Marriage has always been a beautiful & divine affair. It is the unification of two souls for eternity. India, being a diverse country, is embellished with intriguing wedding customs and rituals. Talking about the ‘Crown of India’ Kashmir, this beautiful destination has sophisticated wedding rituals. All families follow the customs for Kashmiri girls for marriage.
The residents of the valley are cultured and always follow wedding customs wholeheartedly. Just like other Indian girls, most Kashmiri girls for marriage follow a set of rituals throughout the event. It includes pre-wedding and post-wedding rituals.
Beautiful dresses, amazing customs, and a lot of merrymaking are key ingredients of a Kashmiri wedding. Here’s a brief description of all key customs followed by families of all Kashmiri girls for marriage.
When a Kashmiri girl reaches the age of marriage, her parents & family members start their search for a suitable guy. The family elders approach a Manzimyor or a local match-maker. A Manzimyor plays a key role in the matchmaking process. He brings out all suitable profiles as per the girl’s family requirement. The family, after shortlisting a suitable profile, decides to meet the boy & his family in person called Parche Traavun. This is the kickstart of a Kashmiri wedding in India.
Here’s a list of pre-wedding rituals followed by the families of Kashmiri girls for marriage.
- Thaap Travin
Soon after the mutual agreement of the prospective bride & groom, the bride is showered with a lot of gifts by the groom. It is the declaration of the relationship between the families. Later on, Majmas or copper plates spread out with dry fruits are sent to close relatives. It is a gesture that declares the marriage.
Nishayan is the ceremony held at the bride’s home. All blood relatives and the groom’s family are invited to the bride’s place where the qazi reads out Nishayan Nikah. Usually, the boy isn’t expected to go to the bride’s place but the changing trends have been embraced. Now, the prospective groom also visits his bride’s house along with guests. Nishayan ceremony officially legalizes the relationship. This ceremony marks the commencement of the wedding in both families. People start their shopping and visit each other at different festivals.
Saatnaam is a holy ceremony hosted at the respective residences of the bride & groom. All relatives are invited for the ceremony and the bride & groom are official date for the wedding is announced. Later in the evening, families and friends celebrate it joyously.
- Malmaenz & Maenziraat
Malmaenz for a Kashmiri girl for marriage is what haldi to a Punjabi girl for marriage. Turmeric paste is applied to the bride by all members of the family, relatives, and cousins. The elder women of the girl’s family braid her hair with colorful ribbons. Meanwhile, traditional Kashmiri songs are sung by ladies at home.
Maenziraat is one of the important parts of the pre-wedding customs. It is the henna night where the bride’s arms and feet are adorned with serpentine henna designs. The elders of the family and her parents shower their blessings on her.
The Wedding Day
Below is the list of beautiful ceremonies conducted by the Kashmiri girl’s family on her wedding day.
- Aab Shehrun
On the dawn that brings the new rays of a new life, the bride takes the shower, and wears the new clothes called Pheran. Pheran is a hand-woven Kashmiri dress. She then offers two rakaths of Namaz.
- Nikah Khwaani & Mahraaz Saal
Nikah Khwaani is the main event everyone awaits in the family. The groom is welcomed by the brother of the bride. He’s accompanied to the stage where the bride joins him. Afterward, the immediate families from both sides join them for Nikah. The qazi, meanwhile, recites the holy verses from Quran to bless the couple. It is called Mahraaz Saal.
Rukhsati is bidding adieu to the bride and wishing her good luck to kickstart a new journey with her husband. It is an emotional chunk of the event for the bride and her family. On one side, she grieves on leaving her family forever, and on the other hand, she’s zealous for taking the first walk with her husband.
It is a funny custom in Kashmiri weddings. Usually, when the newly married couple is half way home, the friends of the groom stop them and demand a ransom to pass. He’s not allowed to take his bride home until he pays a sum to his friends called Kadal-E-Taar.
Now, you’ll read about the traditions followed for welcoming a Kashmiri girl as a daughter-in-law of the family.
- Muhar Tullun
Muhar Tullun is the ceremony performed by the bride’s mother-in-law. After welcoming the bride, she lifts her veil and feeds sweets to her. The in-laws of the bride offer her gifts, usually cash, and sing songs. Some families sacrifice a goat in honor of welcoming the new bride.
- Khabri Gasun
The relatives from the bride’s family visit her and gift her presents and some cash as a blessing to kickstart her married life.
- Phiri Saal
Phiri Saal is a tradition in all Kashmiri families. The bride & groom, after some days of marriage, visit the girl’s paternal house for a ritualistic feast. All guests are treated with utmost hospitality and respect.
- Satim Doh
Satim Doh is the first week a bride spends with her in-laws. It is a fun period where she wears different colored clothes for seven days. Throughout the week, she’s treated like a queen and isn’t allowed to perform any household chores. On the seventh day, the bride’s family is invited for a feast at the groom’s place.
- Phira Khaber
Phira Khaber is the gathering of the bride’s family including cousins and aunts. It is a custom where they enquire about her comfort in the new family. It marks the end of all events in a Kashmiri marriage.
Kashmiri wedding trends are vibrant and full of zeal. Attending a Kashmiri wedding is once in a lifetime experience. If you haven’t attended one, make sure you grab a chance soon. Else, you have this virtual tour always at your fingertips.