- posted by Jennifer
- Picking up where the Baarat left off, which kicked off Racheal and Rochan's Fijian Indian Hindu Wedding Ceremony festivities, this post continues with the Var Swagat: the welcoming of the groom and his family.
Rochan looks like a prince sitting in the maharaja chair, don't you think?
- The traditional festivities started before entering the ballroom.
- Upon entry into the ballroom, married women welcomed Rochan with blessings and gifts.
- The girls stole Rochan's shoes...to be paid a mighty sum for their return later!
- Three of the girls danced for Rochan. It's very had not to want to get in the middle and dance with them. Maybe Riri can teach me how?!
- Similar to the morning ceremony, food was provided before the festivities began as an appetizer to the evening. The sweets were made by Racheal's mom and aunts.
- The evening food was provided by Indian Oven. Dinner was served after the ceremony.
- Rochan made his way up to the Mandap.
- I love the smiles on both Rochan and Racheal's dad in this next series.
- The girls lit their lamps (diyas) and lined up for their entrance.
- Kanya Pravesh: is the arrival of the bride. The grand entrance of Racheal, escorted by her dad, under the chandarvo, held by 4 brothers.
- This is one of my favorite photos of Racheal with her dad.
- The bride and groom exchange garlands (jaimala), signifying love and mutual acceptance of each other.
- The ceremony begins. Racheal's mom and dad were both on the mandap at the beginning of the ceremony as rituals began and prayers were given.
- Following a Fijian Indian tradition, Racheal is holding a ball of flour dough with a piece of gold hidden inside of it as her brother pours water over their clasped hands.
- Family blessed Racheal and Rochan with gifts.
- Mangal Phere (Circling of the Sacred Fire). The bride leads the first of four circles and the groom leads the last three circles.
- They exchange sacred vows at the beginning of each of the circles.
- The first four circles signify the four goals of life: Dharma (moral duty), Artha (wealth), Kama (love), and Moksha (salvation). The final three circles symbolize their union of Mind, Body and Soul.
- Saptapadi (Seven Sacred Steps) This happens on the last circle, where the bride and groom take 7 steps together signifying their vows to one another.
- Both Racheal and Rochan were very serious throughout the ceremony but they still managed to laugh and smile.
- Sindoor and Mangalsutra (Red Vermillion and Sacred Thread). Racheal and Rochan are still tied together (her scarf to his stole) as he places the Mangalsutra around her neck, symbolizing his everlasting commitment to her. Sindoor signifies that a woman is married. On the wedding day (the first time it is applied), it must be done so by the groom to symbolize that she is his bride. Yaska is placing a yellow thread around Racheal's neck, promising to take care of her as his little sister in their family and that any time a problem arises, he will always be there to help her.
- They exchanged rings nearing the end of the wedding traditions.
- Racheal and Rochan were blessed by their family as the ceremony concluded.
- I included this last photo as the girls showered the couple with flowers in blessing of their marriage.
The San Francisco reception at the Bently Reserve is still to come....tomorrow.