The Essential Guide to Hindu Weddings: Post-Wedding Traditions

2014 Jan 17 - by Nadya
Alright guys, we're almost done with all the Hindu wedding festivities.  All that's left now is the post-wedding traditions.

{photo by This Modern L<3VE via Naureen and Ghazaly's Wedding Reception}

Hindu Wedding: Introduction

Hindu Wedding Engagement

Hindu Pre-Wedding Traditions

Hindu Wedding Traditions

Hindu Post-Wedding Traditions

Hindu Bridal Attire and Jewelry

Hindu Groom’s Attire

Hindu Wedding Food and Desserts

Hindu Wedding Shopping List

Before the post-wedding festivities can start, the Satyanaryan Pooja must be done.  This pooja, done on behalf of one of the incarnations of Vishnu, ensures that the couple will be able to have children as soon as they want a family.  Stories are told along with prayers for all the wedding attendees.

There is some disagreement among sources and traditions as to when the Baasi Jawari (Joota Chupai), or shoe-stealing, occurs.  Everytime I've been to a wedding it's been generally after the ceremony when things have calmed down or before the ceremony.  So I'll just put it here for now.

In this primarily North Indian tradition, the unmarried sisters and cousin-sisters of the bride steal the groom's shoes and ransom them back for money or gifts.  I have made a good amount of money in this way being unmarried - this is by far one of my favorite Hindu wedding traditions.

{photo by Lauren Reynolds Photography via Neeraja & Timothy's Wedding}

Some communities like to play a series of wedding games after the ceremony.  This might be combined with the mooh-dekhai (unveiling of the bride).  Occasionally these games are played later at the house of the groom as a way of welcoming the bride into the family (effectively breaking the ice) and sometimes they're played right after the ceremony.

Different families have their own games (my dad's side, for whatever reason, likes to pit a brother against a sister-in-law and arm them both with thin branches.  Don't worry, I'm just as confused as you are).

A popular game includes having the couple compete to find a ring at the bottom of a pot filled with colored or milky water.  It's best out of three.  Another game has them tied together at the wrist, and they must work together to untie each knot.

{photo by Cosmin Danila

After the wedding (for real now), the bride says goodbye to her family at the Vidai Ceremony.  There's usually a lot of crying from all sides as she leaves to go to her husband's house.  In some families it's tradition for the couple to first stay at the bride's family's house before moving on to the groom's family's house.  In the old (and more glamorous) days the bride would be carried to her new home on a palanquin.

{photo by Farnaz K Studio via Seemanti and Peter's Wedding}

Once the couple reach the house, the groom's parents, as part of the grihapravesh (home-entry ceremony),  perform Aarti to ward off any evil spirits.  As she enters the home, the bride knocks over a metal pot full of rice using her right foot.  In some communities it is tradition for the bride to step into a plate of vermillion mixed with water and then walk down to the prayer room.  Together the couple say a prayer.

{via Wikiepdia}

Afterwards is the reception where all the guests are invited to eat, drink, and celebrate with the couple.  This bit has no formal rituals - it's just about the fun.

{photo by IQ Photography via Alok and Venu's Wedding}

 Sources: Rice Univesity and BBC

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