(Last Updated on : 06/01/2014)
Mandap ceremony holds supreme importance on the day of the wedding. This is because all the major rituals are performed during the mandap ceremony. In India, weddings take place in harmony to the age-old customs and traditions. It is a very meticulous process and is fulfilled with the feeling that it is a one-time affair. As a result, parents on the either side do not leave any stone unturned in organizing a prosperous wedding for their kids.
This attributes to the fact that Indian weddings are around five day long. There are a number of rituals that take place before, after and on the wedding day itself. Mandap ceremony is also such ritual. After the var mala ceremony is over, the elderly people of both the families bless the couple. This is followed by the mandap ceremony that is performed under a canopy hold up by four pillars. This is called the Mandap. It is usually made of bamboo and is adorned with red and silver colors. The morning after the mandap ceremony the bridegroom applies vermilion on the bride's forehead. This is a symbol of her marriage status. At the Mandap ceremony, in the attendance of the priest, they then worship the Sun God, seek the blessings of all elders, and set out to the groom's house.
Hindu weddings usually take place outside, in the open air and on the earth, under a canopy known as a mandap. Sometimes due to lack of space, mandap is always not built, but this mandap can be made inside and decorate in a way that its outdoors. Seating under the mandap can be on the ground, carpets or mats would be a good idea or on chairs. This depends on the area of the mandap.
Under the mandap, the front and center is decorated for the sacred fire. The fire can be small and confined to a brazier or saucer for safety. The groom's party is supposed to arrive at the wedding location in a procession, so it's good to have a suitable assembly location nearby. Wedding ceremony takes place beneath the mandap. Two banana trees are planted at the mandap and a large alpana is drawn with rice paste. The mandap is decorated for the event with flowers and lights.
For mandap ceremony, bride's parents need flowers and lights, banana trees, rice paste, and other decorative articles. The four pillars of the mandap signify the parents on the either sides, who toiled hard to bring up their children. The mandap ceremony usually takes place at the house of the bride or otherwise it is held at the wedding venue itself. All the rituals during the mandap ceremony are carried out in front of the sacred fire and hymns recited by the priest, from Vedas. The main rituals performed here are Saat Phere, Maang bharai, Kanyadaan and so on.
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