The ceremonies that are significant in accomplishing a gaddi marriage are listed below:
1. SAMOOT CEREMONEY (BRIDEGROOM)
At the wedding ceremony, the family purohit prepares Mandal. The samhut rite is First performed by worshipping Ganpati (Ganesh), Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Kul Devta, Navgrah (nine planets), Kumbh (a small pitcher) filled with water is placed over a handful of rice, leaves of mango and pipal tree are put in it, cocount is placed on it which is covered with a piece of red cloth (called lohan). It is worshipped exactly like other Gods.
A Khari (flat bamboo basket) contining Bale (ear rings) Kangnoo (wrist ornaments) Katara (Dagger) Patra (planned wood) wooden ukhloo (Grind wood) two wooden Muhals (wooden. pounding rods) Kantha, seti sarson (Mustard) mehandi is placed at the Mandal. All these articles are worshipped in form of a partishata. Relatives (Gotri), boys, girls, and others participating in samhut ceremony get the real threads tied round their right wrists and at the same time the family purohit blesses them by placing Tikas on their foreheads.
The Aulis (small earthen pitcher) neck also tied with a red thread. Huth, a mixture of Turmeric powder, flour and mustard oil is purified by the purohit with Mantras. Three black woollen threads (called kangna) are also tied round the right wrist of the bridegroom to protect him from the evil eyes. The ladies grace the ceremonial occasions with songs while the family purohit performs religious rites.
Shehnai on Wedding SAMOOT SONG: "Surga de utre Devte Samhut ai beh ho Dhart, Gas beh ho Surga de titre Devte Brahama, Vishnu, beh ho Chandra, Surja, beh ho Sadra auwna hoega Bapoo, Chacha, gotri beh ho." Meaning - Come down gods from your heavenly region and sit down among us in samhoot ceremony Oh Earth, Sky, Brahma, Vishnu, Moon and Sun sit down among us. We can't come to you, let father, uncle and Gotri sit down and participate.
The mother, sisters, aunts and other ladies after putting some coins in the Butna purified by the purohit, rub it on the body of the bridegroom. The cash offered is shared by the barber and purohit. After this the mother with an Auli(small earthen pitcher) in her hand and trickling water from it, leads the bridegroom to the courtyard where bath is given by the mother, sisters and aunts etc. The bath is also accompanied by songs. The black woolen threads (Kangna) is untied at this stage. While being escorted by the mother to the original place, the bridegroom upsets a earthen lid containing burning charcoal and sad sarson (Mustard) which he does by kicking. This is then thrown away so as to remove any evil influence.
2. DHANIKU KUTNE (BEATING OF DEAN)
The small wooden ukhloo (Grind wood) is placed, the bridegroom takes one Mahal (Wooden pounding rod) Dhans are put in the small ukhloo, the other, Mahal is given to an unmarried girl. Then they (bridegroom and the girl) beat Dhan with their respective Mahals.
3. KANGANA CERMONEY
The purohit after putting some Bihin (Coriander) and seti sarson in small piece of red cloth properly tied, with a red Dori (red cotten threads) which is then tied around the right wrist of the bridegroom. This is called Kangna ceremony which has its own significance as it is related to another occasion to be described later. If the Panchaink was not present at the time of samhut ceremony, red thread is also tied around his right wrist at the ceremony. Then the bridegroom is allowed to take meals. There after Mehandi is applied on the hands and feet of the bridegroom by his sisters etc.
4. TORAN PUJA
Toran is a gate erected at the entrance of the courtyard. The upper part of the Toran (Gate) consist of a bamboo piece with coloured wooden parrots, provided by the maternal uncle(in Chhak) of the bridegroom. The bridegroom's mother or his maternal uncle and maternal uncle's wife (Mami) worship Toran duly assisted by the family purohit, on the sandi ceremoney occassion.
5. PANEHAR-JAL PUJA
An earthen pitcher filled with water is brought by the maternal uncle or his wife to the Toran. The earthern pitcher is considered as Kumbh. The purohit chants Vedic Mantras and the bridegroom, maternal uncle and his wife, worship the Kumbh. There is a custom of Maina amongst Gaddis which is feast by maternal uncles at bride/bridegrooms place. Toran and Panehar Pujas are performed on the Maina day that is a day before sandi ceremony. This is the custom of giving Chhak. The workship of Toran and Panehar performed on the ocassion of sandi ceremony.
6. ARRIVAL OF MUSICIANS
The musicians arrive at the appointed time on the day already decided. While entering at the entrance (toran) they are given one or two seers of rice, one pair of doris, gur and some rupee. This offer is called PRATAR some also call it PRATAN. It is only accepting the Pratar that the musician starts playing on their musical instruments. If NAGARAS and Narisinga and Sehnai have been arranged, pieces of yellow cloth are given to cover them. The musicians play Aarti first and thereafter keep playing popular songs in intervals. The sehnai musicians play traditional gaddi songs being sung for years like Ramayanee on which some do Natti dance(circular group dance)in the wedding.
