nut in a huge silver bowl along with fruits, sweets, gold jewelries, clothes and other cosmetic accessories for the bride which are decorated and displayed as attractively as they can. This ritual is known as “Supadi”, where the bride is gifted with jewelry, cosmetics and her wedding dress.

The bride’s mother is the one who starts the ceremony by worshipping lord Ganesh, lord of fire(Agni devta) and other god and goddesses. However, the groom and the groom’s mother are absent in this ritual.

On the big day, the ceremony starts when the bride’s family welcomes the groom and his families who are called the “Janti”.

The bride and groom sit together and the rituals begin which is guided by a “Pujari Baje” who is an important person for the wedding.“Swayamber” is the main event of the wedding; this is where the groom puts “Sindoor” (vermilion) on the bride’s forehead and places a red beaded necklace around her neck. They also exchange rings blessings.

After the swayamber, the bride’s relatives and family members celebrate a ritual where they offer the bride farewell gifts and the bride offers them areca nut, i.e. supadi, this ritual is called “Gwesakhe”.

Later on, the bride and groom share an intimate ritual of “Chipanthike” where the couple shares the same food and eat together for the first time.

After everything, the bride’s father performs “Kanyadan”, where he handovers his daughter’s responsibility in the hands of the groom’s father.

And finally the bride is sent away to her husband’s house as she is carried on the back of her maternal and placed in the car for her happily ever after.

Specialty

A Newari woman is married twice before marrying their future husband. They are first married to “Bael” means wood-apple fruit which is consideredto be a symbol of Lord Vishnu. The girls are married the second time to the “Sun”, for the sun is the symbol of‘eternity’. And after they come of age, theNewari women marry their future husbands.

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Chyasal Football Ground, Patan, Lalitpur, Nepal