Shaadi in Pakistan, or anywhere in the world for that matter, is considered to be one of the most festive occasions of one’s life. Desi shaadis, however, are inundated with a number of entertaining rasmain that are carried out with immense zeal.
Here are some of these shaadi ki rasmain along with what they may signify:
1. Kheer Chattai
A spoonful of kheer is poured onto dulhan‘s palm, in some families, while the dulha is supposed to lick it off. It is done mostly for the purposes of ice-breaking between the newly weds.
2. The Shukranay ki namaz
The bride is made to sit on the floor with her dupatta spread out while the dulha uses it as a make-shift prayer mat and offers two rakat nafal as a manifestation of his gratefulness and good will.
3. Ubtan/Oiling Ceremony
Ubtan – the mixture of tumeric, gram flour and water – is one of the most used desi totkas for a fresh skin and so is oiling one’s hair with mustard oil, for healthy hair. The to-be bride is covered in ubtan while her hair is oiled before the wedding so that she can look her best on her big day.
4. The Surma puwai
Groom’s bhabhi applies some surma to his eyes as a sign of playfulness and in order to assert her importance as ghar ki bari bahu. She then asks for money/gifts.
5. Grab the oily cup tradition
In some households, a bowl covered in oil is placed upside down in front of the groom who is then asked to pick it up. Since it’s slippery, a groom hardly succeeds in picking it up. It is mostly done as a sign of playfulness or to mock the dulha for his lack of strength, jokingly.
6. The Pagar/Shamla/Kulla Pehnwai
The ghar kay bazurg don the groom in a pagri, a headdress or turban worn only by men. It is considered to be a symbol of honor and respect and it is done mostly in Punjab and Northern areas.
7. The bridesmaids’ run
When the bride leaves the seat she has been sitting on during her mayun, her friends, sisters and cousins run to be the first one to sit on it because it is said that the one who sits on it first will get married next.
Similarly, groom’s friends try and take the first sip of the doodh-pilai wala doodh for the very same same reason.
8. Godh Bithayi
Godh bithayi is when the youngest dewar is asked to sit in the lap of the bride, or he puts his hand on the dulhan‘s (now his bhabhi) knee and asks for some cash.
This is usually done in order to break the ice between bhabhi and dewar.
Shadoola is a traditional dance that mostly takes place in Pakhtun households where female relatives dance in order to celebrate the beginning of the wedding. In Punjabi households, who have this rasm, it is mostly replaced by bhangra.
10. The narial ka sadqa tradition
A coconut wrapped in a shiny wrapping paper is placed onto the groom’s palm and a currency note, after encircling around his head, is given to the house maid or workers as a sadqa, in order to protect the groom from buri nazar.
In Sindhi households, the elderly of the house make the bride and groom face each other and the knock their foreheads together thrice before giving them money. Depending on the number of elders in the family, the rasm can go on forever and by the end of it, the bride and groom’s heads are in for a ride.
A mirror is usually placed on the floor while the knocking-the-forheads game is going on and after every knock, the bride and groom look at each other in the mirror. This is mostly an ice breaking activity in order to being the newly weds closer to each other.
12. The ‘placing-a-new-born-baby-in-dulhan‘s-lap’ rasm
In some households, a new born baby is placed in the dulhan‘s lap by the elderly women of the family. This is a way of praying for the new bride to have healthy kids, quickly. Desi totkay, we tell you.
13. And the most famous rasm: joota chuppai
This one doesn’t need any explanation, does it?
Cover Image Via: Tayyaba Yousaf