Marwari Agarwals or Vaish Agarwal community is found majorly in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Agarwals are an orthodox and tradition bound community.
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Agarwal men in the family mainly do business which may be in different trades. Women are highly respected and they look after the family. Marwari Community has left their native states to settle in other states of India.
They are commonly found in the Southern states where they do the Jewellery business or pawn broking. Marriages of the community are celebrated with great pomp and splendor. Large amount of money are spent on decorations, food, jewelry, gifts and clothes. It is a time of celebration for the entire family which lasts for several days.
Traditions and Ceremonies before Wedding Day
Mudha Tikka is the first ceremony after finalizing the boy and the girl. The Agarwal grooms family carry gifts like diamond ring, clothes for the bride, jaggery, dry fruits, and rice on a big tray to the bride’s home.
Godh Barai is the next celebration where the groom’s sisters carry gifts to the bride’s house. The gifts include, sweets, jewellery, clothes and toys. They are placed on the jholi or lap of the bride. Toys are a special gift with a wish to the bride to have many children.
Sangeet is the musical get together of the ladies in the family. The bride is dressed in all finery she was gifted on tikka and made to sit on a silver ‘chowkri’ or low stool. Ladies from both the bride and groom’s family sit around the bride. They sing all the marriage songs.
Naandi or the pre-wedding pooja is celebrated at least 10 days before the marriage. Priests or Brahmin pujaris perform this Ganesh puja at both the bride and the groom’s house to ward off evil eyes and reverse the effects of any death in the family making the marriage take place without any hindrance or hassles.
Bhaat is the invitation of the maternal uncle to the bride’s house for a fine feast along with his sister. Here the mama gives his loving niece – the bride gifts for her marriage so that she does not make further claims on her father’s wealth.
Tel Baan is the ritual bath of the bride and the groom with a paste made of oil, henna, turmeric, fresh milk curds. This paste is placed on the feet, arms and face of the bride and the groom in their respective homes followed by a regular bath.
Mehndi or the Henna ceremony is celebrated one day before the marriage. It is a time of celebration with music, dance and singing of the family and friends of the bride. A professional artists paints designs on the arms and feet of the bride with beautiful designs. It is a preparation for the marriage.
Wedding Day Rituals
The marriage celebrations of the Agarwal marriage are the Korath, Baraat, Baraat Swagat, Varamala, Kanyadaan, Seer Guthi and Chuda.
Korath is the invitation of the groom to the marriage venue by the male members. The bride is taken to the mantap at an auspicious time. Baraat or the grooms procession leaves for the venue in all splendor, the groom carries a sword and is mounted on a mare. Band accompanies the groom with the families dancing their way to the venue. The Baraat is welcomed by the bride’s mother who takes aarti of the groom.
Varmala - The bride and groom then exchange garlands which is called Varamala. They then go around the homa or the sacred fire seven times, this is called Saat Pheras. Bride’s duppata is tied to the groom’s waist band. Kanyadaan is the giving away of the bride to the groom by the bride’s father. Groom then fills the centre parting of the brides hair with kumkum.
Groom’s sister braids her hair with mouli and fills the bride’s parting with vermillion. Nose ring is gifted to the bride by the mother in law. Chuda or bangle ceremony is when the groom’s mother gives her lac or glass bangles.