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Grand Punjabi Weddings- Rituals, Traditions & Celebrations

pheras the 7 vows in Punjabi wedding

Punjabi’s are one of the most fun-loving people on earth. They are simple yet fun-loving people, who believe in expressing all types of emotions with gusto and living life to the fullest. Punjabi wedding rituals reflect their personalities and they celebrate it with the same zeal. These are not only weddings but Grand Punjabi weddings! Punjabi Wedding traditions are the most vibrant and popular all over the world. Punjabis celebrate weddings just like a festival and they enjoy them with all the zeal. There are many amazing rituals in Punjabi wedding which are in store for you ahead.

Grand punjabi weddings
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Grand Punjabi weddings are always cheerful, colorful, loud, and fun-filled. These weddings have lots & lots of rituals & opportunities where you sing and dance to your heart’s content. Being either simple or lavish, various Punjabi rituals ensure unlimited fun and celebration. Punjabi marriage rituals include pre-wedding rituals, wedding rituals, and post-wedding rituals which are a lengthy but fun process. These Weddings display a propensity towards the old age traditions, albeit with some conventional twists. From vibrant lehengas to enthusiastic and noisy baraatis, there is a lot to experience. We punjabis follow “dancing till you finally drop” moto along with many other rituals and different ceremonies. There are ample Punjabi wedding songs for the groom as well as the bride. A Punjabi Wedding is full of love, spicy & delicious Punjabi wedding food, beautiful dresses and, not to forget, “Patiala Pegs”.

Let’s have a look at the pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding rituals of a Punjabi wedding in a sequence of their happenings.

Punjabi Pre-Wedding Rituals

Roka / Thaka

Roka/Thaka
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There are a lot of Punjabi pre-wedding ceremonies which you would not want to miss. Roka is the first ritual of the blissful union. The bride and her family visit the groom’s house and bless him with all the love, fruits, sweets, and few traditional gifts. Same way, Thaka is when the groom and his family visit the bride’s house. The family blesses the bride, with love, clothes, sweets, and bridal jewelry. This ritual is the beginning and the confirmation of a new relationship.

Chunni Ceremony

Chunni Ceremony
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This ceremony takes place just before the engagement; the family of the groom-to-be gives the bride-to-be, a red or pink chunni. This is a symbolic gesture which means that the groom-to-be’s mother has accepted the girl as her daughter-in-law.

Sagan

Grand Punjabi Weddings
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Sagai aka Sagan takes place just after the chunni ceremony. Here, the bride and groom exchange rings. Here again, both the families exchange several gifts like sweets, clothes, fruits, etc. This is one of the most enjoyable ceremonies of the grand Punjabi weddings.

Ladies Sangeet

Ladies Sangeet
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A few days before a Punjabi wedding, the bride’s and groom’s families get together to sing Punjabi folk songs. Generally, the bride’s family conducts the Sangeet ceremony. Combined with a cocktail party, this function gives a proper Punjabi vibe. The relatives from the north the families perform the dance in different groups with the choreography of professional artists.

Mehandi

Mehndi ceremony
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Mehndi is an indispensable part of grand Punjabi weddings. Mehndi ceremony is a vital part of all Indian Weddings. The bride/Henna applies Mehndi on her hands and feet. Groom also applies a little mehndi, just for the “shagun”. The bride’s mehndi designs are very intricate and the name of the groom is written in her hand with mehndi. It is believed that the darker the henna/mehndi gets, the more love she (bride) will receive from her husband and in-laws. Earlier, the family members of the bride used to apply mehndi paste to the bride’s hands and feet. But nowadays, they hire professional mehndi artists for the ceremony. Other female members of the family also apply mehndi on their hands.

Wedding Attires

Punjabi Groom

Punjabi Groom
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The Punjabi Groom carries a set of Kurta Pajama or Sherwani to the wedding. According to the Punjabi rituals, the groom’s attire is to be gifted by the bride’s family. Attire, as well as the inner wears, are purchased by the bride’s family and gifted to the groom. The Groom pairs his sherwani with a churidar which complements the sherwani with color contrast. He also wears a dupatta around his neck and holds a Talwar (sword) in his hand. The talwar symbolizes the sense of protection towards the bride, i.e. protection from the evil world as well as from the toxicity and negativity around. He carries a traditional “Punjabi Jutti” with his outfit and a headdress (sehra) with dangling strands of flowers and petal strings that cover his face. This sehra is tied along with his “Pagg” (turban).

