A Guide to Planning a Traditional Kashmiri Wedding

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A Guide to Planning a Traditional Kashmiri Wedding

Kashmir, known as “Paradise on Earth,” is not just famous for its breathtaking landscapes, but also for its rich cultural heritage. One of the most significant aspects of this heritage is the traditional Kashmiri wedding. A Kashmiri wedding is a grand affair, filled with rituals, customs, and traditions that have been passed down through generations. If you are planning a traditional Kashmiri wedding, here is a guide to help you navigate through the process.

1. Setting the Date: In Kashmiri culture, the wedding date is typically chosen by the families through consultation with astrologers. They consider various factors like the alignment of stars and the lunar calendar to determine an auspicious date for the wedding.

2. Pre-Wedding Rituals: The first step in the wedding planning process is the “Livun,” where the groom’s family visits the bride’s house with gifts, including clothes, jewelry, and sweets. This visit signifies the acceptance of the bride into the groom’s family. The “Vulav” ceremony follows, where the bride’s family sends gifts to the groom’s house.

3. Engagement Ceremony: The engagement ceremony, known as “Nishchay,” is an important pre-wedding ritual. It involves the exchange of rings between the bride and groom in the presence of family and close friends. This ceremony marks the formal announcement of the couple’s commitment to each other.

4. Henna Ceremony: The “Mehendi” ceremony is a colorful and joyous event where the bride’s hands and feet are adorned with intricate henna designs. Family and friends gather to celebrate this occasion with music, dance, and traditional Kashmiri cuisine. The bride’s henna usually incorporates hidden names or initials of the groom, and it is said that he must find them during the wedding night.

5. Wedding Attire: Kashmiri brides are known for their exquisite traditional attire. The bride typically wears a “Pheran,” a long, loose gown made of rich fabric and adorned with intricate embroidery. The groom, on the other hand, wears a traditional Kashmiri outfit known as the “Kasaba.”

6. Traditional Cuisine: Kashmiri weddings are incomplete without a sumptuous feast. Traditional Kashmiri cuisine is a delightful combination of flavors, with dishes like Rogan Josh, Yakhni, Gushtaba, and Kashmiri Pulao being the highlights. The wedding menu often includes a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to cater to the guests’ preferences.

7. Wedding Ceremony: The wedding ceremony, known as “Wazwan,” is a grand affair with several rituals. The ceremony begins with the “Nikah,” where the bride and groom exchange vows in the presence of witnesses. Following the Nikah, a grand feast is served, known as the “Wazwan.” The Wazwan is a multi-course meal consisting of around 36 different dishes served on a large copper platter called the “Trami.”

8. Post-Wedding Rituals: After the wedding ceremony, the bride is taken to her new home, where she is welcomed with great pomp and celebration. The newlywed couple is blessed by the elders, and various post-wedding rituals, such as the “Phoolon Ka Gehna” ceremony, take place.

Planning a traditional Kashmiri wedding requires attention to detail and an understanding of the rich cultural heritage. By following this guide, you can ensure that your wedding is a memorable and authentic celebration of Kashmiri traditions. So, immerse yourself in the beauty of Kashmiri culture and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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