Monday, 17 August 2015

Welcoming The Bride Into Her New Home- Grihapravesh

A Hindu wedding may last only for a few hours but the pre-wedding and post-wedding ceremonies last for days together. Of course all these rituals hold special importance and are followed to the hilt. There is one notable custom called “Grihapravesh” where bride is welcomed into her new home. In fact one can find the mention of this ceremony in bridegroom’s Indian Marriage Invitation card. It usually is a grand ceremony as the baraat returns home with the newly wedded couple.

In the Hindu culture, bride is considered to be the embodiment of goddess Lakshmi. Her welcome and first step into her husband’s household is celebrated with a number of rituals and ceremonies. Different regions have different ways to welcome the goddess of wealth and prosperity in their homes and the glimpses of this ceremony are being given right here.

Mother of the groom welcomes the couple as she performs aarti with diyas, kumkum, sweets and rice as they stand at the door. She applies kumkumtika on bride and groom’s forehead. A kalash full of rice is placed at the entrance which the bride pushes with toes of her right foot. Rice thus gets strewn into the house which is considered auspicious and symbolises that prosperity has entered the house. In many cultures, a big vessel with kumkum paste is placed at the door. The bride steps into the paste and then walks into the house leaving the red impression of her feet trailing on the floor. In some cultures, she also smears her hands with kumkum paste and then presses them around the walls in the house creating impressions of her palms.
There are small nuances associated with this ceremony. For e.g. the bride must enter the house by placing her right foot inside first.  In some states, bride is required to utter her husband’s name while entering her in-law’s home. Just like the wedding ceremony an auspicious time is taken out for this ceremony as well. In many homes Grihapravesh is closely followed by MoohDikhayi. This ceremony used to be very important in olden days as no one would have seen the bride until then. In this ritual, all women see the bride’s reflection in the mirror and shower her with gifts!

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