Sindhi Wedding Rituals
Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha   04-Jan-2021

Rituals before Wedding

Janya is a sacred thread ceremony where the groom wears thread in a ceremony conducted by the priest known as Mehraj. A marriage is considered incomplete if the groom has not had the thread ceremony.

Kachchi Misri
The Kachchi Misri is the informal engagement between the groom and the bride. The bride and the groom are given coconuts and misri to signify that she/he is the one who belongs to the other family.

Pakki Misri
This the formal engagement ceremony where rings are exchanged between the couple in the presence of the priest. First Ganesh Puja is conducted, which is followed by an Ardas.

It is a satsang held in the name of the God, Jhulelal. It signifies the start of the ceremonies for the forthcoming wedding and is usually organized ten days before the wedding.

Groom’s family invites all the relatives, friends and neighbors for a night of fun and merriment where they all sing and the traditional wedding songs to the accompaniment of dholak beats.

Conducted separately in the homes of the bride and he groom a day before the wedding, the Saanth ritual involves a puja performed by a Brahmin priest who ties a a challa or anklet around the right foot of the groom/bride. Later seven married women pour oil in the center of the head of the groom/bride after which they are supposed to wear a new shoe on their right foot and try to break an earthen lamp with it. If the groom/bride succeeds, it is a good omen. The ceremony finally comes to an end with their respective families tearing off their clothes as a symbol of bringing in the new and warding off evil.

The mehndi night is an occasion for party and merriment where the ladies of the bride’s house sit together and beautify the bride. Professional mehendi artists are called who apply intricate designs in henna on the hands of the bride and other female members. Sounds of music and dancing fill the air.

This ritual involves showering the bride with flowers as a form of blessing. The purpose of the ceremony is to acquaint the bride with her new family. In the night, the groom visits the bride’s house, where he is showered with garlands.

Ghari puja
This puja, quite a long and is supposed to be held simultaneously at the respective homes of the bride and the groom. The married women of the house grind wheat that is a symbol that the home will always remain prosperous. The mothers of both the bride and the groom dress up and carry a clay pot full of water outside the house assisted by her son-in-law. The role of the son- in- law is that of an ainar who is supposed to protect his mother- in-law. After the clay pot is brought back in the house, everyone offers garlands to the parents of the bride/groom while the clay pot is placed in the place of worship. For the bukhi, five kilos of wheat is brought, which the bride and groom (separately in each home) cup in their hands and offer to the pujari 21 times each. The entire quantity of wheat should be finished within the stipulated 21 actions.

Navgrahi Puja
The Navgrahi puja refers to the worship of Ganesha Puja, Omkar Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kalash Puja followed by the nine planets. The gods are welcomed as guests in the houses of the couple; they are offered milk, food, water, and light. Performed on the morning of the day before the marriage, this Sindhi ritual requires the presence of the maternal uncle, paternal uncle and brother of the bride. And these pujas can only be conducted in the girl’s house after the navgrahi puja gets over at the groom’s house.

Ceremonies During the wedding day

Haldi ceremony
A ritual followed by both the bride and the groom, this involves the family members pouring oil and haldi all over the groom’s/bride’s bodies and hair as a form of purification. After the ceremony, the couple cannot leave the house.

Preparing the groom
A ribbon is tied to the groom’s hair by the priest to protect him from the evil eye. Then a red cloth is placed around his neck that contains a coconut tied to an end. Another white cloth is also placed whose one end is tied up in a bundle comprising of with karchi (lucky money), rice, and elachi. The bride’s brother and other female relative go to the groom’ s house to accost him and his family to the wedding venue.

Paon Dhulai
The bride’s brother conducts the ritual of washing the feet of the bride and the groom. It is believed that due to all the prayers that have preceded this moment, the groom is an embodiment of Lord Vishnu on this wedding day.

Wedding Ceremony
After the Pao Dhulai ritual is over, the couples face each other and exchange garlands. Then the white cloth that was placed around the groom’s neck is put around the bride’s while being tied to the groom’s red cloth. Simultaneously their right hands are tied together with a sacred thread as the couple prays to God for lifelong happiness and strength. As the holy fire is ignited, the priests starts chanting a series of holy verses prayers taken from the Holy Scriptures to God. It includes prayers to Lord Ganesh, Laxmi, and the 64 devis to bless the couple. Then the couple walks around the fire. A Sindhi wedding involves only four pheras. After the pheras are over, kanyadan is performed by the bride’s parents, which is denoted through the holy water flowing from the parents’ hands into the groom’s hands through the bride’s. The last of the Sindhi wedding rituals, Saptapadi is performed when the couple places their right foot on seven small piles of rice.

Post Wedding Sindhi Rituals

The rinsing of the bride’s feet at the threshold of her new home by the groom’s parents is the beginning of the Datar ritual. Then the new bride enters the house and sprinkles milk in all corners of the house, following which she places a handful of salt in her husband’s hand. He passes it back into her hands without spilling any salt. This ritual of Datar is done three times and then the bride repeats this ritual with all the other present family members.

Reception/ Sataurah
The boy’s family holds a reception on the evening following the wedding. Some families tend to have the reception and the wedding on the same day. Traditionally, after a short visit by the bride’s father to her in-laws’ house, the couple, at an auspicious time fixed by the priest, pays a visit to the paternal home of the bride.