India is a vast land which witnesses a variety of marriage ceremonies based on religion as well as region.
India is a land of multiple religions and multiple languages and almost all the religions of India consider wedding to be one of the most serious affairs of life. In India marriage is more a religious ritual than just a social or legal obligation. It is a way to unite two souls. In fact it can be said that Indian weddings are a perfect combination of tradition as well as celebration and revelry. Interestingly it might be noted that Indian wedding does not necessarily mean a Hindu wedding rather it is a melting pot for almost all religious weddings like Islam, Jewish, Jainism, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. Apart from different religious weddings, Indian weddings also vary according to different regions. It is true that weddings are of varied types in the Indian subcontinent but one thing that is common to all the Indian Weddings is the essence of commitment.
The different types of Indian wedding based on the regions are namely the North Indian Wedding, the East Indian Wedding, the South Indian Wedding and the West Indian Wedding.
The North Indian Weddings have their own style of grandeur and magnificence and has gained immense popularity across the nations. North Indian Weddings with all their splendor and brilliance have cast its spell on so many foreigners that there are numerous people who consider getting married in India. Consequently wedding tourism in India has gained immense popularity. Apart from the grandeur that is attached to the north Indian Weddings, another important feature of North Indian weddings is their loyalty to customs and traditions. North Indian Weddings have a lot of common features with the other parts of India. North Indian wedding traditions include many rites and rituals performed on the main day.
The most striking of the South Indian Weddings are its flowers and fragrance. The gates of the wedding hall are decorated with full-grown plantain trees. The significance of mango leaves festoons is an evergreen relationship between the couple. Notes of nadaswaram are recited loud and clear to suggest that the union is scared and divine. Kolam or more commonly known as rangoli designs are made at the doorsteps to display the colourful and the happy mood of the occasion. A hearty welcome is given to the guests who arrive for the function. Another important custom of the South Indian Marriages is to sprinkle rose water on the guests in order to perfume them.
Offering of flowers to female guests indicate a wish of sowbhayam for the lady guests. The sugar candy indicates the sweetness of the happy event that the visitor has arrived to participate.
The East Indian weddings strictly adhere to the Vedic rules and regulations instructed. The states like West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam reflect the most important rituals and traditions of East Indian marriage. In the Hindu dharma, marriage is believed to be a sacrament of two souls and just an agreement between two humans. In the East Indian weddings, the rituals and traditions are thought to be the principle component of marriage. Marriage is a life-long commitment of a man to his wife and a woman to her husband. The east Indians strongly believe that Grahastha Ashram or the householder stage, the second of the four stages of life, as per the vedas, begins when a man and a woman enter the holy bond of matrimony to start a household. In case of East Indian marriages, the only way to continue the family and thereby repay his debt to his/her ancestors is marriage. East Indians believe that marriage is essentially a path towards spiritual growth. Man and woman are thought to be soul mates so that, through the foundation of marriage one can direct the energy of each other towards the development of their souls. The eastern states of India like West Bengal, Assam, Bihar or Orissa uphold the customs of marriage in this region.
The West Indian weddings reflect the collective culture of the Indian states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and so on. The culture of West India may be different but the wedding rituals are more or less similar to the rest of the nation. Indian marriages are one of the indispensable customs of the Indian society. The West Indian marriages are bound by the customs of western India. The states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and others reflect their customs and traditions in these kinds of marriages. Arranging a marriage is the liability of Indian parents and other relatives of both bride and groom. In West India there is no greater event in a family than a wedding. In arranging and executing marriages, the complex combinations of Indian social systems best display themselves. Some parents begin marriage arrangements on the birth of a child, and solemnize them to some individual who can start living as husband wife after attaining the legal age. However, nowadays this practice is almost not into use and most of the families wait until later.
Apart from the various regional weddings of India the Arya Samaj Wedding is of prime importance in India. Shri Dayananad Saraswati had founded the Arya Samaj and the weddings in this community are held according to the Vedic rites. Arya Samaj holds weddings not only for Hindus but also for the non- Hindus. In order to be married according to the rituals of Arya Samaj one has to undergo the process of purification or Suddhi.
Hence it can be concluded saying that India witnesses different types of nuptial knots based both on religion and region but all forms of marriage render the spirit of celebration and happiness among members of the community.