Indian weddings aren’t at all about rituals and strict traditions; there is a lot of fun and innocent mischief involved too. Wedding games and informal traditions serve as a great ice-breaker especially in the arranged marriage set-up. And now these games continue to flourish for the enjoyment of not only the couple but their families too. Let’s take a look at some of the wedding games and fun traditions in Indian weddings.
Hiding of the grooms shoes – In certain Hindu communities there’s a fun tradition or game if you will, where the sisters of the bride hide the groom’s shoes. They hold them ransom and only return them if he pays them a nice sum of money.
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Often the groom’s friends and family try to safeguard the shoes to prevent them from being stolen. It’s a fun cat and mouse game that always gets laughs.
Haath Boravanu – In Parsi weddings, the groom is made to immerse his hands in water and not allowed to take them out unless…yes, you got it; he pays in cash or kind! The bride’s sisters are the lucky recipients in this wedding game too. Once they get gifts from the groom, he is free to remove his hands from the water.
Finding the ring – This game is one that many communities have their own spin on. Essentially the wedded couple is made to put their rings in a pot filled with things like water, milk, saffron, rose petals etc. Sometimes a few coins are also thrown in too.
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The couple has to fish around for the rings and whoever finds it first, is said to be the winner and the more dominant partner! In some communities the rings are also hidden within a sack of rice. Another way the game is played is that the water is swirled around and whichever ring leads the other, that partner is said will rule the roost!
Henna name search – Often when the bride gets her bridal mehendi done, the groom’s name is written in there and disguised in the intricate patterns. The groom has to then look for his name on her hand before their first night together.
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They are teased that if he doesn’t find it the marriage cannot be consummated and they can’t spend the night together. This game also gave the groom a chance to hold his bride’s hand for the first time, especially in the traditional days of yore.
Kasi Yaatrai – The Kasi Yaatrai is more a part of the ceremony but often-celebrated in jest. Often a part of some South Indian weddings, the Kasi Yaatrai is a ritual where the groom decides at the wedding that he is going to take up ‘sanyas’ and therefore cannot get married. He then proceeds to pretend to leave for his spiritual journey and is subsequently ‘convinced’ by the bride’s father about the merits of marrying his daughter and family life.
These are just a small sampler of Indian wedding games and fun traditions. How did you celebrate? We would love to know…