Owning a wedding store most times leaves you in a situation where your clients expect you to know more than them. Thankfully, all those times I don’t mind being super ritualistic.
Today I will try to tackle the question I get a lot from my in-store clients, "What to do on Maiyaan ceremony"?
There are many ways of celebrating this ceremony so there is a big possibility your family might have a different version than mine but this is how I have always celebrated Maiyaan.
Traditionally it is initiation of wedding ceremony. The "Viaah Wala Ghar" or the "Wedding Family" invites their near and dear to celebrate this colourful ceremony.
There is traditional Rangoli design (colourful freehand artwork using rangoli rice and beads) drawn in families backyard or lawn or the Banquet floor. Mostly the Rangoli designs are drawn by hand but since times have evolved you have many more options available. At my store, we carry readymade Rangoli Designs (stick ons) for anyone who feels less crafty with the whole design your own rangoli idea. We also have rangoli stencils available to give your design a better finish.
A pidhi and fati are placed next to the Rangoli design where the bride or groom sits. You will hear many people telling you it should be facing East but I leave that detail to preference. Its an old tradition of covering the bride or groom with Bagh or Phulkari Dupatta (I was always told it was to protect them so nothing nasty drops on them by accident). Who am I to change traditions so when someone in store when my clients ask me why do we do that, I convey forward the same reasoning. The mom of bride/Groom ties a coin in one end of the phulkari, some families tie a silver coin and someone coin and a quarter (different families different version, I simply call it good luck charm)
Once the groom or bride are seated with grace, mom-of-the bride/groom brings her sagan da thal (sagan tray). Her thal generally contains Batna mix (a mixture of sandalwood powder, besan, haldi and water or milk) laddo (traditional Indian sweet treat) or mithe Chol (sweet rice) some families like to place a T-light in sagan thal.
She discreetly puts little sagan (token/money) under the pidhi (These little tokens or money or gifts have a huge significance in our culture, my Nani (Granny) always use to say they contain our bajurgan di assess. (Elders Blessings).
Batna mix is gently rubbed on bride or groom's face, hands, arms, feet and legs but there is no way of stopping loved ones who jovially will place this Batna where they can (obviously within limits). All family members take a turn in rubbing the Batna mix on soon to be bride or groom and wish them good luck. Once everybody has taken their turn Mom tries to feed the boy or girl the sweet treat of her choice and the Bhabi (sister in law, brother's wife) tries to stop her by gently slapping on her hand.
The boy or girl are then sent off to clean up with the sagan tray and sweet treat in their hand and Dupatta on their head or shoulders and they are told to feed all their single friends and siblings and cousins the remaining sweet treat as good luck hoping they’ll get hitched soon.
To conclude the ceremony, mom of the bride and/or groom jumps or steps around the rangoli design seven times then she mixes up the entire rangoli design into a paste by adding some water. She collects it into a plate, she uses the design to leave her handprints on the wall. It is generally left in the front of the house indicating it’s the Viaah wala Ghar (Wedding House). The remaining colour paste is advised to feed to birds, some families drop is in their lawn, some families make it an effort to through it on their roof.
After the traditional Maiyaan ceremony is done comes the colourful Jago. I'll take up that challenge in my next blog. Hope this helps.
Happy Maiyaan! Happy Traditions!