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Hindu Wedding Traditions - Marriages are made in heaven, and once you are married, the bond is supposed to last for seven lifetimes. It is considered to be a turning point in an individual’s life as he enters the second important phase or ashram of his life – the ‘Grihastha ashram’. A lot of importance is associated with marriages in Hinduism as it is considered to be one of the most important duties of a man’s life.
The Haldi ceremony is a very common ritual among almost all communities in India. Turmeric is ground to a paste along with other ingredients that vary from culture to culture. This paste is applied to both the bride’s and groom at their respective places by women elderly members of their families before they are washed by sacred water.
The key steps of Hindu wedding ritual are Kanyadaan and Paanigrahan, Vivaah Homa and Agni Pradakshina, and finally Saptapadi according to Grihya sutras. After the bride’s father washes the groom’s feet, he then gives her away to the groom in a ceremony known as Kanyadaan, saying "Today, the bride is Laxmi and the groom is Vishnu. By joining their hands in marriage, we will repay the debt to our forefathers by continuing the next life cycle." Then the groom accepts the bride’s hand and they promise each other that while pursuing a life of Dharma, Artha and Kama, they will remain faithful to each other. This is known as Paanigrahan.