It is an indisputable fact that Hindu weddings are vibrant, well-planned, culture-rich festivities, full of old traditions and celebration. But, the essence of a Hindu wedding ceremony is the emotional, spiritual, and physical bond between two people. It is an amalgamation of two families, coming together through prayer.
Hindu weddings are a couple’s expectation with the blend of family traditions. With so many rituals and ceremonies, it holds both families together and forever.
The primary goal of the Indian wedding is to celebrate divinity within, and this continues for a week.
While fun and celebration is one part of Indian weddings, the key is that they have a unique aspect and, i.e. Rituals, and their relation with Ayurveda.
Sounds Interesting? Let us understand how each tradition is linked with Ayurveda -
1. Mehendi Ceremony
Mehendi Ceremony is a 9000 years old tradition. It is a temporary body art in which decorative designs are made on the skin. This is done using dried henna leaves paste. The henna plant contains a reddish dye that stains the skin. It is a crucial part of wedding celebrations and many other Hindu festivals.
Mehendi ceremony usually takes place two or three days before the wedding. The groom’s family delivers the henna, and the bride is supposed to use that henna. Different designs are applied to the bride, bride’s relatives, and groom’s relatives.
The Mehendi design signifies luck, blessings, prosperity, and a profound bond between the couple.
In Ayurveda, henna has been used for medicinal purposes such as allergies, skin inflammations, burns, bruises, scalp disorders, and cuts. It is also used for restoring the natural pH balance of the skin.
According to Ayurveda, henna is applied on hands and feet. It is done because our palms and soles contain many important points. The henna also has cooling properties that relax the body, the nerves and calms the mind.
Another interesting Ayurvedic fact is that henna is a powerful aphrodisiac. It has natural antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anti-irritant properties that improve general health. It prevents headache and fever and protects the body from viral diseases.
2. Haldi Ceremony
Haldi ceremony is a pre-wedding ritual performed for good luck and purification. It takes place at both the groom and bride place separately on the morning of the wedding day, before the wedding.
It has been said that this ceremony was celebrated in Lord Shiva’s wedding with Goddess Parvati as well.
According to Ayurveda, turmeric has many healing and beautification properties. Turmeric helps in brightening your skin, evens the skin tone, and prevents premature aging.
It helps in detoxifying and exfoliating the skin. It works as a mild antidepressant and helps to calm an upset person.
Besides, it is also believed that the turmeric paste will bring luck and prosperity to the couple, protect them from negative energies, and purify the soul. It has been believed that it is a symbolic representation of the inner light.
3. Applying Kajal
The black eyeliner is applied to both the upper and lower eyelash lines. It makes the eyes look more exciting by giving them a shape.
According to Ayurveda, Kajal protects the eyes from sun rays, dust, and smoke. It also helps in removing excess impurities from the eyes.
4. Nose Piercing
Nose piercing is a way to honour Hindu Parvati, the goddess of marriage.
Ayurveda supports piercing on the left nostril. Ayurvedic medicine associates the left side of the body with female energy. Ayurvedic scripts say that nose piercing decreases menstrual pain, enhances fertility, and makes childbirth easier.
5. Applying Sindoor
Sindoor, also known as Vermilion, is applied in the parting of the hair of married Hindu women. The sindoor is made up of lime, turmeric, and other herbal ingredients. The lime helps in changing the turmeric colour to red.
Application of sindoor is a 6000 years old tradition. In Hindu traditions, the sindoor symbolises the joy and auspiciousness that the bride brings with her to the new house.
According to Ayurveda, sindoor activates the crown chakra, which attracts cosmic and prana energy. It improves concentration and keeps your head cool. Being placed at the top of the forehead, it also helps in strengthening the reproductive system.
Sindoor also acts as sunscreen and blocks reflecting sun rays on the exposed scalp.
The red colour signifies power, love, honour, and prosperity. Red is known to retain the body's positive energy and keep you strong, healthy, and positive throughout.
6. Tieing Mangalsutras
Indian grooms tie mangalsutra around the bride’s neck while the sacred wedding ceremony is going on. It is believed that the mangalsutra signifies a strong bond in a couple’s lives.
As per Ayurveda, the mangalsutra beads represent the power of five great elements. The centre of the mangalsutra is placed over a woman’s Anahata or heart chakra. Anahata chakra is associated with balance, serenity, calmness, love, and compassion. It also aids in dissolving a woman’s negative emotions.
Physically, it helps in the proper functioning of the thymus and heart. At the same time, the black beads absorb all the negative vibrations.
7. Buying Bangles (chooda)
According to Hindu Traditions, a woman is not supposed to buy the bangles (chooda) that she will wear at her wedding. It is usually of red colour that is the symbol of love and purity. The sound produced by those bangles is a positive vibration.
Ayurveda believes that chooda strengthens the heart and helps in regulating blood pressure. It also improves circulation and channelizes energy.
Here are some of the Indian wedding traditions and their importance in Ayurveda. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section below.Authored by: Smriti
About the Author: Smriti is an expert dietitian and nutritionist. She is a post graduate in Nutrition and Diet Planning from All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). She strongly believes in Ayurvedic remedies.