Bangladeshi Wedding Traditions and Rituals

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Published: 20th December 2010
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This article is to help understand the numerous traditions of a Bangladeshi marriage customs, each of which is traditionally split into individual occasions. Each occasion has at least a day in between to be able to have some time for the preparations to take place.

In recent years the engagement ceremony has experienced a sharp increase in popularity and become the first step to kick off the celebrations. Before that, Gaye Holud of the bride and then the groom were the first two celebrations.

Bride and groomís Gaye Holud are now the third and fourth celebrations of the wedding festivities, which basically consists of the close family of the bride and groom getting together to be introduced to the bride and groom. According to traditions the bride continues to have her Gaye Holud first, then the groom.

The wedding ceremony as the fifth section. According to heritage the brideís family is expected to pay the costs of the actual wedding ceremony, ultimately making them the hosts of the event. The groom and his family members are considered as the guests. According to common practice guests i.e. the groomís relatives are expected to arrive after the bride and her side. The bride and groom sit separately until a registrar (normally a mosque Imam) along with two witnesses take the consent of both the bride and the groom for marriage. Once they are acknowledged as a married couple by law, a blessing takes place for the coupleís well being. Only after that ritual has been completed the wedding couple are brought in the same room and celebrates the remainder of their big day.

The final part is the reception party (also known as Bou Bhat, where the groomís family members pays for the expenses of the occasion, and therefore considering the bride's side are the guests this time round. It is commonly accepted that once a woman is married, she officially leaves her parentís family to join her new family. Thus the bride is considered to be one of the hosts on the reception party.

Recently, engagement ceremonies start off the whole sequence of events. They are usually intimate gathering of the immediate and very close family members of the couple getting hitched. In yester-years, families arranged the wedding alliance between the prospective bride and groom, and the engagement ceremony usually consisted of the groom's parents or guardians placing the engagement ring on the bride's finger to officially accept her for the relationship. For sometime now this tradition has changed and the groom himself carries out the engagement, regardless of the relationship being arranged or not by the family. This particular change in tradition has been warmly welcomed by the everyone.

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