The Sikh wedding is a very special ceremony in which two people are united in an equal relationship. The roots of the Sikh wedding are traced back to the 15th century in the times of Guru Amar Das. The ceremony and the “Laava”, the song that is heard during the ceremony serve the fundamental principles of marriage and the couple’s union with God. The ceremony is legitimized and can be carried out by Sikhs worldwide.
A Sikh wedding takes place in the morning. The friends and the family of the bride and groom gather at Gurdwara, the place for the wedding. The couple stands beside their parents, to show the parents’ acceptance of the wedding. A Sikh wedding advisor talks to the couple. He says that a wedding is more than a social contract. The principles of respect, love, support, encouragement, loyalty, equality and harmony must become accepted and kept by the couple.
Four nuptial rounds, one with different meaning, are carried out. The hymns of Laav symbolize the stages of the sacred and spiritual union of the couple. They have been formed by Guru Raam Das for his own wedding. The Laava verses intend to unite the souls of bride and groom into one conscious being.
The first Laava hymn claims that the marriage is the best part of a Sikh’s life. The second one emphasizes in the feeling of awakening of the bride as she is to start her new life next to her husband. The third Laava hymn removes all influences from the bride and claims her eternal devotion to her husband. The fourth hymn describes a perfect union, in which the feelings of separation are not possible. The man and the woman are now considered husband and wife.
As the wedding ceremony is spiritually connected with God, the bride is supposed to look at her best. The bride will wear red, gold or white garments, as the color symbolizes prosperity and is decorated with beads. The bride covers her head and her shoulder with a dupatta, for the main part of the ceremony. Tikka, a head accessory, is placed under the dupatta. Ranihaar is a heavy and long golden necklace, and is also worn in the ceremony. The bride also wears her engagement ring. The groom has to have his head covered with a turban and his face with a sehra. He also carries a sword called krijpan at the side of his waist, to symbolize his role as head of the household. The beard is believed that is symbol of male beauty.
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