Keena’s Hindu Wedding Celebration

Keena and Pavan were married on July 5, 2014, and I photographed some of the traditional Hindu traditions leading up to the wedding.  I loved witnessing the happiness of the large extended family!  “Celebrate” is the key word here:  Family and friends devote 3 days to preparing the couple for marriage through ancient rituals and traditions lead by a Hindu priest.  The colorful celebration is heaven for a photographer!

The Pithi ceremony is a celebration of love and happiness before a wedding in which a yellow chick pea paste is rubbed onto the bride’s skin.

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Ganesh Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs and rituals.  Ceremonies begin with a prayer to Lord Ganesh, requesting him to remove any obstacles which may arise during the ceremony. 

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Then we walked down the street to the bride’s parents’ house to present the offering to the temple and plant a special offering under the tree at the house.

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Mehndi is a festive occasion celebrated by the bride’s family.  The bride and close female members of her family have henna painted on their hands and feet while the rest of the family celebrate with songs.  Mehndi signifies the strength of love in a marriage so brides try to leave it on as long as possible.  Mehndi parties are often held at home and end with dinner for the family and friends.

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Keena dabbed lemon juice and sugar water on the henna to set the color.

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Keena danced with her father, Raj.

 

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Keena, the beautiful bride

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Keena and Pavan, I wish you a long and happy married life!

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