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Monsoon Wedding

After a hot spell of merciless summer, the very sight of dark clouds awakens the desire to soak oneself in the delight of the rainy season. The first spell of rain is like a gift from the heavens, turning the steamy breeze of the past into a generously refreshing one. The monsoon is arguably the most romantic of all the seasons.

This time of year is welcomed with songs, poems, paeans to the rain Gods, and movies based on the misty theme. Even the soil after the first rain is inspiring and noted as the richest of perfumes.

The two-week long rituals and ceremonies of the Hindu wedding, though accompanied with time and careful planning, monsoon weddings are most memorable. Even the date and time of the marriage needs extra time and effort prior to its acknowledgement as it is decided with collaboration with an astrology specialist.

The Mehandi and Sangeet (or musical parties) are just two amongst the numerous rituals performed before the big day. The Monsoon Wedding begins with the groom joined by his family marching to the wedding chapel (called Baraat).  The meaning of the Hindu wedding is symbolic. It’s defined as the marriage of two families in the eyes of the Hindu Gods and the progress of events reflects this. Scarcely an hour passes without another pujah ceremony (offering of gifts to the deities), or distribution of sweets, eggs, and money which symbolize a sweet life, fertility, and prosperity. The final and most important of these numerous preparations is the Ghari Puja (the prosperity prayer).

After the ceremony, the families and friends meet for a fancy dinner.

Traditional Indian brides wear pink and red saris and adorn themselves extravagantly with as much jewelry as possible. The groom wears jodhpurs, a silk brocade suit, sword and turban.

Many people have seen or at least heard of the successful film titled “Monsoon Wedding.”   Filmed in Bollywood (the Indian equivalent of Hollywood), the movie brought the concert of Monsoon Weddings to the entire world.  It’s a love story about a typical Indian family, where the daughter agrees to marry an engineer working in Houston, Texas with the understanding she will have to move to the United States.  The wedding will be a Wedding.  The traditions of Hindu and Indian weddings held during the romantic monsoon season are brought to the big screen and sent throughout the world.

Monsoon Weddings are held in other parts of South and Southeast Asia, though not as popular as India, beginning around November as the weather cools down and the romantic rains begin.

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