Everything About Bengali Weddings


The world knows Bengal for its football, love for fish and sweets, and their extravagant celebration of Durga Puja. However, another very unique part of their culture is their wedding ceremony. India is a country that celebrates its diversity, and throughout India, we find several different wedding customs. Traditional Bengali weddings are more than just the union of two people, but rather brings to life a fairy-tale. These grand functions celebrate the uniqueness of Bengali culture and bring together friends and family from all over. Are you attending a Bengali wedding soon, and a little unsure about what happens? Well, here’s a look at everything you need to know about Bengali weddings and what makes them so special.

Bengali Pre-Wedding Rituals

Paka Katha/ Pati Potro

This serves as the formal meeting between the elders of both the families and is the ritual wherein they agree on the wedding specifics. The ritual goes by the name Paka Dekha among Ghotis while Bengalis refer to it as Pati Potro. This is the time during which both the families sit down and talk about all the rituals they want to include, and set a framework for the wedding.

Bengali wedding invitation
Bengali wedding invitation card

Aiburobhat

This serves as the Bridal shower of Bengali weddings and usually take place a night before the wedding. The bride’s close friends and relatives gather at her house, and give her gifts. The ritual ends with a decadent feast which contains several rice, fish and vegetable dishes. Usually, this is the last meal that the bride eats as a single woman. Similarly, in the groom’s home, a ritual occurs wherein he eats his last meal as a bachelor.

Sankha Porano

In certain Bengali weddings, the bride dresses up in traditional Bengali items that symbolise marital bliss, a day before the wedding. These include bangles such as Sankha, made from conch shells, and Pola bangles made from red coral.

Jol Sowa

On the day of the wedding, the bride’s mother and groom, along with a few close married family members go to a water body nearby. They then fill a brass pitcher with water, which becomes the water used to bathe the bride right before the wedding.

Dodhi Mangal

Bengali weddings are incomplete without the right food. In this ritual, both the groom and bride are fed sweetened curd, banana and sandesh before sunrise. This serves as their last meal before the wedding as they fast throughout the day, until the ceremonies end.

Gaye Holud

The groom’s mother and close female relatives apply a paste made using turmeric and mustard oil on his body. Following this, he bathes in the water the group had earlier collected. The remaining paste is sent over to the bride’s house in a silver bowl, wherein her relatives do the same to her. Along with the paste, her trousseau, a simple outfit and a Rohu fish is also sent for good luck.

Bengali Wedding Attire

Bengali grooms usually wear a kurta called Panjabi along with a Dhoti. The Kurta may be of Cotton, Silk or even Tussar, while the Dhoti is made using Muslin or Bengal Handloom(Tant). The groom has dots of sandalwood paste on his forehead and sometimes wears a conical cap made of Shola called the ‘Topor’. Further adornments include a garland of roses. During the wedding, most grooms wear a two-piece attire called ‘Jor’ and carry a brass object called ‘Darpan’.

Bengali brides wear saris made of red Benarasi silk with a lot of gold thread-work and embellishments on the zari. There are different styles when it comes to draping the saree, with the ‘aath poure’ being the traditional Bengali one. A veil covers the bride’s head, and on her forehead, there is kumkum, sandalwood paste and a big red bindi. The bride wears a headgear called Mukut, and she carries with her a box of sindoor and a one rupee coin.

Bengali bride sitting in red dress
Bengali bride sitting in a red dress

Rituals in Bengali Weddings

Bor Jatri and Boron

The groom takes his mother’s blessings and leaves his home in a decorated car sent by the bride’s family. The troop following him to the wedding venue are called the Bor Jatri. The bride’s mother welcomes the groom with a Baran Dala, which is a tray containing rice, turmeric, betel nuts and a lighted diya. She touches the tray to the groom’s forehead, shoulders and chest, and repeats the process thrice. Afterwards, the elders from the bride’s family bless the groom and give him gifts via the Ashirbaad ceremony.