7. TALAI (DESPATCH OF TALAI TO THE BRIDES HOUSE)
Oil, walnut, supari and one rupee twenty five paise are put in a Iota. The Iota is then covered with a red cloth (Lohan) and which is tied with a Dori. Lakhnotri is also properly tied with the Dori. Butna, Munjmala, Mehnadi and Dhrub are also arranged for despatch. All these are purified by the purohit, The Tal is carried to the brides house by a Sipi. The purohit also put Tika on his forehead and ties red thread around his right wrist. He is paid some cash and is instructed to reach at the brides house well in time before Sandi ceremony. The Sipi is received with great respect. The oil, Butna and Munjmala are used during the ,`Sandi' ceremony of the bride that begins only after receiving of Talai.
8. SANDI (BRIDEGROOM)
The mandal arranged by the purohit for "Samhut" ceremony is removed by smearing it with cow dung by Mami. The purohit then prepares a fresh Mandal. The traditional diagrams of Ganpati, Navgrah, Kul Devta, Gauradi sords, smatrika Mekh, adi Daud Rasi, Sapatrishi, Panchkar, Onkar, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Vastu are drawn for their worship. Kumbh containing water, mango and pipal leaves covered with coconut and lohan, is placed on a small plate-from of race.
Lei chhei is brought to the mandal by the maternal uncle. Dal (pulse) Rice, Supari, Flour, Gur, Walnut, Dhoop, Clothes red and yellow, are all produced by the mama of the bridegroom. The "Samagri" consisting of Barley, Rice, Til, Guggal Dhoop, Muski kapoor, Chandan boor, Sammi saroh, Gur, Walnut, Bhuj pattar, Panch Mewa (Gari, Chuhare-Badam, Dakh etc.) is also arranged by the Mama. The Gotris, Mama and his close relatives sit round the mandal. The purohit ties red thread around their wrists and blesses them by applying Tika on their forehead. All the Gods and Kumbh are worshipped. Thereafter 'Samagri' is distributed to the participants. The Havan fire is kindled with lei chhei wood and shanti Havan is performed. Samgri is poured over the Havan fire. The purohit keeps on chanting Vedic Mantra from his text took during Shanti Havan. On the completion of Havan, the Purohit collects some dust from the Havan and it is used for applying Tika on the forehead of the participants.
9. JOGNOO, AND BHIKSHA CEREMONY
Sandi is followed by Jognoo and Bhiksha ceremony (omitted in the wedding of a widowed).The bridegroom disguises himself as a jogi in a Dhoti or sheet round his loins, flour Mundras (Jogi's earrings) fastened out of flour in his ears, a satchel slung over his shoulders, a black woollen rope (Dora) placed round his chest and wrist and a begging bowel. He also carves his back with a Mirag Chhala (preferably skin of black Buck, Barking Dear, spotted Deer, Hog Deer or leopards) suspends a Fanani (bow for carding wool) to the black woollen rope (Dora) and takes a Tirmir stick in his right hand with a Brahminical thread tied round his right thumb.
Video Clip - Jognu Ceremony
This dress is assumed so that he may appear a regular jogi. The purohit asks him "Why haste thou become a Jogi, the answer is, to receive the janeo (Sacred Thread). He is again asked as to what kind of cord he requires, whether of copper, gold, brass, silver or cotton. The Jogi (bridegroom) asks for the cotton. There after the purohit sends him to take bath at Badrinarain, Trilokinath and Mani Mahesh. These supposed baths are taken by the Jogi in turn by dipping his hands and feet in and pouring some water on his face from the vessel of water previously placed at the door way or courtyard for the purpose. The Panchaink escorts the Jogi throughout. Three times, he goes around the basin of water. The last time it represents Mani Mahesha Lake. After this the pretended Jogi begs alms from his relatives and then from others, who put pieces of bread, sweet meats, fruits and coins in the satchel slung over the shoulders. Some promise him cattle and goats (Which go to the boy) according to their means. In the conclusion the Purohit asks him whether he wishes to devote himself to wordly business i.e. JATERA OR MATERAS (anascetic life). He invariably chooses JATERA.
After the final round the Jogi and the Panchaink sit with the purohit at the Mandal. The dress of Jogi is cast off since he has opted to lead the life of a Grahasthi.The purohit gives him Gayatri Mantras.
The bridegroom (Jogi) touches purohit's feet with both his hands crossed while getting Diksha Gayatri. Then purohit asks him him whether all the instructions, he has given will be complied with, To this the jogi replies, "Definitely the compliance will be done, Guruji".
Before the boy disguises himself as a jogi, the custom of sacrificing a goat to Navgrahs, sprinkling of goats blood on sandori (Bagar grass rope) and spreading the sandori around the room alongwith the cornice is not prevalent now-a-days mostly. Instead Karah Prashad Kadoo Petha and cocount are used for this purpose.
