Our wedding rituals and their meanings and reasons
In India, wedding is considered an inauspicious occasion and has its own traditional values. There are complex rituals involved in the process, which are considered superstitious. However, scientific evaluation of these rituals has exposed the real logic behind it. Some of them are
Applying mehendi: Applying mehendi on the hands and feet of the Indian bride is one the oldest rituals ever seen. In certain cases, the grooms are not left out either. The scientific approach to this ritual is that mehendi or henna has certain medical advantages. They have a very strong and soothing smell along with the antiseptic properties. It has a cooling effect, which helps in removing stress, fever and headache. It also helps in the development of nails. They have anti-fungal and viral properties too.
Applying haldi: On the very day of the wedding, haldi paste is applied both on the body of the groom and the bride at their respective homes. The traditional reason for such ritual is to enhance the natural glow of the face and to protect the couple from evil spirits. The scientific approach to this ritual is quite different. Turmeric (Haldi) is known as ‘wonder herb’ and has numerous medical values. Applying turmeric all over the body induces the medical advantages of the ‘wonder herb’. They kill bacteria and make the skin glow radiantly. Oil is used to prepare the mixture which has a moisturizing effect as well.
Wearing bangles: Bangles enhance the beauty of the bride and add to the ornamentation. They are found in different design but all has certain medical benefits as well. There are number of acupressure points on the wrist, which are being constantly pressed by the bangles. This process helps the bride to stay healthy. When the bangles slide along the wrist area it creates friction and helps in maintaining blood circulation.
Applying sindoor along the hair partition: Sindoor is the symbol of marriage for a Hindu bride which also has some health benefits. Sindoor or red vermillion powder has lime, turmeric and small portion of mercury and metal. When they are applied on the hair partition, the mercury helps the body to cool down and gives the bride a feel of relaxation. It also induces an urge for sex because of which widow and unmarried women are not allowed to wear it.
Toe ring: In many cultures among the Hindu, wearing a toe ring on their second toe is a ritual followed during the wedding occasions. This practice has two scientific advantages as well. First of all, every woman has a nerve starting from the second toe connecting the heart through the uterus. This helps in maintaining stronger uterus and proper menstrual cycle. Secondly, the toe rings are made off silver, which helps in conducting polar energy.
The holy fire: The holy fire around which all the rituals are performed acts as a purification agent. It has a very positive effect on all the people surrounding the fire specially the couple who are closest to it.
So, no matter how modern we get, we should not consider our wedding rituals outdated or useless. They have strong reasons behind them and they are being performed for centuries to help the bride and the bridegroom in various physical and mental ways.
Vineeta Sinha, the owner and president of Vineeta Constructions Co. is a writer and blogger at heart. An economics graduate, the talented writer has been in the writing industry for years. When asked about how she manages the two very different professions, she says, “Construction business is what me and my husband who is a civil engineer dreamt of together and I am glad we succeeded but writing is something I have been doing years before I stepped into the construction world. I was very young when I realized that there was a hidden passion for writing in me and I unveiled it through my school magazine for the very first time and there has been no looking back since then. Though construction contributes more in running my world, writing is something that completes me.”