The exchange of garlands by the couple is a common tradition among all castes and subgroups in India. Symbolically, exchange of garlands is a gesture of acceptance of one another and a pledge to respect one another as partners. Just like the thread never leaving the company of flowers even though flowers after sometimes loose their charm and luster, in the same way, a wedded couple should never leave each other when they face ups and downs of life and must always move ahead with mutual understanding, love, respect, trust, faith and passion.
Meaning of Nikaah
Many of us have a misconception that NIkaah means marriage. But it is not exactly, even though we use the term as a substitute for the word marriage. Literally "Nikah" means the penetration of one thing by another. It stands for entwining of two things into one. The Arabic word for marriage is it is "zawag”.
However, the word "Nikah is widely used to mean marriage, but it carries entirely different implications, emphasising the relationship between a man and his wife solely sexual.
Mehendi in Marriages
Mehendi is an important pre-wedding ritual in many religions across India, its neighbouring countries as well as Arabic nations. Even in Christian weddings, the bride applies mehendi on the wedding eve. Have you ever thought about the significance of Mehendi? Mehendi is not a fun filled ritual but has a deep-rooted cultural significance associated to it. As per Islamic literature, Prophet Muhammad used mehendi for his beard and advised to use it for those who are unwell.
There are many popular beliefs associated with the Mehendi tradition. It is believed that the dark colour of mehendi on a bride’s hand represents the deep love she has for her partner. It also believed as a symbol of the love and understanding between the bride and her mother-in-law. There is a belief that the longer the colour of mehendi remains in the hands of the bride, the more auspicious it is for her. Mehendi is also deemed to be a symbolic representation of fertility.
Mehendi is known for its medicinal properties, especially its cooling effect. So, it is believed traditionally to relieve the bride and groom from the stress of the day.
Wearing a wedding ring has always thought as a sign of the commitment one has to his/her spouse and to his/her marriage. A ring being a circle is believed as a symbol of eternity or never-ending. In marriage, ring symbolizes the never ending love and union of the couples. A wedding ring is an emblem that symbolises the love, devotion and agreement between families. Wedding rings have been worn in several cultures. Even though the traditions differ, the basic sentiment and meaning, to love, treasure and respect remain the same for all.
Photo courtesy: Nias Marikar