People of Pakistan love their wedding ‘rasams’. Part of the rich cultural fabric that is shared with India they are what makes the Pakistani/Indian/Desi/Asian weddings so special.
Pakistani Mayoun/Mehndi Rasam
- The women from the bride’s side get together, apply bridal mehndi (Tumeric) on her, on each other, sing, dance and make merry. It’s basically a bridal shower!
- Back in the old days, in the days leading up to the wedding, a bride wouldn’t leave the house, have oil in her hair, wear plain clothes, and no wear make up. These days this tradition is honored by her not wearing any makeup for the mayoun function.
- Flowers are a huge part of any wedding. A major part of the mayoun/mehndi function is adorning the bride with flower arrangements. Family/friends close to the bride will take turns putting pieces of flowers on her.
- Nowadays, the mehndi function is usually a mixed up affair with folks from both the groom’s and bride’s sides, and ends up being essentially a big pre-wedding party.
Saath Suhagan Rasam Mehndi and Mithai Ki Rasam (Feeding Sweets)
One major part of the mehndi ceremony is when family and friends come up to the couple, gift them some dry mehndi in a decorative leaf, and feed them sweets.
The saath suhagan rasam, follows with seven happily married women apply the mehndi, and feed the bride and groom. The ritual signifies that they pass on their marital happiness onto the bride and groom.
A favorite with everybody, nothing makes a wedding as festive as the singing of classic wedding folk songs set to the thump of the dholak. Nowadays no one actually knows the words to many of the songs, so dholki song booklets are a common sight at mehndis now!
This is a playful tradition where the bride’s sisters and girlfriends ‘steal’ the groom’s footwear, and get him to pay them for its return. It’s a playful back-and-forth between the bridesmaids and the groom’s gang, that’s light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, and full of funny moments.
It’s when the sister of the bride feeds the groom milk. After the groom drinks the milk, he’s supposed to fill up the cup with money and give it back to his future sister-in-law!
The girl’s side stops the groom from getting to his bride as the groom enters the hall for the mehndi (until he pays them off, of course)!
Aarsi Mashuf (Mirror Rasam)
Believed to be a Sindhi/Urdu-speaking rasam wherein a dupatta (scarf) is held over the bride and groom and a mirror underneath so that they see each other for the first time in the reflection of a mirror.
As I understand it, the moon dikhai is supposed to be a gift that the groom gives his bride on their wedding night. The bride sitting on the ‘marital bed’ with a full gunghat (scarf fully covering the face) and by lifting it, the groom would see her face and present a gift.
Holding Quran over Dulhan’s Head During Ruksathi
The practice of holding the Quran over the bride’s head during the rukhsati (the traditional farewell) is that God be with you always as you embark upon this new journey.
Youngest Devar (Brother-in-Law) Sits on Bride’s Lap
When the bride comes home after the wedding, the younger brother of the groom, sits in the bride’s lap until his brother gives him a gift/money.
Related Post: RITUALS AND TRADITIONS – BENGALI WEDDING