While the Bengali obsession with football, fish, sweets and Durga Puja, is well known, there are others that are lesser known. For example, they are just as obsessed with their wedding ceremonies, as can be witnessed in during a traditional Bengali wedding.
Saat Paak is that Bengali wedding ritual where the bride sits on a low wooden stool called pidi. This stool is then lifted by her brothers and the bride is taken around the groom in seven circles. This ritual signifies that they are wound up to each other.
In this Bengali marriage ritual, the groom is seated at the chadnatolla, or the wedding mandap, where he is offered new clothes by the person who is to do the sampradaan. This is usually done by an elderly male member of the bride’s family, most commonly the bride’s father or uncle.
This Bengali wedding ritual comes after the bor jatri or the baarat reaches the bride’s place. Normally the bride’s mother along with other family members welcome the groom and his side of the family by doing aarti with the holy lamp and serving the sweets and drinks.
Sitting high on the pidi after the shubho drishiti, the bride and the groom exchange garlands of flowers three times. This Bengali wedding ritual marks as the first step of accepting each other as man and wife.
After saat paak Bengali marriage ritual, the bride and the groom look at each other in front of guests. The bride removes the betel leaves from the front of her face and looks at the groom. This exchange of loving glance marks the beginning of the couple to be together in witness of their family and friends.
Sampradan is basically the equivalent of Kanyadaan in a Hindu wedding ceremony. In the Bengali wedding ritual of Sampradan an elderly male member (almost always, her father) of the bride’s family gives her hand to the groom, when both their hands are tied by a sacred thread while reciting Vedic chants.
In this last and final Bengali wedding ritual, the groom applies sindoor or vermillion the bride’s hair-parting. Thereafter, the bride is considered as a married woman since applying sindoor is one of the many solah shringas.
In this Bengali wedding ritual, an offering of puffed rice is made into the yagna by the bride and the groom. The bride’s brother gives puffed rice in the bride’s hands while the groom holds her hand to pour the offering into the yagna together.