10. JANEO (SACRED THREAD) CEREMONY
The bridegroom sits on a wooden chowki at the Mandal. The "Partishta" of a janeo is performed by the purohit. All the Gotris (relatives from the same clan) are called in. They touch the purified janeo with their right hands and while shouting (jaikara Bharna "Mani Mahesh Ki jai") put the janeo over the left shoulder and under the right arm of the bridegroom. There after some relative collects janeo's from the Purohit on payment and then put them over the left shoulder of the bridegroom. The janeo must always be made by the Brahmins and should be renewed about once a month.
11. TEL CEREMONY AND SEHRA BANDI
After the observance of janeo ceremony Tel ceremony takes place, Bhanji (sister's unmarried daughther) or any other unmarried girl puts on new clothes given by the bridegroom. She is worshipped. The bridegroom is then seated on a wooden chowki. The Munj-Mala Ring is than touched by all the nearest relatives they shout jai kara Bharna, "Mani Mahesh-Ki-Jai and Kailash Pati-ki-Jai" and then place it on the head of the bridegroom. The Bhanji keeps her hands touching the head of the bridegroom with a dagger. The oil and vermilion are contained in a plate held by the purohit. The boys agnates, nearest relatives, boys, girls, ladies one by one pour oil with Dhrub(grass blades) over the head of the bridegroom, while doing so they put coins in the plate by the purohit who blesses them by applying Tika on their foreheads. This custom is called tel ceremony.
After the Tel ceremony the bridegroom is shaved by a Barber. Butna (Lopri) is rubbed on his body by sisters, Bhabbi (brother's wife) Mami, Mother, Moleri (Mother broth er's daughter) and uncle's daughters (chacharies) etc. Then he is given bath. After the bath the bridegroom distributes Gur and Ghee which is called ,'Gurtar'. Thereafter Khana(meal) is served to the bridegroom and his Panchaink by Mami or Mother's Mother (Nani). Then the bridegroom is dressed assisted by the Purohit and Barber. He wears cap (Topi) with Gota, white turban, socks, coloured chudidar Pajama, pink coloured shirt, Kad of red colour specifically prepared for this occassion, white Dupatta Gubandan, Jaul thrown over the shoulders and ornaments. The Mama presents sehra. All Gotris (close relatives) and Maternal uncle etc. while touching the sehra placefit on the head of the bridegroom and then it is tied round the Pagri. While doing so all those touching the sehra shout "Mani Mahesh Ki jai, Kailash Pati Ki-Jai, Shiv Mahraj-Ki-Jai" (to call jai is called Jai Kara Bharna). The red coloured Dushala is used to cover the shoulders of the bridegrom. The dressing, putting on ornaments and sehra ceremony all are termed as "Parshi". After this the bridegroom gets up. Arti duly sanctified by Mantra is used at the door. A thali (Plate) with lighted earthen lamps is waved over the bridegroom's head thrice from right to left by the ptirohit. The bridegroom's mother places thrice Babroo pieces on three sides of her son (bridegroom).
12. TAMBOL CEREMONY
The bridegroom is then made to stand on a wooden chowki placed in the courtyard. Aunts, sisters, mileris, chacheries, phupheries (father's sister's daughters) mother's sisters, father's sister's and others one by one presents stitched clothes, pieces of cloth, cash and presents to the bridegroom. While making such offer, they one by one put the tilak or tika on the forehead of the bridegroom. At the same time they take some coins in their right hands and after waving thrice over the head of the groom, put the coins in a thali held by the purohit while sisters fan the groom. A family member records all offerings (clothes, pieces of cloth, cash presents in, a proper document). The purohit and Barber share the cash put in the plate. On the termination of Tambol ceremony the bridegroom distributes luancharies, stitched clothes, pieces of cloth, coloured turbans to near and dear ones. New turbans are given to all the elderly members in the family, relatives, elder gotries, barber, musicians, palki bearer, maternal uncle, purohit, a fellow who carries Talai. Other items are distributed to the sisters, Mami, Museries, Muleries, Bhabi, Bhabi, Chacheries Dharam ki Sister or Dharam ka Bhai and poor ladies of the village. Such offer and their distribution depend on the financial position of the bridegroom.
13. GETTING INTO PALKI
Accompained by his mother, Purohit and other women the bridegroom sits in a palki. Bhabi put antimony on his eyes (called kajal bahana). The palki is lifted by close relatives and supported by palki bearers. Shouting Mani Mahesh ki Jai and put inside the Toran, where a pitcher filled with water is placed in which the bridegroom puts some coins. At this stage the mother gives her breast to suck. The idea behind is that the boy is going to get a wife for him and he may not forget mother, alternately sometime milk glass is given.
14. JANDRU AND JANAIT
Now the marriage party (Janait) led by musicians proceeds to bride's house. Male relatives, friends, grown up boys and purohit (called Jandru) all dressed in their best clothes try to reach at the bride's house before time feed for "Lagan" (time laid down in the lakhnotri). This is the occassion when everyone seems to be overjoyed. Marriage party is called "Janait".
15. BAT BARTANA
On arrival of the marriage party (Janait) at the bride's village, the Janait members are put up in a house other than the girl's house or in the open air. The boy's father or uncle with purohit and two or three other members (relatives) take the basket full of babroos (round fried cakes) to the brides parents. This is called Bat Partana.At this time a chhatra that was put with the palki of the groom is taken by brother of the bride to wedding home.
