The Indian subcontinent is the fusion of such great and colourful cultures. Each and every state of India has its own culture and flavor, which is hard to be missed. West Bengal is the state of India, situated at the eastern part of India, and has its own colours, which is reflected in the traditions and functions. Similarly, the true customs of the west Bengal can be seen in the weddings in Bengal. A Bengali matrimony is one of the purest forms of weddings in India.
Weddings in Bengal are generally a 3-4 days function, which involves presence of all the family members. The wedding is not just a union of two individuals, but also two families. The wedding vows that are taken by the couple include the sentiments of the couple as well as their families. Presence of the relatives and friends make the occasion very cheerful.
The wedding in Bengali involves various steps and customs, which are performed according to the time limitation. The post wedding rituals in Bengali Matrimony also keep their own importance, and include:
1. Bashar Ghar: As per the traditions in Bengali community, the bridegroom spends the night at his in-laws'. It is a very cheerful time when the bride's family and the groom get involved in night long fun, where they play games and sing songs to celebrate the wedding in their own way.
2. Bashi Biye: Although, most of the families do not perform the ritual of Bashi Biye in Bengali matrimony, still it is an important ritual when the groom applies vermilion in the hair parting of the bride, and they go to the mandap again and worship the God Sun.
3. Bidaai: It is the time when the bride leaves her parent's house and enters a new life. The bride and groom are then taken home by the groom's father, brother or any elderly male, and escort them to home amidst the sacred sound of conch shells and ululation.
4. Bou Baran: It is the formal reception, which is thrown in the honour of the bride as she steps into her husband's home. The sister-in-law of the brides brings a plate containing Alta (red dye) and milk, and the bride has to step inside the plate, and leave imprints of her feet on the floor. The elder ladies of the family bring the bride into the house, where the newlyweds are given blessings. Conch shells are blown and the mother-in-law of the bride offers her an iron bangle, which the bride wears in her left arm.
5. Bou Bhaat: This is the time when the bride serves food for the first time in Bengali matrimony. The first cooked food mainly includes delicious rice dishes and fish preparations. At this time, the bride is gifted with a plate full of food and a new sari, affirming that he is now responsible for all her needs- food, clothing and shelter.
6. Reception: Bou Bhat is followed by reception in the evening in Bengali matrimony, where a grand party is thrown by the groom's family to welcome the new bride. The family and friends of both bride and groom attend the reception party and offer some gifts to the newlyweds.
7. Diya Gaman: It is the time when the newlyweds visit the bride's house together, for the first time after the wedding. Earlier, during the wedding rituals in Bengali matrimony, the priest ties a sacred thread around the wrist of the bride, which is cut during Diya Gaman. As a mark of auspicious ritual, conch shells are blown and this is accompanied by ululation.