Ah, the big fat Indian wedding…. India, especially Punjab has become notorious for extravagant wedding ceremonies that have the potential to last up to a week. So, you can imagine how much time & money is spent prior to organizing the week-long celebrations. The celebrations include food, lights, gold, songs, dances, over the top decorations and last but not least, tradition.
No matter how much western influence is thrown at the people of India and our country itself, our own traditions never die out and have always been given top priority during celebrations. One of these ceremonies is known as Gharoli and is a famous Punjabi wedding tradition. Celebrated for the groom, this age-old ceremony is conducted as part of Punjabi weddings and takes place on the morning of the wedding. This tradition involves an earthen pot that’s to be carried by the sister in law of the groom. This ceremony is performed in order to secure the spiritual well being of the groom before he enters into his life-long commitment.
This earthen pot or “Gharoli” is taken to a nearby temple by the sister & the sister in laws. The ladies usually sing Boliyan on their way to the temple as part of the tradition. Here, the Gharoli is filled with holy water, and is brought back on foot to the groom’s house. This holy water is then used by the groom to take a bath just before the main wedding ceremonies take place. It’s thought that this bath cleanses the groom of all spiritual impurities and thus sets him up perfectly for a long and healthy marriage. Like any Indian tradition, a lot of prayers are made for the well-being of the bride & groom as well as their families.
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Other than just the traditional & cultural significance of the ceremony, it’s a tradition that is enjoyed by all parties involved. The ladies carrying out the tradition, dress up in vibrant traditional wear and as mentioned before, sing Boliyan. In the 21st century, bhangra & dhol players also join the party and add to the celebratory vibe.
So, the question remains…. Why? Well, Indian culture has always given nature the value it deserves. All of natures elements are prayed to & celebrated as well. This includes traditions like offering water to the sun & prayers made to rivers. Water is undisputedly on of the most important natural elements on earth, without which humans are sure to perish. The tradition of Gharoli aims to value & subsequently emphasis the importance of water & it’s power to cleanse the human body of negative energies.
So, do our ladies remember this ceremony in the last wedding they went for? If so, tell us in the comments!
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