Indian weddings are lavish and grand celebrations. Days of a wedding are filled with a number of ceremonies and rituals, where family and friends come together to wish the couple for their new life. Wedding is also a day where a number of emotions are intertwined. On one hand, there is the joy of new knots being tied, on the other hand, there is a sweet sorrow of a woman leaving her parent’s home. This moment is brimming with overwhelming emotions. This is known as the vidaai ceremony in the Indian weddings.
Significance of the Vidaai Ceremony
The vidaai ceremony symbolises the final stage of the wedding, where the bride’s parents bid farewell to their daughter with their son-in-law. The special significance of the ceremony lies in the fact that it is marked by both emotions of happiness and sorrow. As their little, loving daughter welcomes a new life of bliss; parents are filled with feelings of happiness for her, blessing her with all their heart and soul. Simultaneously, the pain of being separated from their child makes their eyes well up with tears. The same emotions are witnessed in the bride as well, as she hugs her parents and touches the feet of the elderly relatives as a gesture of asking their blessings for her new life.
Rituals of the Indian Vidaai Ceremony
Although this is the final step of a wedding (for the bride’s side), yet the vidaai ceremony entails a number of rituals:
- As the bride steps out of her parent’s house to be a part of her husband’s family, she pauses at the doorstep to throw handful of coins and rice back over her head thrice. This denotes that as the manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi (the Hindu Goddess of prosperity and wealth) she wishes that her parent’s house always remain prosperous. Coins signify wealth, whereas rice is a symbol of health.
- This ritual also symbolises that the bride has repaid her parents for her upbringing and for everything they have bestowed on her.
- After this the bride’s parents take their daughter’s hand and gives to it in her husband’s hand. They request their son-in-law to take care of their daughter and always be there to support and guide her in their marital journey.
- In the midst of all such sorrowful moments of separation, the vidaai ceremony also witnesses some tinges of light jesting by the groom’s sister-in-law who hide the latter’s shoes. She returns them back only after receiving a gift (shagun) from her jijaji (brother-in-law).
- The final ritual in the vidaai ceremony sees the couple move towards the car to head towards the groom’s house. Bride’s brothers and cousins push their car from behind (or lift the doli)- a ritual which bespeaks them wishing her luck and pushing them towards a joyful life.
As the groom's car moves forward, the girl’s family completes the vidaai rituals by throwing of coins on the road. This is their way of warding off all their evils from her path towards her new life.
Vidaai is a bittersweet moment for the bride and her family. The joys of the new life are surrounded by the tears of leaving her parent's home. And, after the vidaai ceremony, the bride is welcomed into her new home by the groom's family through griha pravesh custom, and fun games and celebration.
Image Courtesy: Mahima Bhatia Photography, dkreate Photography, Neytra Photography