Punjabi Bride

Punjabi Bride
Credit: Indian Wedding Site

A Punjabi Bride is a sight to behold. Punjabi Bride is a mesmerizing beauty, resplendent in a gorgeous Lehenga and lots of fashionable jewelry. When she walks in the wedding attire accompanied by her brothers, people literally can’t take their eyes off her. Punjabi Brides are very choosy about their lehengas and jewelry. Although the majority of the Indian brides carry traditional red lehenga, Punjabi Brides tend to experiment with different colors like Fuchsia, Orange, Gold, Pink, etc. The bride pairs her lehenga with a matching dupatta with which she covers her head. With the mix of gold and artificial jewelry, the Punjabi bride truly looks mesmerizing. The Punjabi bride carries various pieces of jewelry like Maangtika, Chooda (a traditional bangle set in a set of 4, colored in red and ivory), Kamarbandh, Painjaniya (Payal), Nath (a big nose ring), etc. 

The sisters, friends, and sisters-in-law of the bride tie a set of Kalire to her wrists which are tied along with her chooda. These Kaliras are gold or silver ornaments that are dome-shaped with several danglers attached to them.

Punjabi Wedding Day Rituals

Jago

Grand Punjabi Weddings
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Jago is a ceremony/celebration which is initiated by the Nanka (maternal) families of the Bride and the Groom. On the wedding eve, the family stays up the whole night and celebrates Jago till the wee hours. For the early morning celebrations, a brass or copper Ghada (vessel) decorated with clay lamps and stars is kept.

Haldi

Haldi ceremony

This ceremony happens at both the groom as well as the bride’s place wherein a paste of Haldi (turmeric) and Besan (gram flour) is applied to both of them. Rosewater and Sandalwood are also mixed in the paste for the everlasting marriage glow. The bride/groom sits on a low-level stool. The four diyas surround the stool and they sit facing those diyas. The married ladies of the family take pleasure in applying the haldi paste on the to-be couple’s body especially face, arms and legs. 

Chooda Ceremony

Grand Punjabi Weddings
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The Chooda Ceremony is considered to be one of the most emotional ceremonies for the bride as well as her family. Bride’s Maama Ji (maternal uncle) has a vital role to play in this beautiful ceremony.  He (Mama Ji) sits for a Hawan during which the Chooda (set of 21 and 51 red and ivory bangles brought by him) is purified in a mixture of water, malik, and rose petals. As a ritual the bride is not allowed to see the chooda until the moment of her wedding, hence her face and eyes are covered during this ceremony. Her Maama Ji and Maami Ji (maternal uncle & maternal aunt) slip the chooda in her hands, while other elderly members touch the chooda and pass on the blessings to the bride. Then, the maternal uncle and aunt gift a wedding lehenga to the bride.

Gana Bandhana

Grand Punjabi Weddings
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On the wedding day, both the bride and the groom sit for a Puja at their respective houses. After that, the priest ties a “Mouli” or sacred thread on their right wrist. This mouli is supposed to be tied around a betel nut which is also known as “Kaudi”. The thread is knotted multiple times so that it cannot be untied easily.

Ghara Ghadoli

Ghadoli ceremony
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After the Haldi ceremony, it’s time for the ghara ghadoli ceremony. After scrubbing off the dried haldi off the to-be couple, they are taken to a nearby temple where they bathe with the pitchers full of holy water. Then they perform a Puja wherein they take God’s blessings. After that, they are taken back home to take a proper shower. Following that, they start getting ready for their wedding. Both the families perform this ritual at their respective places.

Sarbala / Sarbali

43 The Pearl Resort Sirsa Sikh Wedding Sarbala Aman Manveer Photography
Credit: Michael Studio

Sarbala/Sarbali in grand Punjabi weddings refers to the caretaker of the bride as well as the groom. A little boy dresses up exactly like the groom. He then accompanies the groom to the wedding. This kid is generally the groom’s nephew (brother’s/sister’s son). For the bride, it is the unmarried girl (younger sister/best friend) who is chosen to be the Sarbali.

