Pakistan is an Islamic country that is located in South Asia, and most of the Pakistani weddings follow Islamic traditions. The main aim of the wedding function is to bring the bride, groom, and their families closer, and there are many pre-wedding customs that have to be observed before the actual wedding.
Pakistani wedding traditions are based on rules that are defined in the Holy Quran, and it is assumed that they were developed some 1,400 years ago. Traditional Pakistani Marriage celebrations last for four days. Nonetheless, many rituals that are performed in Pakistani weddings are not mentioned in Islamic books, and it is believed that these rituals come from Hindu culture.
Some of the common customs found in Pakistani wedding are Mangni, Mayun, Uptan, Dolki, Rasm E Mehndi, Baraat, Nikah, Mooh Dikhai, Ruksati, Chauthi, and Walima. The duration of the wedding ceremony is about four days. Mangni refers to engagement, and Mayun is a custom that requires the bride to be kept in isolation for some days as the process of her beautification is carried out.
Mehndi is performed on the second day of marriage. During mehndi, the relatives of bride gather at her home and apply traditional henna on her hands and feet. Only the female members of the families join the function, and in some parts of Pakistan, mehndi custom also takes place at the groom’s house. The bride wears a yellow costume, and she is not allowed to put on any makeup.
The groom wears a sehra, and he is given gifts by his family members. A procession called baarat, which features drums and shehnai, travels to the house of the bride for the main ceremony of marriage, which is called nikah.
Nikah happens as the nikad naama, which is the document of marriage, is registered. There are many terms and conditions mentioned in the nikah naama, and they include the right of the woman to divorce and the monetary amount that will be given to the bride by the groom. Walis or witnesses must be present during nikah, and the fathers of the bride and groom act as walis. Certain Urdu verses are read by the priest, and the bride accepts the terms and conditions of the nikah naama in front of the relatives by saying “qabool kiya”, and the wedding will be announced.
Walima is a function that is attended by families and friends of the bride and groom, as well as the community and friends. It is organized by the groom’s parents.
Dress, Food and Dance
Food is a very important part of any Pakistani wedding. It is served after the nikah, and it comes in many varieties of sweets, biriyanis, vegetables, and salads. Non-vegetarian food such as meat and beef is also served. With the change in trends, cuisines from Europe and China are also included in some weddings. Betel and pan are offered in most Pakistani weddings. The dholki drum is the main percussion instrument that is played through out much of the ceremony.
The bride wears a long skirt-like costume called “bridal lehenga” for the wedding ceremony, and common jewelry worn includes a pair of earrings, teeka, rings, and necklace.
According to the scared Islamic text, marriage is considered a social contract between the bride and groom. Both the bride and groom are asked to give their consent to marriage before nikah, and they have to share duties and responsibilities after their marriage. Pakistani marriage is mostly based on Islamic principles, and it allows polygamy. Polygamy is allowed because it is considered an option for the man to provide shelter for widows and orphans.
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