Having had his sangeet ceremony 2 days earlier, I’m now documenting day 2 of his wedding celebrations: The Haldi ceremony for the groom Saras, which was held at his family home, in a marquee in their garden.
This was the part of their celebrations I was looking forward the most, as not only is it a colourful occasion, but antics can often go overboard, especially with male members trying to outdo each other in how much haldi they use, and where they put it! You’ll see what I mean later on!!
Hindu Haldi Ceremony
The haldi ceremony, also known by some as Mayian, Mayun, Pithi or Ubtan, is a preparation ceremony, usually the day before the main wedding, and is usually at the couple’s parental home.
It involves rubbing turmeric (haldi), mixed in oil and water, to the body. It acts as a skin exfoliant to liven the skin before the wedding, and is viewed as a blessing to the couple before the wedding.
The prospective bride or groom is seated on a wooden plank called a patri, and a red cloth is held above by four female relatives, while married women of the household led by the mother, rub a paste of turmeric, flour and mustard oil on the feet, hands, arm and face.
During the ritual women sing traditional songs, red string bracelet is tied around the guests wrists and family members receive the ritual gift of sweets specially cooked for weddings, at the end of the ceremony.
The only problem with inviting your closest family and friends to the haldi ceremony, especially men, is that they’ll want to have a bit of fun rubbing in the haldi to make sure nowhere is missed!
Somehow I don’t think they were too concerned about exfoliating Saras’ skin or of ensuring he had a blessing from them!!
The final part of this haldi ceremony was the final blessing by the female family members, a kangana bandhana ceremony involving tying a red thread on the wrist of the groom and the whole ceremony was finished off with Saras being fed by his mother.
The final part of their wedding celebrations can be found in Part 3: The Hindu Wedding Ceremony