Sehra Bandi

Sehra bandi
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Once the groom is ready with his royal groom’s wedding attire, a small puja is performed in his honor. In this puja, the turban and the sehra are sanctified by the priest on his head. The sehra is tied around the groom’s head. This is done by an elder male member of the family or the groom’s brother-in-law.

Ghurchadi

Grand Punjabi Weddings
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Traditionally, the Punjabi Groom gets going to the wedding venue by riding a mare (ghodi/female horse) decked up in gaudy decorations and a tikka on her (mare) forehead. The sisters of the groom tie a “Waag” (sacred thread) on the mare’s head. The mare is then made to eat “Chana Daal” after which the groom mounts the mare in a beautiful ceremonial manner. Then the Baraat (all the family members from the groom’s side, the groom sitting on the mare) move towards the venue accompanied by a traditional band. The band plays wedding songs with different instruments and the family members dance to this peppy music.

Milni

Grand Punjabi Weddings
Credit: Maharani Weddings

When the Baraat reaches the venue, the bride’s family stands at the gate to welcome it which is followed by a milni ritual. In this, 2 members (1 from the bride’s family and 1 from the groom’s family) meet and greet each other with love and hugs. For example, the bride’s Maama Ji and groom’s Maama Ji perform the milni ritual together, whereas the bride’s grandmother and groom’s grandmother perform the ritual and so on.

Grand Punjabi Wedding Ceremonies

Varmala/Jaimala

Jaimala
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This is the 1st ritual performed after the bride and the groom’s entry. Garlands that the Bride & Groom exchange are known as Varmala and Jaimala. This ritual is a fun-filled moment as the groom’s friends usually pick him up so that the bride jumps-hops to put the garland around the groom’s neck.

Kanyadaan

Kanyadaan
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This is the most important as well as emotional/sentimental ritual of the wedding ceremony. The bride’s father gives away his loving daughter’s hand in the hands of the groom. Kandyan is the biggest and the most wonderful responsibility as well as achievement of the bride’s father. The Vedas say so. This is the biggest “Daan” he can ever do.

Pheras

Grand Punjabi Weddings
Credit: Wedding Wire

This is the final ritual of the wedding ceremony. Here, the bride and groom take seven Pheras/Circles around the sacred fire. Each Phera represents a promise/oath which they take. In the first 4 pheras, the groom walks ahead of the bride holding her hand, whereas, in the remaining 3 pheras, the bride walks ahead of the groom. After this, the groom ties a Mangalsutra (sacred neck-piece) around the bride’s neck and applies “Sindoor” on her Maang {beginning or completely along the parting-line of a woman’s hair also known as Maang (this symbolizes the Hindu married woman and her desire for her husband’s longevity)}.

Punjabi Post-Wedding Ceremonies

Joota Chuppai

Grand Punjabi Weddings
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This ritual takes place during the pheras. While the bride & groom are busy, the bride’s sisters take the groom’s shoes away and hide them. The bride’s sisters return the groom’s shoes in return for money or gifts.

Kalichadi

Grand Punjabi Weddings
Credit: Shaadi Saga

Kalichadi refers to a ring made of silver. The groom gives away these rings to the bride’s sisters and close female friends. These rings represent Jiju’s love for his Saalis (sisters-in-law). The bride’s sisters tease the Groom and get beautiful rings in return. It is yet another ritual that denotes a bond of the groom with his wife’s sisters.

Vidaai and Doli

Grand Punjabi Weddings
Credit: Wedding Wire

Once all the ceremonies are over the bride bids goodbye emotionally to her maternal home (Maayka) and family members. This is the most emotional and a bit tearful ceremony in the Grand Punjabi Weddings. While she moves out of the venue, she throws a handful of puffed rice and prays that her family and home always prosper. The bride’s brothers walk behind her and catch the rice in their hands. The bride’s brother lifts her in his arms and takes her to the car in which she goes to her in-law’s place (sasural). Once the bride & groom sit in the car, the brothers push the car from behind to bid goodbye to their sister. One of the brothers then accompanies the bride to her Sasural.

So, this was all about Grand Punjabi Weddings. Leave your views in the comments section below and write your reviews & suggestions.

About Ramnika Chadha

A post-graduate in HR from the renowned Institute of Management Technology, she holds a 4-year experience in the same field. Being a passionate blogger/content writer too, she holds an expertise in writing on various subject matters.
View all posts by Ramnika Chadha →

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