Saat Paak and Subho Drishti

The groom arrives at the Chhadnatolla (mantap) and does a puja along with the elder performing the Kanya Sampradan. The groom changes into his Jor and returns to the mandap. The bride arrives on a wooden platform, carried by her brothers, and hides her face using some betel leaves. Then, the bride circumnavigates the groom seven times during the Saat Paak. Once she sits down beside the groom, she removes the betel leaves and unmasks her face during the Subho Drishti. Following this the couple exchange garlands during the Mala Badal, which the relatives try to make difficult by hoisting the pair upon their shoulders.

Kanya Sampradan

An elderly male from the bride’s family unites the pair’s hands using a sacred thread, while the priest chants mantras, formally giving the bride away to the groom. Afterward, the pair sit beside the holy fire and repeat Vedic mantras while making offerings to the fire. Finally, the priest ties together the bride’s saree and the groom’s shawl, and they walk around the fire seven times.

Lajanjali/Kusumdinge

In this ritual, the bride’s brother gives her some puffed rice, which she along with the groom pour into the fire. Following this, the groom applies Sindoor on his bride for the first time and covers her head with a new saree called Lajjabastra.

Bengali Post-Wedding Rituals

Basar Ghar

Once the wedding is complete, the pair and their families sit together and enjoy a feast, filled with laughter and joy. After this, the Bidaai, or the tearful departure of the bride occurs, as she leaves her home for the first time. During the Bidaai, the bride throws some rice over her shoulder into her mother’s hands.

Bodhu Baran

The bride enters the groom’s house through this special ceremony wherein a vessel containing milk and dye is kept right outside the door. The bride steps into this vessel, leaving an imprint of her feet on the white fabric. She then holds a live fish and a bowl of boiling milk to usher in good times and luck. Afterwards, the elders of the house bless her and then proceed to give her gifts. On the Kaal Rat, the pair sleep in separate rooms. As per the Bou Bhaat ritual, on the following morning, the bride becomes a part of the groom’s family. The husband gifts his newly-wed clothes and sweets, while she offers his family rice and ghee during lunch. After this, on the eight-day, the couple heads back to the bride’s place for Astamangala during which a Satyanarayan Puja occurs.

Bengali wedding songs

All you need to know about the Bengali wedding songs for your wedding. Below is the list we put together for you upcoming Bengali wedding:

Bengali wedding Games

All you need to know about the best 8 wedding games to be played on your wedding day. If you’re looking to add amazing entertainment into your Indian wedding, Event Fashion got you a list of fun Bengali wedding games that you can play on your big day.

Rasgulla Rasam  

Rasgulla Rasam a traditional wedding game Played at the Bengali wedding. In this game, the bride and groom play the sweetest rasagulla eating competition. The one who eats more rasagulla is considered the winner of the game.

Dil Ka Khoj

In this game, the married couples in the wedding can participate along with the bride and groom. During this game, the husband and wife should be standing collateral with each other and the wife should scream ‘Mera Dil Kahan hai’ and husbands should reply ‘Aapka Dil mere paas hai’.

Memory Game

The memory game is a fun one for wedding showers for a large group of women especially. Meanwhile, in this game, the bride has to come out of the room, including everyone does give pieces of paper and pens.

Gujarati Wedding Games

During this game, the bride has to receive gifts that are showered by her new people, with open arms. She must try to hold as various gifts as she can in her dupatta and then take it around for a while. The wedding game signifies that she is ingenious and inventive.

Griha Pravesh

During this game, the bride has to receive gifts that are showered by her new people, with open arms. She must try to hold as various gifts as she can in her dupatta and then take it around for a while. The wedding game signifies that she is ingenious and inventive.

Lift Kara De

Here is the wedding game to test the bride’s mental and physical strength. In this game, the bride should lift the groom in front of her new family.

Okhli

Okhil a famous Punjabi wedding game played in the traditional Bengali wedding. During this game, the groom’s wedding ring is soaked in the colored water and the bride should find it when the water is moved.

Find the finger

Find the finger means a famous South Indian Marriage Game where the bride has to group her fingers and the groom will have to find the ring finger.