As soon as the basket full of babroos is handed over to the bride's parents, they offer the visiting members something to eat. A fellow with a jug full of water and a basin assist the visiting males in washing their hands and mounth (Chuhti lagana) who in turn put some coins in the basin. This custom and rite is called "Juth Pai" Then purohit and visiting members come back to join the other members of the janait.
17. RECEPTION OF THE BRIDEGROOM
As the time for 'Lagan' laid down in the 'lakhnotri' comes nearer the purohits of both the parties announce the time when bridegroom, his followers and musucians are to be admitted to the house of bride. The bride's purohit accompained by her mother and father receives the bridegroom outside the TORAN. The purohit applies Tika on the forehead of the bridegroom who pays some cash. This payment is called "Tak Bandai" The purohit worships Dia, Kumbh, Ganpati and Dharti and Gurtar (distribution of gur) is given to all those present by the mother of the bride.
18. WASHING FEET OF BRIDEGROOM OR GIVING BATH
Bath is given to the bridegroom by a barber who then wears a dhoti. If bath is not convenient, the brother-in-law or father-in-law as the case may be comes to the spot with a patka round his neck and washes and worships the bridegroom feet. The boy's purohit then givens a Duna (Leaf cup) with some rice, a walnut, dhrub and flowers in the hands of the bridegroom. Both the palms are held upward, with both thumbs joined and held up by the father-in-law in his hand, who brings the bridegroom inside the Baid while Mantras are recited by the bride's purohit. When the bridegroom is made to sit in the Baid by the father-in-law worship of Jal (warm water) Dharti, Khumbh, Dia, Ganpati. Nargrah, Sorrmatra, Sapatrishi, Omkar, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Shesh Nag, Jognr is performed by the bride's father and the bridegroom is assisted by the Brides purohit.
After the observance of Batparthna and juthpai rites the Bursuhi is delivered to the brides parents by the Purohit in the presence of boy's father or uncle and two or three other relatives. Bursuhi consists of bride's dress, other articles and ornaments, brides dress includes Dupatta, Kharbas (large light red coloured cloth sheet with Gota on the borders) Luanchari with Dora, Ghagru (coloured cloth for a shirt) Naudoris (nine red cords) Prandoos, shoes socks, two or three pairs of suits. Other articles include Kangi (Comb) Ungi (of steel or silver with which hair is parted in the front) Bangles, Vermilion, Dhania, Rice, Kesar, Chandan Boor (sandle wood chips), Nahani fragrance giving roots powder, tikas, and nail polish. Mahandi, Kungoo, Muth (roots of sweet smelling grass) Kachi Haldi (fresh turmeric) few pairs of babroos, cocoa, alomonds, dates, supari and collyrium, Manihar and Ranihar also form parts of Bursuhi. Inclusion of golden ornaments such as baloo, nath, ear rings (Kantas) Nam Tika depends on the financial position of the bridegroom. The custom of including chundi (antimony holder on the back of the head) and Parori (Long woollen thick thread shaped, to hold hair on the back of the head) in case Burshui is not prevalent. Instead Chak (silver head oranament) however is given in the Bursuhi in most of the cases.
20. BAT MUNDERNA AND PRATH
The practice of Bhat Munderna, though a strange one is not regularly practised at all the marriages. But precautions are taken to face it. When the Jandroos (followers with the bridegroom) sit down in Pangtis and Khana is being served, girls and women folk sing special songs and thereby Jandroos are not permitted to take Khana until and unless Prath is read out. This is called Bhat Munderna. Some of the verses of the songs are: Pahia to Munderoo Fauna Khera pani Dua to Mundere Khale Khere Chakke Tria to Munderi tauri Kheri Path Chautha to Munderoo rasale Khera bhat. Meaning - First, the water of a spring (bowli) second the slabs of courtyard, third the leaf plates and fourth preparations in the cook house are restricted by Munderna.
One of the jandroos get up and recites the prath loudly (Prath is counter challenge to Bhat in munderna) It is after this recitation that the guests are permitted to eat. But the patal (leaf plate) containing Khana of the 'Prath' reciter is removed straight away and Khana is served in a fresh patal.
Thereafter the bride is brought by her brother inside the Bedi and made to stand to the right of the bridegroom. The Purohit then takes hold of the boy's neck with right hand and of the girl's with left hand and make their shoulders touch each other thrice, first pressing the boy's right shoulder to the girls left. This is called "ANG NIAS".
The pair (bride and bridegroom) is made to sit down and the boy's father-in-law offers Sankalap, that he gives his daughter away. He washes the couple's feet as they sit before him. The bridegroom and his father-in-law now perform certain minor rites. Drub-Grass blades tied with red cotton threads are placed in a Duna (cup of green leaves) til, rice, rolian turmaric) flowers, water and walnut are also placed in the Duna. This Duna is put in the bridegroom's hands and his father-in-law's hands are laid over them. Then the Purohit chants some Mantras after which the father-in-law takes up Drub and he sprinkles water with it over the hands of the Pair from the cup.
