Engagement Ceremony India (Sakharpuda)
The most vital social event in Indian custom, marriage is based on the early Vedic Concept in which union of two souls and bodies make for a supreme union. This ceremony marks the official ‘asking’ of the bride’s hand by the bridegroom’s family. This ceremony is a formal announcement of the impending marriage to all friends and relatives and the start of the planning for the big event.
Sagai or sakharpuda is traditionally held at the bridegroom’s home where the family members and friends of both the bride and the bridegroom are invited for the ceremony. The bride’s family visits the bridegroom’s family with lots of immaculately wrapped traditional gifts, sweets and dry fruits, and tikka material to perform the ritual of Sagai/Kurmai/Mangni
Material for Engagement Ceremony (Sakharpuda)
Chourang or table for the Pooja, Shri Ganesh Idol, Kalash, Beetle leaves(10), Halad/Kunku, Gandha or Chandan, Bell, Candles, Neeranjan, Aarati( oil lamp), Flowers, Udbatti, Supaari (10), Coconuts(2), Naivaidhya, Whole Haladi ( Halkund)
This should be a fun filled event at either bride’s or groom’s place. In India, this is the formal verification of all the background work that the parents did before this formal announcement. In the US, both families probably know each other for quiet some time; so it is an announcement to the friends and relatives.
The Marathi engagement ceremony is termed as Sakhar Puda which literally means offering the sugarbox to bride. It marks the first puja of the wedding celebrations and can take place several weeks before the wedding date. The puja is done by both groom’s and bride’s families together and at the end of the puja the families feed each other sugar as a celebration of formalization of the union.
According to Indian customs, the father of the groom requests the father of the bride for the bride’s hand in marriage with his son. The bride’s father wants to make sure about the groom. Having confirmed that, the bride’s father also tells the groom’s father to make sure that his daughter is also as good, if not better than the groom! Thus after mutual satisfaction and “Wagdaan”, and a promise for the marriage, the bride’s father tells all that he will plan the ceremony at an appropriate date in the future. . In some customs, they prepare a “Lagna Patrika”, a written promise to each other to perform the ceremony at a future date.
Hindu Engagement (Sakharpuda) Steps::
- The Groom and the Bride’s family gather at one place.
- Sankalpa and Poonyahvachanam
- Request by the Groom’s father for the bride’s hand for his son followed by the approval of the bride’s father.
- The appropriate Muhurtam for the marriage is then confirmed by the bride and her father.
- Groom’s father and his son reconfirm the proposal.
- The mother of the Groom offer Sari and jewellery to the bride and the father of the bride offers clothes and jewellery to the groom.
- Ganesh Puja and Varun puja are also performed.
- Bride worships Shachi (wife of lord Indra) Goddess for the success of their future marriage.
- The bride is then made to go through Mangal Aarati by 5 women
- Bride and the Groom exchange the rings to confirm each other for their future.
- Formal engagement Announcement followed by Ashirvada and congratulations.