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Sikh Wedding And Its Rituals

The Sikh Wedding Ceremony is known as Anand Karaj meaning blissful union, is a
religious celebration in Sikhism. It is a lifelong spiritual commitment where two
individuals reaffirm their vow to perform social and religious duties to achieve a spiritual
union. The wedding couple sits before the Sikh Holy Scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, and
makes a social commitment to live in harmony with one another while serving humanity.
The Sikh Wedding Ceremony involves a number of several sacred rites and rituals such as:
Maiya Or Vatna :
In Sikh Marriages, Sikh Wedding Ceremony begins with the first and foremost custom of
Maiya. In this rite, a fragrant powder of turmeric, mustard oil and barley flour is applied to
the bodies of bride and groom by their respective families. It is followed by a ritual bath.
After performing the rite, the bride and groom are not allowed to leave their homes until
the day of wedding.

Gana And Mehendi
On the eve of wedding, an auspicious red thread, called gana, is tied to the wrists of bride
and groom. In the case of bride, the gana is embellished with certain other auspicious items
like iron key chain, pearls, cowrie shells and small silken bundle containing sugar to wish
luck and happiness to the bride. Along with this, henna is also applied on the feet and hands
of the Sikh Bride.

Chooda Ceremony
The morning of the wedding is marked by Chooda ceremony in which the bride is made to
wear red and white ivory bangles dipped in buttermilk or kacchi lassi by her maternal
uncle. In addition to this, gold danglers or kaleeren are suspended to the girls wrist by her
close female relative signifying that she is the new fortunate bride.

Ghodi Chadhna
This is an age old tradition of Sikh Weddings in which the groom mounts a decorated horse
mare. He is made to wear a floral veil or sehra along with the garlands of currency notes by
his sisters. Then, the groom and all the baraatis reach the wedding venue or gurudwara for
Anand Karaj.

Lawan Phere
This is the final ceremony of the wedding day in which the bride and groom have to sit and
attend the Guru Granth Sahib Kirtan in the Gurudwara. Then, the paathis recite the holy
prayers or sabad during which the wedding couple revolves around the Guru Granth
Sahib. After all the four lawans, the family members of the couple read hidayats or the
duties and responsibilities that the bride and groom have towards each other.

After performing all the traditional rites and rituals, the couple is wished immense
happiness and fortune in their married life. The occasion is concluded by a grand feast in
which all the friends and family dine together and enjoy themselves.