This is called "Pahla Bishtar" (Pahla char) Char. The second time some blades of grass (Drub) Kesar (Saffron) sarvan and flowers etc are thrown into the water while the Purohit recites Mantras, the father-in-law sprinkles water on the couple's feet. The second recite is called "Pada" (the second char). The third or the "Argh" ceremony is similar but this time the mixture is made of curd, til, drub, rice and Ganga Jul. After reciting Mantras, it is sprinkled over the boy's head. This is the third char. The fourth char is exact repetition of the first char and is known as Dera Bishtar. The fifth char is called "Achmani" and is solemnized by putting water, til, rice in a cup, which is placed on the ground at the end of the ceremony. The Purohit thrice throws few drops of water from the cup onto the father-in-law's hands and the boy and they drink it. The last and sixth char is known as "Madhu Parak". The cup is filled with milk, til and rice and put in the boy's left hand, he holds the four fingers and thumb of his right hand with it and then lifts his hand towards his mouth and putting it again into the cup, sprinkles its contents onto the ground. Then Ganpati, Brahma, Vishnu, Kumbh, Dia and nine planets are worshipped. After this, one end of the KHARBAS (Girls sheet) is held out by her brother and on this red tika is sprinkled thrice by the boy. Similarly the boy's waistband is held out and anointed by the girl. The girl then holds up her hands and into them coins, a walnut, drub, flowers, til and rice are put by the Purohit and then the boy is made to lay his hands over hers. The Priest then takes part of the brides sheet and and in it wraps both pairs of the hand by running a Dori round them.
The girl's father then performs Kanyadan (giving the girl away) with proper Mantras. At the conclusion of this the girl's Mama touches her wrapper with copper coins and it is then unknotted. The things in the girl's hand are taken by boy and given to the Purohit. Gur and Ghee are then tasted and this concludes the ceremony called "Lagan".
The girl now retires but the bridegroom has to go through another ceremony called "Manihar" The nine walnuts (the nine planets) are put on rice and worshipped and their blessings are invoked. (There must be separate handful of rice for each of the walnuts) A bored coppers coin a betelnut and a cotton dori (three cords about four feet in length) together are called "Manihar". The ceremony is performed by taking the boy out to the door way, when he takes the dagger (Katara) out of his waist and touches the coin with its point pretending to bore it. The string is passed through the bored coin and put in a Mani ("Thimbi" or grain measure). The Manihar is sanctified and tied round the boy's head dress i.e. Pagri by his mother-in-law at the door way after performing Arti. After doing the Arti over the bridegroom the tap with the betelnut is then put on the boy's left toe and he is required to pierce the nut with his Katara (Dagger). Then the Purohit takes the tape up and throws it over the boy's head, passes it down to his heels and under his soles and then ties it round the "Pagri". The boy is then drawn to the Manihar by his mother-in-law and led inside the house to the Kamdev (God of love) a picture on the wall. The gur is distributed to others, and sargundi rite is performed.
Mantras are read by both the Purohits and wetted rice, flowers and chandan are thrown towards the couple by them. This means the naming of the girls and boys ancestors upto 5th or 7th generation, to denote that they belong to pure stock, Purohit receive some cash for this rite. This is followed by making the fathers of the couple sit under the BAID. Blades of drub grass by the bride's Purohit into the hands of the girl's father. He holds it between the tip of his middle fingers at one end and the other end is similarly held by the boy's father. The girl's father then says "Asmat Kanya Tusmat Gotra" Which means our girl passes to your Gotra. The ends of the drub grass are then reversed and the boys father says "Tusmat Kanya Asmat Gotra" Which means your girl has come into our Gotra.
25. SARGUNDI AND MANG BHARNA
Sargundi rites are performed firstly immediatelty after "Manihar" and then just before the departure of the bride from her parents house. The girl is brought to groom by her brother. She is already dressed in the bride's attire brought in Bursuhi. The doris (nine in number) of the Bursuhi are handed over to the bride groom by girl's Mami or Mausi, he places them on the brides head and then her hair is combed and arranged by the doris and chak by Mami, or Mausi as the case may be. On the occasion, the following song is sung by the ladies: Kun Gori Baithi Sir Kholi ho Kun Baitha Pitth Geri Gaura Baithi Sir Kholi ho ISAR Baitha Pitth Gheri. Meaning: Who is that beautiful girl sitting with her hair unarranged. Who is sitting with his back turned Gaura is sitting with uncombed hair ISAR (SHIVA) is sitting with turned back. Thereafter the bridegroom puts vermilion in between the parted hair of the bride and dresses it with a Rupee Coin or Ungi a thin silver piece. This is called "Mang Bharna".
