An Assamese marriage is the wedding ceremony which takes place in the state of Assam or between Assamese people. In Assamese language, the ceremony is known as Biya. Just like a Hindu wedding, an Assamese wedding also has pre wedding and post wedding rituals. It is simple and yet very elegant. One of the unique and indispensable characteristic of the wedding is the traditional ‘biya naam’ song. To know more about the wedding rituals of Assamese marriage, read on.
Pre Wedding Rituals
The pre wedding rituals include Juran ceremony, Tel Diya custom, Pani Tola & Nuani tradition. In Juran ceremony, the groom’s mother visits the house of the bride. The bride’s mother greets her and gives her xhorai, brass plate with a stem. In Tel Diya custom, the groom’s mother puts a ring and betel on her daughter-in-law’s hair parting.
Over this she pours oil thrice. After this, she applies her sindoor and gives the wedding trousseau. It includes mekhla chadar, the traditional Assamese dress for women. In Pani Tola tradition, the mothers of the bride and the groom gather holy water for the ceremonial bath of the bride. According to Nuani tradition, the bride is given a bath to prepare her for the wedding.
The wedding rituals begin with the ceremonial bath of the bride and the groom. For this their respective mothers visit the nearby river and collect holy water. After this the wadding reception takes place, wherein sumptuous food is served to the guests, with fish and meat as the highlights. This is followed by the procession of the groom. When he finally reaches the venue, the bride’s family indulges in fun activities.
The groom’s procession is given entry into the bride’s home only after they pay a heavy price. Subsequently, the bride’s mother welcomes him while the bride’s sister washes his feet. Next, the brother of the bride lifts him to take him to thewedding hall. The groom is usually dress in dhoti, kurta and silk shawl. The bride is given panch – amrit, before going to the hall. It is a mixture of ghee, curd, honey, sugar and raw milk.
This is followed by a remarkable entry of the bride on the shoulders of her maternal uncle. Here, the wedding ceremonytakes place in front of the sacred fire. The couple exchange garlands and takes vows amidst chanting mantras. After this, conch shells are blown and the groom puts vermillion in bride’s forehead. Friends and relatives then step forward to bless the newly wed couple. After the wedding ceremony is over the couple moves to groom’s house where they are welcomed by the bridegroom’s mother with traditional aarti.