India is a country blessed with diversity. Whether you move from north to south or from east to west, you will experience numerous cultures which are completely different from one another yet woven together. Like other things, Indian weddings differ in different regions as well. From the colours to food to rituals, everything that happens at a wedding is a gift of the culture of that state. People of West Bengal are very proud of their lineage. Their art, history, food and preferences are very unique. Bengali weddings are world famous for so many reasons. If you haven’t been to one, then these are all the cool things that you are missing out on:

Aiburo Bhaat

This is one of the best wedding rituals in the entire country. Aiburo is a Bengali term which means bachelor. Aiburo Bhaat is the last meal that the would-be groom and the bengali bride have. This is not just your everyday daal-rice. The bride and the groom are invited by their respective relatives at their homes where they serve a lavish meal to them. If this doesn’t get you excited then what will?

Ulu Dhwani

This is a unique feature of the Bengali weddings that you often see in the movies. All the females of the house ululate happily to celebrate the coming together of the bride and the groom. Ululation is accompanied by the deep sound of a shankh. Who needs a DJ when you have so many ladies making sounds for you?

Shakha Paula

As a tradition, bangles are gifted to brides throughout India. While most brides wear green, red, orange and pink glass bangles, Bengali brides wear white bangles which are made of shells and corals. Only a bride or married women can wear these special bangles.

Chandan Soja

Beauty is in the traditions and Bengali brides firmly believe in it. They believe in Chandan Soja more than any celebrity MUA. It is a paste of sandalwood that is applied on the forehead of the bride. It looks absolutely beautiful and gives the bride an aesthetic touch. No Bengali bride will ever get married without Chandan Soja.

Betel Leaf

We have seen brides coming in a palanquin and recently on horses too. But, a Bengali bride comes with two betel leaves in her hands. These paan pattas are supposed to guard the eyes of the bride till the gaze of the groom falls on her.

Image Courtesy: Neepa & Rohan

Shubho Drishti

While it is highly unlikely that the groom and the bride don’t meet before they get married, Bengalis still insist that it is the meeting of the eyes at the wedding venue that counts. So, the bride hides her face behind two betel leaves and her brothers carry her to the wedding pandal on a wooden plank. The girl will only remove those betel leaves when she is standing face to face with her partner. This is truly a magical moment.

Alta

Majority of Indian women apply mehendi on their hands when they are getting married but Bengali women are not like other women. Bengali brides love to colour their hands with Alta. It is a traditional red coloured liquid which symbolises celebration, prosperity and happiness. Bengali brides generously apply Alta on their hands and feet.

Image Courtesy: Neepa & Rohan

Topor and Mukut

Bengali grooms do not show up at the wedding wearing a sehera. They wear Topor which is a conical headgear given to them by the family of the bride. This white coloured Topor stands for good luck. Similarly, the bride wears a mukut which is white in colour but differs in shape as compared to a Topor.

Image Courtesy: Neepa & Rohan

Sweet Bor-Bou

It is no surprise that Bengalis are fond of sweets. They start and end their day with rosogullas. Naturally, you will find lots of sweets and sondesh at a Bengali wedding but that’s not all. During the ceremony of Tawtto, which is exchange of gifts, the two families exchange Bor-Bou made of sondesh. Bor-Bou are miniatures of bride and groom made of sondesh. These are not only adorable to look at but are significant as well.

Food Coma

Let’s be real. Food is the one thing that pulls us to a wedding. If you are a food fanatic then you have to attend a Bengali wedding. Bengalis serve so many delicacies at their weddings that it becomes impossible to keep that tummy pulled in. Some of their must-haves are shingara, baingan bhaja, paaturi, doi machch and mishti pulav. One thing that you’ll find in abundance is fish!

Bengali weddings are one of a kind. Bengali community is one of the few communities of India which still follow all the traditions with utmost dedication. Unity and love are two things that you will find in abundance at these weddings.

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