26. KHILA KHEDNI
After Sargundi the boy's Jaul (shoulder band) and the bride's Kharbas are knotted together. Bride's Mama carries her to the 'Baid', where wedding is to be celebrated. The bridegroom sits to the right of the bride and in front of the sacred fire (Havan) the bride's father washes the couples feet, then Havan is performed and Ganpati, Brahma, Vishnu, Navagrah, Sapatrishi, Kumbh, Chaur Bedi Chaur Disha (four quarters) and chaur updesh (four elements) are worshipped in proper order to ward off mishap. This is followed by placing fried Dhan (paddy) in a Chhaj (winnowing fan), that is brought to the Baid. First the bridegroom takes a handfull of this grain and puts on three different spots while the bride's sister or brother keeps wiping it away with her right hand as fast as she is able to do. This repeated but the second time the bride's sister put the grain down and the bridegroom wipes it away. Sometimes bride's brother plays above role instead of bride's sister. This rite is known as "Khila Khedni". This is done to break tie of relationship if any between the contracting parties. Then the bride's brother plays this role he must do it with his head covered with a red cloth. The boys father puts some coins (cash) in the Chhaj which is claimed by the brides sister or brother.
27. CHARLA (PRADAKSHINA)
The bride's mami or brother's wife comes and grinds fresh Haldar (Turmeric) brought with Barsuhi, on the sil and sprinkles it on feet of the couple three times. She receives some cash for performing this rice. This rite is very significant relating to future bright life and prosperity of the couple. Then the couple are made to stand up and walk round the sacred fire (Havan) four times from right to left. The bridegroom keeps his right hand on the bride's back all this time. After each turn, they are made to halt and then feet are worshiped by throwing til, drub, milk and wet kungu by the bride's father. At the end bride's brother worships the couple's feet in the same way. These are rounds are called "Charlai" and constitute the binding role in the wedding. The bride and bridegroom now change their seats. The bride then holds up her hands and them a duna containing walnut, rice, flowers and coins etc. are placed by the Purohit. The bridegroom covers the bride's hand with his hand and then the Purohit unknots the Manihar from the bridegroom's Pagri and puts it in their hands. The bride's Mama then comes with a seer rice and some copper coins and touches the boy's and girl's hands and then they are relaxed. The Manihar is given to the girl to put it round her neck. In the marriage ceremony the bridegroom wears a long strip of cloth round his shoulders lied "Jaul" and the bride Kharbas over her head. Both these are tied together when they does "Charlai" and the knot which fasten them together is called ANJAN. At the ceremony of Charlai, the women sing the following song: Phaila lajaria phirde kunaure Dujia lajaria phirde Isar Gaurja Triji lajaria anjan dhrir lai Chauthia lajaria anjan tore nahasa. Leaning; In the first round of the iai go the bachelors. In the second round go Isar and Gaurja In the third round they let the Anjan drag with ground In the fourth round the bridegroom broke it and ran.
28. LARA THAGNA
The Panchaink (the bestman) is the chief advisor to the bridegroom at the marriage ceremony. He takes all possible measures to recognise and identify the suspects and advise the bridegroom not to touch their feet. Inspite of all this, some salis, bride's buberies, chacheries and taweries impersonate such a convincing manner that the bridegroom touches their feet and they give blows at his back. This is called 'Lara Thagna'. The Panchaink feels discouraged but the girl's and women burst into laughs to humiliate the Panchaink.
After the departure of the bride from her parent's house, the bridegroom is asked to stand at the end of the "Baid" for the last ceremony of 'Rual'. There he receives 'Real' from his mother-in-Law end other elderly women. The Purohit with a plate containing drub, gur and kungoo and the anchaink stand near to the bridegroom. The first to give Rual is the mother-in-law. She applies tika to the bridegroom, gives him some rupee and paise. This is called "Rual", with some coins in right hand the mother-in-law waves her hands thrice round the head of her son-in-law and puts the coins in the plate held by the Purohit. The bridegroom bows his head and touches is mother-in-law's feet with folded hands as a mark of respect and privilege. The waving of right and thrice round the head of the bridegroom and put coins in the plate is called 'Awarnda'. The other elderly women follow the same prodedure. The cash in the plate goes to the Purohit.
30. DEPARTURE OF BRIDE FROM HER HOUSE
After the final Sargundi and the general feastings the bride's brother puts the bride in the palki. The wedding party starts to go back with the bride who is carried in a palki, weeping and crying. At this time of her departure, her sisters, brothers, mother, mami other relatives and friends weep and bid good-bye. She departs from the village where she passed her childhood and few years of youth. She leaves behind all her pleasant associations, sweet memories and leaves with a heavy heart to a unknown place. On the way some relatives and friends detain her palki, offer her milk, sweets or fruits etc. and they bid good-bye.As a strict rule the bride's palki is always in front of that of the bridegroom.
