Hinduism is one of the pre-dominant religions or rather religious traditions in India. A very ancient religion, it encompasses further religions and religious sects giving rise to numerous different cultural and social norms. In fact people from different parts of India have their own unique Hindu traditions under the blanket faith. Definitely a very ritual and tradition based religion, the major occasions in a Hindu person’s life are celebrated with various different religious practices. Hindu weddings in India are a fascinating blend of tradition, ritual and emotional aplomb.
One of the most important parts of a Hindu marriage in India are the seven pheras / feras ,satpadi etc. They are essentially the seven steps a couple takes around the sacred fire symbolizing the different wedding vows made to God and to each other. In fact a Hindu wedding is not considered whole unless it involves the sacred fire. These pheras also express the wishes they have for their life together and for each other and are officiated by a priest or pundit. The bride and groom take the pheras that represent vows made regarding their religious faith, the strength of their relationship and their duties towards each other, their family, children and God.
Hindu weddings in India also involve a variety of other pujas (prayers) that take place in the house, at the wedding venue and the like for eg. the Grahashanti (prayers done for peace and harmony) . They are done to ward off the evil eye and protect the soon to be wedded couple and their families and of course to appease the God they believe in. People from different states in the country like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa, etc. all tend to have ceremonies and rituals that vary from each other. One of the most common practices in most Hindu marriages in India is the pheras, however there are slight variations in that as well regarding the number of rounds taken and how they are taken.
It is tough to generalize Hindu weddings in India, since they tend to have slight differences from one another and the different cultures here are so diverse and unique. Nowadays people have also started opting for a shorter modified version of the traditional ceremony. The common denominator though is generally the strong ritual based activities as well as the importance of God and family in the wedding itself.