Types Of Marriages In India

Marriage ceremonies in India are especially spectacular because of the colour, festivity, traditions, and cuisine. People from all over the world travel to see Indian weddings. The vast variety of Indian wedding rites is what makes them so unique. The rituals followed in the northern portion of India differ from those followed in the southern part of India; the east and west have various types of weddings. In India, there are several sorts of weddings, and it is this diversity that we will focus on in this essay.

History Of Marriages In India

If we are going to talk about the many forms of weddings in India, we must first look at the history of marriages in India. India is a country that has traditionally emphasized arranged weddings, a tradition that is now practised in every Indian group, regardless of religion, caste, or status. Previously, two families agreed on the match, and couples were generally married in their youth so that they could adjust better. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi married Kasturba Gandhi when he was 13 years old, and they were married for 62 years.

The practise of child marriage did not exist in ancient India, but it began later when there were invasions and patriarchy began to rear its ugly head. In reality, in India, rulers organised Swayamvars for their daughters so that they may marry from among the best, ostensibly giving a woman the option. Although author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni makes it clear in her book The Palace of Illusions that Draupadi was in love with Karna and would have garlanded him if she had the choice, she was forced to tell him that he was not a Kshatriya and could not participate in the Swayamvar because she had to serve her destiny, which was with the Pandavas.

How Many Types Of Marriages Are There In India?

It is difficult to specify the whole range of marriage ceremonies in India. Because there is so much variety within the scope of Hindu marriage. Needless to mention, several sorts of marriage rituals exist in India. Despite the fact that they are all Hindu weddings, a Bengali wedding is not the same as a South Indian or a Maharashtrian wedding. Although the faith is the same and the mantras spoken are identical, the ceremonies, time of wedding, and dress are all extremely different. If we are talking about sorts of weddings in India, we can state that there are nine forms of marriages in our nation.

  1. Hindu Marriage

The Hindu marriage ceremony adheres to Vedic customs, including the three primary rituals of Kanyadaan, Panigrahana, and Saptapadi. The first involves the father giving the bride away, the second has the bride and groom linking hands in front of the fire, and the third involves completing seven circuits around the fire. However, not all rites are observed at every Hindu wedding. Different groups in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, for example, do not have a technique of lighting a fire, and their weddings often begin early in the morning and end by midday. Some rites, such as turmeric ceremony, take place in the morning in Bengal, while the major wedding ceremony takes place in the evening, according to the auspicious hour stated in the Almanac.

North India has the most elaborate wedding rites, which begin with the sagai (engagement) and can last for days when garlands are exchanged, a havan is performed, and the woman is forced to wear the Mangal Sutra. The application of vermillion is more important in East India, and the Lakshmi Narayan Puja is very important in Maharashtra.

All Hindu marriages are registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

2. Christian Marriage

Christian weddings are performed in a church by a minister or a priest under the Indian Christian Marriage Act of 1872. The beauty of Christian marriage in India is that a bride frequently chooses to wear the clothing of her culture rather than a gown. So, in Christian marriages in India, the bride wears traditional dress such as sarees, mekhlas, and traditional sarongs, while the groom often wears traditional attire with his best men. Among the types of marriages in India it is a Christian marriage that is a happy amalgam of Indian and Western cultures. The tradition of the feast, the toast and the bouquet are all followed sprinkled with indigenous traditions.

3. Sikh Marriage

Sikh weddings were formerly recorded under the Hindu Marriage Act, but are now registered under the Punjab Sikh Anand Karaj Marriage Act 2018. The Sikh wedding ceremony is basic. It is held in the Gurudwara. Before that, a ceremony called milni is held in which the bride’s and groom’s family meet. The bride and groom then take pheras around Guru Granth Sahib after reciting four short stanzas from their religious texts (Holy Scripture). The bride and groom dress up in extravagant traditional costume, and delicious food is served throughout the ceremonies.

4. Muslim Marriage

A Muslim marriage is governed by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937. In India, Muslim marriages adhere to Islamic customs. The bride and groom may choose to wear traditional Indian clothes, however the religious ceremony is typically carefully adhered to Islamic standards. The Maulavi performs the wedding ceremony known as the Nikah. Kanydan is also present during a Muslim wedding, followed by the reading of the Koran, the groom’s proposal, and the bride’s acceptance. Biriyani is a traditional wedding dish among Indian Muslims.

5. Parsi Marriage

The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act of 1936 governs the legalisation and registration of Parsi marriages. Some of the traditions included in a Parsi marriage include the exchanging of silver coins between the bride’s and groom’s family. Following this ritual, the woman assumes the husband’s name. Three days before the wedding, the festivities continue, and on the fourth day, a wedding procession arrives to the bride’s residence, where the marriage is solemnised.

Following the wedding, the couple must eat from the same plate to symbolize their unity.

6. Buddhist Marriage

A Buddhist marriage is most likely the simplest kind of marriage in India. The Special Marriage Act of 1954 governs Buddhist marriages. There are no rigidly prescribed rites or elaborate ceremonies to be observed. True to its religious precepts, a Buddhist marriage stresses spirituality and the fulfilment of vows. A monk or Rinpoche generally performs the engagement solo. On the wedding day, the bride and groom, along with their respective families, attend the temple before the wedding ceremony, which is held in a different location.

A Buddhist wedding is a modest gathering to which only a few close friends and family are invited.

7. Jain Marriage

Buddhists and Jain can register their marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 or the Special Marriage Act of 1954. These are two sorts of marriage acts that individuals of many religions might employ. Jain marriages have numerous rites that are comparable to Hindu nuptials, such as pheras and kanyavaran, but they also include a variety of Pujas and aarti.

The most significant tradition is that after the wedding, the bride and groom travel to a Jain Temple with their family members and feed the destitute there.

8. Court Marriage

Inter-caste and inter-faith marriages are a common occurrence in India. Many people who wish to skip religious rites choose judicial marriage under the Special Marriage Act of 1954. A 30-day notice is provided to the registrar, along with the bride and groom’s residence and birth information. Then, on the appointed day, they must appear at the registrar’s office with three witnesses to sign the legal paperwork and read the vows.

9. Mixed marriages

Many brides and grooms follow the rites of both faiths to solemnise their weddings in the case of inter-faith marriages. These marriages are governed by the Special Marriage Act of 1954, although it is customary to have a church wedding in the morning followed by a havan in the evening.

In a country with as diverse customs as India, mind-boggling rituals and traditional rites are unavoidable. However, there are primarily nine sorts of weddings that are widely solemnised in modern India, about which we just reported extensively.