Dowry system is prevalent among Gaddis. But dowry is never demanded and never insisted upon. Bride's father gives dowry in marriage. Whatever is given, the bridegroom's father receives it with great respect and satisfaction. Generally ornaments, mostly of silver, necklace (Chander har), Gojru, Toka, Kangnoo, Kapur Mala are given. Among clothes, Lauchari Ghundoos, Choli, Dora, Gardu, woollen chaddars are common. Spinning wheel, with a basket containing some wool is another traditional gift in dowry. Since spinning and weaving is on decline due to reduction of flocks, about 60 per cent families include these items. To include domestic animals such as goats, sheep, cows etc. in dowry is a very healthy tradition. Thalies, Lotas, Gagars, Charotoos, Glasses, frying pans, Patilas, Parats etc. are listed as utensils. Some well-to-do families give sewing machines, transistors, cots with bedding, chairs, tables, suitcases, small dressing tables. Some Gaddis give Palki in dowry. Red and yellow threads are tied to all the items of dowry. The bride's father puts some small items of utensils etc. in a plate, with the plate in hand he touches the four poles of the Bedi and puts the plate with contents in the lap (Shirt) of the bridegroom. This is called Bajan Dan. On this the bridegroom distributes some coins to the children. The Gaddis give dowry in two forms, i.e. Saj goes to bridegroom and Dhulani termed 'stridhan', is the bride's sole property. The traditional connections are reinforced at the time of marriages by two ceremonies called Saj and Tambol. Each family owns a register or book in which is recorded all these who are regarded as having "Bartan" with the family either on bridegroom's side "Tambol" or the bride's side Saj. Tambol ceremony is purely secular with no Purohit present. At the 'Saj' ceremony the Purohit receives cash, clothes, presents on behalf of the bride and applies red tika on the foreheads of the donors and gives them gur to taste.
32. GOAT SACRIFICE BEFORE ENTERING THE HOUSE
There is custom among many Gaddi families that when the marriage party arrives at the bridegroom's house, the bride is straightaway escorted to the temple of Kulj Deity to worship the local house divinity. After worshipping the Deity the bride is made to wash the mouth and feet of a goat or sheep, she puts wetted rice, flower and red tika on the head of the goat and then sprinkles water on the goat. As soon as it shivers (i.e. accepted by the deity) it is either sacrificed by one of the soe or the Palki bearers. The Palki bearers take the head of the sacrificed goat. All other sacred observances are followed after this sacrifice.
When the marriage party arrives at the bridegroom's house, there is a rush of girls and women folk to receive and see the bride. The bridegroom's Purohit who has arrived early, has already special diagrams with flour on the floor of a room where 'Kamdev' also exists. The mother of the bridegroom welcomes the bride by waving the Arti in front of her when she is about to enter the door. She also gives some cash to the bride. At the door the sisters of the bridegroom stand with a string and stop the entry of the bride. On this the Panchaink of the bride pay some coins and thus the restriction is removed. The payment is made for Dar Dakai by the sisters of bridegroom. Next the pair (bridegroom and bride) are conducted to the 'Kamdev' (picture on the wall). The nails and hair of the bridegroom and the bride collected at the 'sandi' ceremonies are put in the Kumbh. Kamdev, Ganpati, Dia and Kumbh are worshipped. Then the couple is made to go three times round the earthen lamp (Dia), Kumbh with tape and bunch of pomegranate. This circumambulation is called "Darni Phirni". Then the Sehra (face mask) is taken off. A piece of sehra, called Chiri is put in the Kumbh. There after Chiries are distributed to some Jandroos, soe and Palki bearers etc. To own a Chiri is supposed as a good fortune. Certain families perform circumambulation (Darni-Phirni) at temples.
34. BROTHERHOOD RITUAL-MITRAS OR DHARM BHAI
After Darni ceremony, the brides and bridegroom's Kangnas, (wrist threads) are loosend by two persons who thus become Mitras (Dharam Bhai) i.e. Brothers made by sacred observance, there is no restriction on making anyone a brother or sister.
The women belonging to family circles gather round the bride to have a look at the bride's face. While unveiling the bride and seeing her, they present some cash and ornaments (in rare cases). This offer is called 'Suhi Dini'.
36. CHHAROG AND DHAM
Chharog is the last day of the marriage followed by Dham (feast) at the bridegrooms house. It is on this day that payments to all concerned such as cooks, water carriers, musicians, palki bearers, helpers, barber, potters, purohit etc. are finalised, in Gaddi dialect the term used is, "Chhori dine" meaning payments made to all concerned. Hence the day of such payments and arrangements for returning equipment, utensils, furniture etc. taken from others are also progressed dancing and drinking however, continues on this day. Biggest fiest (Khana) is served to all relatives,fiends and neighbourers present and invited.
37. DRUBHENA-DURING CHHAROHG
Musicians, cooks, water carriers, potters, palki bearers, barber, village chowkidars, men and women of low caste offer blades of drub grass to the father, uncle, grandfather etc. They pay them some cash. The cash thus paid is called "Dhrubena". The offer of blades of drub grasses is a mark of congratulations and respect.
38. MASTI DURING CHHAROGH-JHUMANA
The Palki carriers play their own part during Chharohg. All the elders (male and female) in the family circle of the bridegroom are made to sit in the Palki one by one. They are carried in the Palki to short distances. The concerned elders make payments to the Palki carriers. The cash thus create charm and attraction during the early hours of the morning. The bride accompanied by the singing party to the house brings a pitcher full of water. The significance of this brief worship of the spring is a prayer by the bride for its lasting forever and provisions of safe supply of drinking water to all concerned.
