June 16, 2013

Pre wedding rituals in Maharashtrian weddings

Pre wedding rituals in Maharashtrian weddings:
Step wise pre wedding rituals explained in simple terms as below:

1.       Maku - Coconut milk or "Maku" is applied to the hands, feet and the face of the bride/groom. Usually 2 days before the wedding. After this the girl/boy is officially the bride/groom. Older women said that this is our traditional pre bridal. They also believe that the facial/prebridal is nothing in front of this "Maku"

2.       Green chuda: The bride now puts on the green bangles. The customs say you should wear odd number of bangles in both hands. But both the hands cant have the same number of green bangles. In simple words 11 in one hand and 13 in the other, 13-15, 15-17 and so on. The minimum limit is 7-9 (which is what I chose) ;) I am not a bangle person. I don't like to wear anything in my hand. Traditionally, you are not supposed to remove  this chuda till at least 1.5 months after the wedding. I could only take it till 1 day after the wedding. I got to know later that my mom, my aunts and my in laws were pleasantly surprised that I wore these bangles for FIVE days at a stretch!
Maharashtrian Green Chuda

3.       Haldi: Haldi is put to the bride/groom with a mango leaf on the feet - knee - hands - elbow - shoulders - cheeks - forehead. Total 5 times in the said order. The panditji gives you the first letter of the name of the lady who is supposed to put haldi first. Usually young girls are given the preference. Mudavalya made up of rui flowers is tied to bride/groom's forehead.
Rui Mundavalya

4.       Bath: You might say it is obvious that you have to take a bath after haldi. This one is different! There are 5 kalash's including the "Kara" (The sister of the bride/groom - Karawali is supposed to carry a kalash with mango leaves and coconut throughout the wedding) which are to be poured on the bride/groom by five married ladies. In villages, the water in these kalash's is drawn from the well.

5.       Mandav stapana: This is to be done one day before the wedding. The panditji, does a pooja with the bride/groom and parents. In the pooja ghar, your kula-daivait will be residing all through the wedding.

6.        Ghana Bharne: In this ritual, 5 married women grind rice grains holding 5 sticks (consisting 1 musal) together. The bride and her mother (In the grooms house only mother) holds the sticks to give direction. In olden days, this rice must actually be taken to cook the wedding food. 
Ghana Bharne

7.       Miscellaneous: The bride/groom has to carry a khanjeer (sharp object like nail cutter, small knife) all through the wedding. It is to keep all the negativities will away from the bride/groom. Plan and keep it handy before wedding. I was carrying a heavy nail cutter all through the wedding.

I had my Haldi ceremony 2 days before my wedding day. Usually in Maharashtrian weddings, Haldi is on a day before the wedding. We pre-poned my haldi on friday coz the guys family suggested we shouldn't put haldi on a Saturday. Haldi in the Pednekar House looks as if it is Holi with only yellow colour. My skin misbehaved just 2 days before my engagement with no fault of mine/anybody. There was no change in the routine and I wasnt even stressed . I experienced the "something goes wrong out of the blue during weddings" that time. Although "Kaccha" milk rescued me during engagement, I decided to be extra careful during the wedding. I requested mom to tell everyone to be a little gentle. She hates me when I act like this! :P Of course the repercussions were that my haldi was the most boring haldi I ever attended. I realised it during my brother's haldi a few days ago. I was put thrice the haldi they put on my own wedding. It was so much fun! Although I also feel that the girls wedding house becomes a little overwhelmed with emotions - I remember my father bursting out in tears on my haldi. That was the only time I shed tears during my wedding.
MW tip: I had to bathe FOUR times in a day! (You also got to have bath before and after step 1). After every bath the women in the house does "aukshan" or "aarti". I remember my mom all emotional and saying to me before the 'step 1 bath' - "It's an important day. Pl have a proper bath". I was unaware of the number of rituals later and took a gala time which went in vain. The "bath" in step 4 is the final one. Take your sweet time here! 

I hope I did not miss anything. Next on the blog - Pre wedding photo book! Stay tuned.. 


  1. C dis is y i swear by u for all wedding stuff!!! da way u hv put here!! i cudnt find anywhr!! trust me lot of older women in da family also do not know dis!!! Plz temme whr can i get some more info abt all da rituals do not want to miss anything for my wedding!!!

    1. Thanks a lot Radhika. Your comments mean a lot to me! A post on wedding rituals is in the pipeline. I hope it will help you.

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  3. hey need serious help. I'm getting married on 16th DEC 2014. I'm a south Indian and he's a khandeshi Marathi. I want to know newly wed bride what all things she should do right after marriage please help me as soon as possible. I really got tired to find it on Google. please help. write me please deepikaiyer8@gmail.com

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  6. nice to know marathi pre wedding rituals. i guess marathi weddings bride wears kanchipuram marriage sarees

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  8. nice information, even i have also seen these kind of rituals in Delhi NCR weddings also, last month i have attended a marriage in south Delhi banquet hall. There i seen these customs and rituals

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