VivahThis ceremony begins
like the Yajnopavita ceremony with gara-navai or house cleaning
and then, in like manner, henabandi and divagon are performed.
On the wedding day the bridegroom is dressed with gold-laced garments and
over them is worn a bright coloured robe, and his turban is adorned with
a bunch of herons' feathers. A procession is formed in the compound where
the bridegroom stands on Vyug (a place decorated with lime and colour).
Then the eldest lady of the house comes and turns lighted lamps and a couple
of pigeons round his neck and the relatives sing songs all the while and
shower coins and sugar over him. Then he starts, riding on a horse preceded
by other horses and palanquin to the ghat and thence the party starts
in a procession of boats (now cars) to the bride's parents' house. If the
wedding party has to go to a village not approachable by boat, horses and
vehicles are used. There the Vyug is kept ready for the bridegroom
to stand upon. The bride is brought and made to stand on his left side on
the Vyug, and the ceremony of turning lamps and pigeons round the
heads of the couple is performed by the eldest lady of the house. A feast
is given to the bridegroom and the party. The
lagan or the nuptial
ceremony is performed by the priests of the bridegroom assisted by other
priests. After reciting various incantations the couple is given food which
they partake in one and the same plate. Then they are made to walk together
hand in hand on seven coins of silver round the fire lighted on the occasion.
Then the priests are given cash presents. In the end the parents of the
bride offer them flowers with many blessings in Sanskrit poetry which the
Brahmins recite in one chorus (Posh Pooza).
After the lagan is over the bridegroom
with his bride and party returns to his own house. Before starting he and
the bride are made to stand again on the Vyug and the ceremony attached
to it is repeated. The bride is then placed in the palanquin and the bridegroom
rides his horse and the procession returns to the bridegroom's house. There
again the Vyug ceremony is performed and after that the couple enter
their home, the ladies singing songs all the while.
The Kashmiri Pandit
by Pandit Anand Koul
Thacker, Spink & Co.