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Malana - Community
 Marriage Customs

Janeu CeremonyKullu marriages are solemnized according to the Brahmin tradition. The priest fixes an auspicious day for the wedding after consulting the jantri (astrological calendar). He fixes the dates for barat (wedding procession), lagan (the time when the groom enters the bride's house) and vadhu pravesh (the bride enters the groom's house for the first time). Days are also fixed for cutting wood for preparing feast and buying clothes. A few days before the wedding, lagnotri (list of lagnas involved in a wedding) is fixed. Once the lagnotri is fixed, the groom and the bride aren't allowed to cross a river or brook.

Reception of Barat

The four day long wedding starts with great fervor in the houses of both bride and the bridegroom. The priest investitures the bridegroom with the sacred thread, janeu. A ceremony is held to prepare him to go into the grihasthashram (the domestic stage of life after Brahmacharya). The priest chants a secret mantra into the bridegroom's ear. After the pooja ceremonies are over in the bride's and the bridegroom's house, they bathe with holy water.

In the evening, the chota jagra is held. The bride's maternal uncle gives her a nose ring and gifts to her family. He also arranges a feast for the friends and relatives. The bridegroom is garlanded. The near and dear give gifts to the bridegroom called 'tarmol'.

Chanting of Holy MantrasAfter the chhota jagra, the wedding procession (barat) leaves for the bride's house in the evening. People accompanying the procession stay at the bride's place and celebrate the evening. Ganesha Pooja is held and the grand feast called 'dham' is held. People who attend the dham give gifts to the bride, which mainly consists of money called 'bartan'. Next evening, the wedding procession returns to the bridegroom's place alongwith the bride. The bride is given a warm welcome. Next day dham is held in the bridegroom's house. The wedding ends on the fourth day after the feast called Dhamdu.

In ancient times, polygamy was an accepted custom. But these days, with the change of social and economic conditions and the exposure to outside world, this practice is being discouraged. In some remote parts like Malana, "bride swapping" was also practiced. But with the increasing awareness, these customs are towards decline.

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