Kumaoni wedding – Ganesh puja & Suwal pathai


This time I attended the wedding of a very dear friend who is like an elder sister (didi) to me. I am writing different day wise posts about it because a Hindu traditional wedding is BIG!!

It was a kumaoni wedding and, like most Hindu weddings, had ceremonies spread out across 4-5 days.

Celebrations started on day 1 morning with a Ganesh puja. All auspicious ceremonies start with a Ganesh puja, requesting God to remove any obstacles that may arise during the ceremony.
During the puja, three small cloth pieces are taken in which turmeric pieces,roli, supari, akshat(soaked rice) and coins are tied. Of these, one is placed in the kitchen, one on the entrance of the house and the third is tied to the pan which is to be used for making various dishes for the marriage. After that, the idols of ‘Samdhi’ (Father-in-law) & ‘Samdhan’ (Mother-in-law) are made by using til, rice flour and jaggery. These are put in a small decorated basket, and then exchanged on the day of the marriage.
After that, in the afternoon, Suwal pathai ceremony was held. Suwal pathai is a kumaoni wedding ritual in which wheat flour is kneaded into dough, rolled into thin rotis (papads), and dried in the sun after dipping in dry flour. Once dry, these are fried in oil and form a part of the offering to gods and guests. I was also told that suwals go along with the bride to her husband’s place – the tradition continuing from the time when the bride would have to travel long distances by road to reach her husband’s place, and would be given food for the journey.rangwali_pichauda
All the ladies of the house gathered in the verandah, the married ones and the bride wearing the ‘rangwali ka pichaura’.

Rangwali pichaura is a kind of dupatta with a saffron colour background and designs made in red colour – majorly red polka dots. The Pichaura is traditionally hand-made and is dyed with vegetable colors after which it is printed by hand.

The elder ladies made the suwals while all others sang marriage songs, accompanied by a dholak. Before making suwals, a Ganesh sculpture was made from the kneaded dough.

ganesh

suwal pathai

I found one song really interesting – “Chal banni court marriage kar aaye”. The song detailed how expensive a traditional wedding affair is, and really we’re better off doing a court marriage. We joked with didi (the bride) how it hadn’t struck us earlier to just go with the court marriage. If anyone knows the full lyrics of that song, please write them here or give me the link. I couldn’t find them on the internet.

dholak

Weddings are meant for families to get together and have fun. It’s about meeting more new & interesting people. I sure have met awesome people, and I had loads of fun. 🙂

To read about the ceremonies held in the following days, click on the links below.

Day 2 : Mehndi
Day 3: Tika (Sagai), Sangeet
Day 4: Purwang, Haldi, and the Wedding
Day 5 : Vidaai

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