The Dham (feasting) at the bridegroom's house is also attended by 'Kurmek'. Kurmek is a term used for the Kudam, Kudmani (i.e. Bride's parents) and all their close relatives (male or female) accompany them to visit bridegroom's house on the Dham day. The aim of this particular get together is to get personal acquantances with various established relatives. The Kurmek is received adequately. The Gudtar (Gur and Ghee) is offered to all the members before entering the courtyard of the house or near the Toran. Elaborate arrangements are made to accommodate them and entertain them. Drinks are offered with some eatables. Competition of Gallis between the woolen of both the parties takes place vigorously. After taking Dham Khana, the Kurmek take the bride in Palki to her parent's house. The sehra and some dry fruits or gur are placed in the Palki.
Some educated gaddis are not in favour of this custom for the reasons:
(a) Un-expected member of Kurmek. (b) Arrival of Kurmek at odd hours. (c) Lavish entertainment is expensive. (d) Lot of fus, disturbance and un-pleasantness created by the drunken members on Dham day.
40. BARTAN PANA OR BARTAN DENA
It is strictly a custom for some forms of offers made by the community members and others on the Dham day at the house of the bridegroom. A literate friend or relative with a notebook accompanied by two or three gentlemen who know most of the community members sit down. A plate with gur and a small container with red tika substance are placed in their front. Relatives, friends and invitees come one by one and offer money, turban with some amount, clothes, handkerchief containing dry fruit and some cash. Gur is given to them to taste and Red Tikas are applied on their foreheads. The said offers are called "Bartan Pana" or "Bartan Dena". All such offerings are properly recorded by the literate person on the note book which is kept in the family. At the end all the money is kept in a plate and the bridegroom is allowed to seize with his right hand as much as he can seize and keep to himself. The balance goes to the payments of kumhars, musicians, cooks, water carriers, barber purohit etc. who participate in the marriage.
Ladies while offering "Bartan" do not take the names of their husbands. The gentlemen sitting with the literate person help in recording their names.
It is one of the most important ritual of marriage in which the future husband gets to know the brides family in a personal way. The Sadnoj ceremony does not require a priest (Purohit) for its performance, however the purohit fixes the auspicious days for sadnoj. It makes a final departure of the bride for her husband's house. Many Gaddi girls used to be married before puberty and it is considered that the ceremony has to be delayed for two to three years and the married girls stay at the parent's house upto the requisite period. On an auspicius day agreed on by both parties, the bridegroom accompanied by some of his nearest relatives goes to his father-in-law's house for fetching his wife back to his village. No religious ceremony is performed. They take with them one Kilta of babroos covered with red sheet. On the arrival of the bridegroom and his companion at father-in-law's house, they are politely entertained. The neighbours assemble and are offered light refereshments. Girls and Women sing Gallies in very humorous and offensive manners. Jokes are cut and Exchanged. Finally they go to sleep. On the second or third day the party departs to the bridegroom's house. The bride is carried in a Palanquine (Palki) weeping and crying. At the time of departure, all the bride's friends, close relatives and her women attendents weep. The parents give Launchari , Choli, Ghundu, Chadar , Gardu, Cholu and Any additional ornaments to their daugther.
The bride in a 'palki, accompanied by kahars, musicians two or three close women or girls friends and men of the village leave for her future home. The departure is so arranged that bride will enter the new house just after the sun has set. This is supposed to be prosperous time as Parvati, wife of Shivji is alleged to have brought back to the caves at this time. Fried cakes of 3 to 5 seers in weight must be taken by every relative of the bride party (called changer). While the bride's father arranges about one maund fried cakes in weight taken in a kilta covered with a red cover. Along the way some relatives who live in villages along the route stop the Palki bearers to bid good-bye and offer milk etc. to the bride.These days instead of palki either on foot or other way of transport is taken depending on the distance to in-laws.
When the `Sadnoj' procession arrives at the bridegroom's house the Arti is performed at the door of the house by the bride's mother-in-law to receive her daughter-in-law. All participants are adequately entertained. The eldest members are given all due respect. But the showers of gallis, humorous un-pleasant offensive songs and exchange of jokes continue. After taking evening meals they go to sleep. On the next day after taking meals all girls, relatives after speaking to the bride take permission from the bridegroom's parents and come back to their houses. It is very touching to watch real brothers and girl friends with tears in their eyes while saying good-bye to the bride. However, now a days, majority of gaddis are in favour of abolishing this old ceremony on the ground of un-necessary expenses. Educated families are challenging this orthodox tradition. The other deities (Gods and Goddesses) worshipped before marriages are, those belonging to Kula or Kulaj. May be Kailing, Kali, Gas Gudi, Gunewati, Lathi Zakhni, Ashat Bhujha or some others. Some Gaddi worships invite their "Sati" before the marriages in their families and at the end give jatar. The Gaddis worship their respective Deities of "Kula" or their "Kulaj" and pray for blessings and divine favours.