A guide to Sikh Wedding Ceremony Rituals and Traditions
The groom’s immediate family performs this ritual at his home. The Sehra (a heavily embroided veil) is fixed onto the grooms’ head that is then tied on to his turban. This is quite a sentimental moment for grooms parents and sister, as he has become a mature and responsible man who is about to start a new life.
Surma and Kalgi
The father of the groom will tie his turban and his sister in law will put Surma (kohl) in his eyes to deter the evil eye and she will put a feathered jewel on his turban.
After the groom is dressed in his wedding attire, he will mount a white horse that will be decorated with colourful adornments. The horse must be white, as it represents peace and submissiveness of the powerful horse to the groom.
After reading the prayers from the Ardas, the bride’s family will welcome the groom’s family by exchange of garlands and gifts.
Also known as the ceremony of bliss, which is started of with the singing of the holy hymns (Kirtans). The priest brings out a Guru Granth Sahib decorated in a beautiful cloth. All guests must remove their shoes and cover their heads and bow to the Guru Granth Sahib upon entering.
The four laavans explain the four stages of married life. At each verse the bride and groom walk around Guru Granth Sahib and bow down to the holy book. The bride’s brothers or cousins stand around the shrine and walk her around the alter. This symbolises that the brothers will always be there to protect their sister. During this ceremony the father of bride will give her one end of the grooms pallu to hold.
The parents and other family members bless the newlyweds and give them a monetary gift.
The ceremony concludes with singing the Song of Bliss and Karah Prasad, a sweet pudding that is eaten immediately afterward.
This is a very emotional moment for the bride and her parents as their daughter departs from her home to start her new life. The mother of bride stands behind her holding a scarf or her pallu while the bride showers the room with rice, praying for her home to remain happy and prosperous forever.