The Hindu marriage ceremony is one of the oldest in the world, well established by 3000 BC. It consists of several rituals, each with a distinct meaning and purpose. It is performed under the guidance of a pundit, or priest, who recites mantras (verses) written in Sanskrit. A formal engagement precedes the wedding ceremony. Engagement is symbolized by the bride's parents giving a coconut, considered sacred fruit, to the groom. The groom's parents present a sari to the bride and sweets are distributed among the families. The wedding day is chosen by consulting astrological charts to select an auspicious day. A day before the wedding, designs in Henna are applied to the bride's body. A deeply colored design is considered a good sign for the couple. It is a common belief among Hindu women that the darker the imprint on the bride's palms the more her mother-in-law will love her. Hindu weddings take place under a canopy called a Mandap, outside if possible. The groom arrives in a wedding procession and the couple exchange garlands of flowers. The bride's father joins their hands, giving her to her new husband. The couple circles the sacred fire four times. At the end of the ceremony the couple receives blessings from all the guests.
How will be a Hindu marriage ceremony?