Top facts of Sikh Punjabi Marriages

Top facts of Sikh Punjabi Marriages

Sikh religion is world’s fifth largest religion the Sikhs are widely spread in all nations but the origin of the Sikh religion is from India more specifically from the land of five rivers “The Punjab”. Sikh marriage are solemnized very differently from the majority Hindu community, the marriages are conducted in the day and not much rituals are involved neither these rituals are very lengthy it takes around an hour for a proper Sikh Punjabi Marriages to be solemnized. In this blog we will try to enumerate the important rituals of a proper Punjabi Sikh marriage.

Roka – The first ritual of Punjabi Marriages Roka Ceremony - शादी की वेबसाइट

This is equivalent to the engagement ceremony most of the marriages even now in Punjab are arranged marriages families of the bride and groom have an important role to be played. The caste and creed are also an important aspect for fixing the match. Nowadays even the internet is playing an important role in fixing of the marriages. No religious ceremony is conducted at the Roka. The  prospective bride and groom are seated and are showered with gifts from both sides. This ceremony ends the search for eligible bride and groom of the respective families. After this ceremony the bride and groom are declared to be officially engaged.

The marriage dates accordingly are decided as per mutual consultation. Sikhs don’t believe in any astrological / zodiac signs and thus are not consulted for fixing the marriage date, normally Sunday is best suited as its on official holiday when all people can attend end enjoy the marriage ceremony.

Nowadays the marriage ceremony usually is a three/ four day affair just around 50 years back the ceremony used to go for around for a week in the villages but those days were of simple living and not much exuberance was involved.

Akhand Path Sahib and Sagan– Punjabi vyah de reet rivaj

The boys family holds an uninterrupted reading of the holy scriptures of the Sikhs this is called Akhand Path.

A group of learned Sikhs reads the Sri Guru Granth sahib without a pause, it takes around 48 hours to do the same. After the Akhand path a prayer called “Ardaas” is said to invoke the blessing of the lord on the bride and groom and for uninterrupted completion of the marriage. The bride’s family is specially invited and they come all decked in special attire. They present the would be groom with gifts this entire ceremony is followed by a sumptuous lunch. Nowadays after the prayer the “Sagan” is held in marriage halls popularly known as “palace” in rural Punjab. These palaces are very aesthetically engineered and some of them even make the grandest of the architecture look pale. According to their grandeur and aesthetics the hiring rates are fixed.

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This is an ancient custom in which the groom and bride families respectively dance and party on the marriage night. The women sing folk songs and carry a decorated earthen pot called “Jaggo” Nowadays the earthen pot has been replaced by a decorated urn glittering with electronics. It’s a norm nowadays for families to organize a proper disc jockey as loud music is played and the family dances all night to the popular tunes of Punjabi dance numbers.

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The groom’s family rises early and the day starts with the bathing of the groom. The sister and mother of the groom apply haldi and a small ceremony is held as the groom bathes. After getting dressed the sisters of the groom tie “Sehra” on the groom’s turban, the sister in law applies Kajal(Kohl) to the eyes of the groom. The groom leads the baraat(marriage procession) as he is escorted to the Gurudwara of the village by the sisters. After seeking blessings at the Gurudwara the groom sets off in a decorated car leading the baraat. The baraat again congregates near the banquet hall(marriage palace) pre arranged by the bride’s family.

The baraat is led by a music troupe (band baaza). The baraat is received at the gate by the family of the bride and a small ceremony called “Milni” is held, In this ceremony the respective family members of bride and groom meet each other and present gifts to the respective side. After this ceremony the procession leads to the palace where a grand breakfast awaits the baraatis, after the breakfast the close family members go to the near by Gurudwara and the ceremony of “Anand karaj” is solemnized.

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This is the Sikh marriage ceremony, hymns from Sri Guru Granth Sahib are read which pertain to the everlasting relation of soul with the lord. The bride and groom take four laavan  (circumambulation )of Sri Guru Granth Sahib the hymns are sung in classical ragas by the sikh bards.

After the Ardaas (Prayer) the bride and groom are now official husband and wife. The newlyweds along with the family join the festivities in the marriage palace. The marriage palace has grand arrangements for the party. There is a live band entertaining the in house guests. The newlyweds occupy the center stage. They are showered with gifts and sagan by the gathered guests. The party and festivities take the centre stage. The newlyweds enjoy a dance on the dance floor.

Though most marriages in Punjab involve a lot of booze and non vegetarian dishes but there are Amrit Dhari Sikhs who make the entire affair without alcohol and without meat.

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After the grand lunch now it’s time to bid farewell to the bride, the girl’s parents specially do get emotional and accordingly the girl is bid farewell with a heavy heart. The newlyweds are welcomed in their home by the mother of the Groom who does old rituals of “Paani vaarna”

The newlyweds and the family again enjoy the evening with loud music being played usually on the DJ.

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This is again an age old tradition in which the newlywed bride again visits her parents homes. After spending a few hours and with gifts she leaves for her in law’s home. The relatives who are living in the groom’s house now start leaving ,they are presented with sweets.

This is happy ending of a Punjabi Sikh Marriage.

Dr Atul Kumar Singh Parmar

Dr Atul is a graduate of R.B.S College Agra after the graduation did his Masters in Arts (English) Later pursued Bachelor of Education and Doctorate in English fro Agra University Agra. He has been been engaged in the tourism trade since 1995 , Worked as Govt Of India approved tour escort till 2011, He is promoter of S.A.M Tours and Travels. He is an avid traveler and travel writer with expertise in tours and travels, history, literature, architecture, social and political.

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