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Assamese Wedding RItuals

Assam, a state in northeastern India, is home to a rich cultural tapestry, and its wedding rituals are diverse and vibrant. The wedding ceremonies in Assam are influenced by the region's various communities and ethnic groups. Here is an overview of the typical wedding rituals in Assam:

1. Pre-Wedding Rituals:

a. Matchmaking:

- Traditionally, the process of matchmaking involves the families of the bride and groom. Compatibility in terms of caste, community, and horoscope is considered.

b. Adan Pradan:

- Adan Pradan is the formal engagement ceremony where the families exchange betel nuts and leaves, marking the official agreement to the marriage.

c. Juron Diya:

- This is a ritual where the groom's family sends gifts to the bride's house. The gifts usually include traditional Assamese attire like Mekhela Chadors and other items.

2. Wedding Day Rituals:

a. Biya:

- The actual wedding ceremony is known as "Biya" in Assam. It is a significant event where the bride and groom take their vows in the presence of family and friends.

b. Saath Paak:

- Saath Paak is a ritual where the bride is seated on a low stool, and the couple is encircled by seven married women. The women then whisper blessings into the bride's ears.

c. Phool Sojja:

- In this ritual, the bride and groom are seated on a wooden stool, and their clothes are tied together to symbolize their union.

d. Mangalsootra Dharane:

- The groom ties the Mangalsootra (a sacred necklace) around the bride's neck, symbolizing their marital bond.

e. Saptapadi:

- The couple takes seven rounds around the holy fire, each round symbolizing a vow they make to each other.

f. Kankan Bandhan:

- The couple's wrists are tied together with a sacred thread, symbolizing their unity.

3. Post-Wedding Rituals:

a. Bidaai:

- Bidaai is the departure of the bride from her parental home to her in-laws' home. It is an emotional moment as the bride bids farewell to her family.

b. Reception:

- A reception is often held after the wedding ceremony, where friends and family come together to celebrate the newlyweds.

c. Tuloni Biya:

- Tuloni Biya is a ritual where the groom's family arranges a separate ceremony to formally welcome the bride into their home.

d. Grihapravesh:

- The bride is ceremonially welcomed into her new home, and various rituals are performed to bless the couple.

4. Cultural Variations:

- Different communities in Assam may have specific customs and variations in the wedding rituals. For example, the Bihu festival often influences wedding celebrations in Assam.

Assamese weddings are colorful, full of traditions, and reflect the cultural diversity of the region. The rituals are performed with great enthusiasm, and family and community play a crucial role in the entire wedding process.

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