Our Hindu Wedding - Day Two - Haldi on Bride's side
Haldi ceremony is when tumeric paste is applied to the hands, feet and face of the bride and groom. It is to purify and beautify the couple and is an opportunity for the friends and family to have fun (not so for the poor bride and groom who have to get yellow paste put all over them!!).
But before I get into the second day of ceremonies, here are some behind the scenes photos from the day before, when I was getting ready for the Telwan:
The haldi ceremony typically takes place during the morning/day time but we had to wait for the priest to arrive before it could begin. During this time, I was supposed to get changed into my yellow sari (yellow because the haldi paste is yellow hehe) and wait upstairs, safe and sound. But my curiosity got the better of me and I spent some minutes wondering around downstairs, until more and more relatives began arriving (at which point I quickly disappeared into my room).
|Sharlene, my guard, lazing around and not performing her guard duties very well haha. She was given the task of bringing me water, food and making sure no strangers came into the room|
The rule is that during these days leading up to the actual wedding ceremony, the bride and groom are not to see each other. But no one told us we couldn't speak! haha so we decided to do just that. Max was staying at a serviced apartment near the town centre and did not have internet there, but I managed to call his phone through the front reception and then he contacted me via email from his phone. So we spent the time emailing, and talking on the phone :)
Meanwhile, downstairs, the women were busy cooking, preparing food and... dancing!
They also prepared the place where the prayers would happen and where the Haldi ceremony would take place:
We choose to have our wedding in Melbourne because in Summer the weather there is perfect for an outdoor, Hindu wedding. Warm (I'm talking in the 40's degrees celcius), not very windy, bright and dry. Perfect. I could wear my saris and walk around barefoot without any problems :) :)
The haldi ceremony started with a small prayer with the priest, who put the first haldi paste on me:
|These wonderful ladies (cousins) came to help out with the cooking and preparation|
|Me and parents taking part in the pooja. I remember, I had to tie some strings around the tree there a few times!|
After the ceremony, I was sent upstairs again and was instructed to wait until some one came upstairs to take me down again. I had to have haldi paste put on me 7 times in total (of which 6 will be done on this day and 1 on the morning of the wedding). Each time, I was to come downstairs, have haldi put on then go back upstairs. Do this 6 times throughout the day.
While waiting, Sharlene and I decided to take some selfies:
And then it began:
First coming downstairs - I was lead by Tina, a family-friend, who was showing Sharlene how to do the task (Sharlene, being my sister was to lead me down and to the mandap but she was too young and did not know what to do haha). My mum was behind me, with her dupata on my head, to protect and give me her blessings.
|Note that here I am relatively normal coloured - wait to see what happens coming down the second time...!|
After the priest, the next haldi was put on by Tina and she really took advantage of the opportunity to paint me totally yellow! She had lots of fun while doing it I believe, and so did the other ladies - especially finding my great distress and reaction to the process hilarious.
|Look at these ladies, giggling away!!|
After that, all my friends and female relatives had their chance. But they were much more sympathetic towards my plight and only touched a bit of haldi on. They also had to take some leaves, which I was holding in my hands, and then touch it to my feet, knees, elbows, shoulders, head, kiss it then put it back. This was to take away any evil eyes and bad luck from me, so I may enter into married life with luck, and prosperity.
Here they are, my lovely friends and relatives:
|First up, Sharlene. On the left hand side of the photo is Lata jiji, showing Sharlene how to do the steps involved!|
|Here mum decides to add her own actions too, to show Sharlene what to do!|
|Finally, she gets to put haldi on me. More of it...|
|Kiran jiji, cousin|
|Lata jiji, cousin, putting haldi on with much warmth and care|
|Kissing the leaves!|
And now here the me coming down to repeat the whole thing the second time:
And now the lovely ladies putting more haldi on:
|Christine, Lata jiji's daughter.|
|This is how I looked after the third time!|
We did this 3 times around - Mum and I hatched the plan to do it 3 times in a row, rather than spacing it out during the day. That way, at the end of it, we went upstairs and secretly wiped all the haldi off in the bathroom in mum's room hahaha. Mum helped me to wipe it off with warm water and wipes. Thanks mum!
During this whole thing, the ladies were all also multitasking away - cooking in the garage!