If there’s one thing that is for sure it’s that Malta is a country which is able to host weddings coming from different cultures and traditions, including the stunning Indian weddings.
Indian weddings tend to last for an average of three days. The first night would see the priest performing the ganesh pooja. The ceremony takes place at home where only the couple, the bridal party and also close relatives are allowed to attend. The second day is started off with the mehndi ceremony where the bride and her female friends, family members and esteemed guests will get their hands and feet covered in henna patterns. On the same evening the sangeet takes place where guests are invited to the wedding and get introduced to the couple’s families and enjoy some food as well as dance their nights away. The third and last day sees the main ceremony taking space including a cocktail hour and a reception.
If you’re not Indian or at least accustomed to the Indian culture and you are invited to such a wedding you will see a whole new way of celebrating this special day. You’ll get to experience the baraat or the grooms procession. Here the groom comes in on a decorated white horse and the guests circle him dancing to the beat of the dhal, an Indian drum. Following this the ritual continues with the greeting of the groom by the bride and her family and the exchanges of flower garlands as a symbol of each other’s acceptance.
When it comes to the wedding ceremony itself, you will get to see a whole other different approach where the priest, bride, groom, as well as their parents stay beneath the mandap, a construction similar to a canopy. The ceremony starts by the kanya daan act where the parents of the bride give her away and so the couple holds hands and goes around a small fires as part of the ritual - mangal phera. The couple will take the seven steps, similar to what we know as vows where they say how they will support each other and live a happy married life. Closing off the ceremony, the groom would apply a spot of red powder on the bride’s forehead and tie a black beaded necklace around her neck - the symbol of a married woman.
So if you have the pleasure of being invited to an Indian wedding be open to experience a whole new dimension to the start of a married life. Also wear a lot of bright and bold coloured clothing - you will most definitely fit right in!