Bengali Wedding: The Perfect Blend of Customs and Rituals

Bengali Wedding: The Perfect Blend of Customs and Rituals
7 min read
24 November 2023

Bengali Matrimony is a grant and vibrant affair. It is a combination of rich tradition, vibrant rituals, and customs that have been cherished for centuries. A Bengali wedding is not just a union of two individuals, but the coming together of two families. Their tradition, and their hopes for the future all come together. These rituals are what make a Bengali wedding fun and joyful just like the culture.

This article explores the details of Bengali matrimony and the rituals involved in it starting from pre-wedding ceremonies to the grand finale.

Pre-wedding rituals

Adan Pradan
The first step in Bengali Matrimony is the Adan Pradan. Here, the groom’s family visits the bride’s house to ask for her hand in marriage formally. The elders of both families exchange blessings and gifts during the ceremony.

Patri Patra
This ritual is about exchanging ancestral documents between the bride and groom’s family. It signifies the commitment to the union. It is also a symbolic gesture in establishing trust and goodwill between the two families. 

Ashirvaad is an essential pre-wedding ritual in Bengali matrimony. It is also a blessing ceremony. The bride and groom seek the blessings of the elders for a prosperous and harmonious married life ahead.

Aiburo Bhaat
Aiburo Bhaat is a special meal prepared for the bride and grooms the day before the wedding. It is done by both the families on the respective sides. It is about enjoying the last meal as a single person at their respective homes which is a bittersweet moment.

Gaye Holud
Gaye Holud or the haldi ceremony is a joyous and vibrant pre-wedding ritual. Turmeric paste is applied to the bride and the groom by their friends and family. The turmeric paste is applied to the groom and then sent to the bride’s house and the same turmeric paste is applied to her. It signifies the purification of their souls and the starting of a new life. The yellow color of turmeric also symbolizes fertility.

Wedding day rituals 

Nitbor and Nitkone
It is a unique Bengali tradition in Bengali Matrimony.  Bor means groom and Kone means bride. A child groom (Nitbor) and child bride (Nitkone) accompany the actual bride and groom from the day of Aiburo Bhat till the wedding. This does not have any religious significance as such. It is done purely out of joy and fun. They are also showered with gifts. 

Shankha Pola Ceremony
Bangles made of Conch Shells called Shankha and Red coral bangles called Pola are worn by the bride. The bride starts wearing it on the eve of the wedding. It is usually a homely ceremony with only close family members. The Shankha Pola is given to the bride by her maternal uncle. It is a distinguished ritual in Bengali matrimony.

Ganga Nimantran
It is another unique ritual where families march towards the Ganga River to invite her to the wedding and seek her blessings. Conch shells are blown and items like betel leaf, turmeric, and diya are carried. 

Dodhi Mangal
Before daybreak, the bride and groom are fed soaked flattened rice or chuda mixture with mishti doi. It is the only proper meal they get on the day of the wedding before keeping a fast until the end of the wedding. 

Tatta-The Gifts
Gifts to be taken to the bride’s house are arranged colorfully and decoratively. It includes clothes, cosmetics, accessories, toiletries for the bride or groom, and gifts for family members. This is done differently in Bengali matrimony as fish also goes with the Tatta. 

Bor Jatri
The groom is accompanied by his family on the wedding day. They leave for the bride’s house in a grand procession called Bor Jatri. Traditionally, the groom is carried on a horse or a car adorned with flowers and colorful decorations.

Bor Boron
The groom is welcomed by the bride’s mother who lights a lamp on the bamboo willow or Kula. She does aarti.

Potto Bastra
The bride and the groom change into their wedding attire. It includes a red and white saree for the bride and Dhoti and Kurta for the groom. Exchanging this Attire is the symbol of acceptance and commitment.

Saat Paak and Shubho Dristi
Saat Paak is a ritual involving the bride circling the groom seven times. It represents the seven rows of marriage. During the ceremony, the brides are use are covered with betel leaves. She takes her first look at the groom by removing those leaves called Shubho Dristi.  

Mala Badal
The bride and the groom exchange floral garlands symbolizing their acceptance of one another. It is a moment filled with joy, accompanied by cheers and applause from friends and family.

Sampradan is a ritual where the bride’s father gives her away to the groom. It also signifies the transfer of responsibility and care from the father to the husband.

Yagna and Saptapadi
The priest conducts a sacred fire ceremony called Yagna. The couple takes seven steps together, known as Saptapadi around the sacred fire. Each step signifies a wow and their commitment to the marriage. This ritual in Bengali matrimony is quite similar to other cultures.

Sindoor Daan
Sindoor Daan is where the groom applies Sindoor or vermilion on the bride's forehead. This signifies her marital status and acts as a significant and emotional moment in the ceremony. This is an iconic ritual of Bengali matrimony. 

Bou Bhat
Bou Bhat is a sumptuous meal for the wedding. It is the first meal that the newlyweds have together as a married couple. This marks the conclusion of the wedding celebrations and is done at the groom’s house. 

Post wedding rituals 

Bidaay Is the moment when the bride leaves her parent's home and starts a new life in the room. It is an emotional and cheerful moment with blessings from family.

Kal Ratri
Kal Ratri is the night after the wedding. The newlyweds play games and spend quality time together. The bride and groom get to know each other better.  

Phool Sajya
Phool Sajya translates into the bed of flowers. The groom and bride enter the room as a couple. They eat puffed rice or Khoi with mishti doi and spend the night together.

Reception is held usually a few days before the wedding. Here, the couple is introduced to extended family and friends. It is a mixture of music, dance, and feast.

Bengali matrimony is not just a ceremony. It is a beautiful journey that is filled with symbolic rituals, indicating love, commitment, and tradition. Each ritual adds a unique layer to the marriage. Everything makes it a memorable and joyous occasion for everyone involved. starting from the vibrant pre-wedding ceremonies to the exchange of vows during the wedding, a Bengali wedding is a celebration of love, unity, and tradition.

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Balakrishnan 0
Passionate writer dedicated to crafting engaging and informative content. Bringing ideas to life, one word at a time.
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