Avi arriving at temple but doesn't enter yet until brides parents greet him. Here the brides mother (Dianne) will apply a red dot to grooms forehead and present him the five key elements of life-Arrow for protection, Pistle- to aid in coking and feeding, -Yoke to work together in life, Butter Churner- to show that patience is required to create god items and a rolling pin -for cooking.
The bride's family accompanies the groom and his family into the temple and to the Mandap (the marriage alter)
Avi is seated under the canopy and Dianne and Bill sit on the floor with the priest. They go through many,many rituals (prayers) before the bride arrives. All Hindu's first and foremost pay their respects to GANESH (The Elephant God, known as the remover of all obstacles) There is a ritual with rice, water, and coconut ( a fruit which represents strength and protections.) NOTE: It almost seemed like Dianne and Bill were getting married with all the traditions of the Hindu faith they had to partake in. The priest spoke in Hindu, but also explained to us non-Hindu's what was taking place
It looked like the brides parents and the priest mixed something in a bowl and stirred it so many times and then Avi had to eat of it. (Not sure what it was or what for.)
Amy arrives, looking beautiful in Hindu traditional bridal attire, with her brother Billy. (Sorry Billy, I cut your head off....which isn't part of the ceremony!!! Just my new camera and not smart operator!)
The bride is about to arrive, escorted by her brother. The bride sits across the from the groom and one all the ceremonies are complete, the bride and groom see each other symbolically for the very first time. Note the cover up so Avi can't see Amy until she sits down. Bill and Dianne are turned around awaiting her daughters arrival. Avi's mother has her face covered as well, unable to see her new daughter until Amy arrives and sits down opposite Avi under the canopy.
Then the sacred fire was lit, which symbolizes God as the Witness as the two are joined in marriage. and Bill and Dianne did so much with rice, and other traditions, I couldn't explain them all. Then the bride and groom walk around the sacred fire four times while holding hands. The bride leads the first 3 times to represent each turn as 1st. For duty and Service, 2. Material and comforts. 3. Love and Pleasure. Then Avi leads around the fire for Salvation!
Avi and Amy are tied together with a "rope", I'm don't know the correct name or reason. I think it means 'tied for life'.
The bride and groom feed sweets to each other to represent the joining and melding together of the following ....breath to breath, bones to bones, flesh to flesh, and skin to skin. As each feeds the other, each acknowledges that the two of them will go from being two separate entities and become one entity.After this, the women from the immediate family embrace the bride and wishes for her that she forever remain a bride Then the groom fastens a sacred necklace of gold and black beads around her neck and then applies a small vermilion (red powder) dot on the bride's forehead, at the parting of her hair, for a long life for the couple. The priest concludes the ceremony by blessing the couple.
At the end of the ceremony, everyone gathered at the alter and everyone waves around a tray with fire on it, for God to receive their blessings.
There are lots more photo's but I tried to explain and show you what I could. It was a beautiful and fascinating experience to join into a different culture. I enjoyed every minute of it, as well as the delicious West Indian food after the wedding.
The second day (traditional wedding will be in next blog to follow.) It gets too screwed up trying to put too many pictures on one, so I'll start a fresh one...after we have our dinner! Hang tight!!
YOU MAY HAVE TO SCROLL DOWN TO FIND IT!