The Punjabi culture has grown and evolved over centuries of traditions. As a couple enters into their engagement, they participate in many activities to celebrate their commitment to a new marriage. Activities are planned through each part of their engagement, including an unofficial engagement ceremony called Rokka. Rokka is just one wedding tradition that has survived through the years, but many more apply once the wedding is near.
Rituals at The Bride’s Home
In the days and hours leading up to the wedding, many events occur. On the day before the wedding ceremony, there is a preparation ceremony calls Mayian. This evening festival takes place at the home of the parents of the bride and groom. Jaggo is another ceremony, as members of the family dance and sing in the last hours of the night before the wedding. Jaggo is a loud celebration with food, music, singing, and dancing at the homes of both the bride and her guests. The Shaint is an event that predominantly involves the bride and her female friends/relatives, in which time they beautify the bride with a special paste. It is at this time that the bride and groom must bid their adieus until the wedding ceremony. On the day of the wedding, the Chuda ceremony commences, with the oldest aunt and uncle playing a significant role. People touch the chuda, a set of ivory and cream bangles, while the bride wears it as a way for loved ones to wish the new couple “good luck.”
Rituals at The Groom’s Home
While the bride spends time with the female guests and relatives, the groom also has several traditions he participates in. First, a young nephew or cousin must put on the same outfit as the groom, symbolizing his position as the groom’s caretaker. The groom then dresses in his own wedding ensemble as the sehra, a Punjabi headdress, is placed on his head, allowing his male guests to give gifts and cash for good luck. The Varna ceremony follows, as the groom lines his eyes with a special kohl to ward off the “evil eye”. The final ceremony at the groom’s home is referred to as the Ghodi Chadna, which ends with the groom mounting a horse and riding to the wedding venue.
Planning a Punjabi Wedding
As you learn about each tradition to include before, during, and after the ceremony, make sure to find the appropriate Punjabi marriage invitations for your event. Traditionally, the couple invites members of their family, their extended family, and friends to participate in this loud and exciting event.