Indian weddings are elaborate functions which sometimes last for a couple of days. There are a lot of pre as well as post wedding ceremonies.
The customs, traditions and the ceremonies vary from region to region. But, nowadays many couples are absorbing certain customs and traditions that are part of other cultures into their own.
That is why the North Indian traditions such as haldi, sangeet and mehndi have become an integral part of South Indian weddings these days.
A unique and integral part of the Indian weddings is 'saptapadi or saath phere'. It is the ceremony of taking seven steps around the sacred fire by the bride and the groom. It completes the marriage ceremony.
These steps are taken after the groom puts the ‘mangalsutra’ around the bride's neck.
But do you know the meaning of these seven steps? Each of these steps has deeper meanings and is an integral part of the couple's life. While taking the first three steps or pheres as it is commonly known the bride will be walking in front of the groom and for the rest, the groom will take the lead.
All these steps have distinct and meaningful significances. With each of these steps, the couple is promising each other to fulfill the goals of life as a married couple.
The first step means - To love and respect each other.
Second- Develop a mental and spiritual balance in the life.
Third- Invokes the God's name for prosperity and wealth and also promises to share the accomplishments.
Four - Together they will create happiness and harmony in their life.
Five- Prays God to bless them with virtuous children.
Six- Being faithful to each other.
Seven-Prays God to bless them with a long-lasting and happy married life.
In some regions, the couple would walk around the fire for four times instead of seven.