INDIA- A nation with numerous religions and even more languages and sub-cultures, India is a bunch of diversity. The major part of Indian Wedding is Hindu Wedding. Being a lifetime occasion, hindu marriages are biggest celebration in a family.
One of the most important parts of a Hindu marriage in India are the seven pheras / feras(rounds). 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 Rajasthan, 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.
Indian weddings are one of the main events celebrated in the country with unbridled enthusiasm and zeal. Apart from the various Indian ceremonies, food, music and dance of different sorts are a huge part of the celebrations, not to mention the fun wedding games and little quirky details that differ from one ceremony from the next! As religion and ritual based weddings in India may be they are also beautiful, emotional, and meaningful and yes a whole lot of fun.
And of course marriages here also involve the different Indian wedding ceremonies and traditions of other major faiths like Muslim weddings and Parsi weddings. For example: the wedding ceremony among Muslims in India involves a Mehendi Ceremony for the bride and a beautiful Nikaah whereas people of the Parsi faith have a multi-event ‘lagan’, involving varied events like the Supra nu murat (similar to the mehndi or haldi) and the Rupia Pervanu (unofficial engagement). Indian wedding traditions are multi-level and differ greatly from one another.
A few common ceremonies that are always enjoyed are the Mehendi or henna ceremony and the Haldi function that celebrate the bride help her let her hair down with women in her family, while being adorned for her big day!