Bengalis are always fun loving. They look for fun and joy as much as they can. There are so many rituals and occasions they have made for enjoyment. They need a reason to enjoy. The most enjoyable occasion of them is “marriage”. Marriage is socially or ritually recognized a legal contract between man and woman that establishes rights and obligations between them. A marriage is a process of any rituals. Fockler says “Many rites within one ritual”. One of the rituals is called ‘gaye holud’. This is a pre-Wedding ceremony. Mainly this is a ritual where the bride and groom are applied turmeric and other herbs which are really good for skin like sandal, saffron, mehndi, mustard seed, sesame seed, fenugreek seed and many others.
History of gaye holud
In the old days Gaye holud (Bengali: গায়ে হলুদ) was a part of the marriage ritual in the Indian Hindu community. Gradually, this event spreads in the Muslim Bengali society. Now it has become an integral part of any wedding in Bengali society.
People believe that if they arrange this kind of ritual that the devil can not do harm for the bride and groom. This ritual is celebrated to keep away evil eyes from bride and groom. Many also believe that, this ritual will make the bond between bride and groom stronger. Small oil lamps are lightening before bride and groom and it is believed that this light will lighten up their lives ahead.
Another attraction is various gifts. The people from bride’s family gift are necessary things for the grooms going to need in the occasion or in the future. So as the groom’s family sends gifts for the bride as usual. Those gifts were exchanged in that ritual. Both of the family decorates different kinds of trays (dala, kula) with foods, fruits, sweets or fishes. Not only for bride or groom, family members also get some gifts like clothing’s, cosmetics, badges, fancy pens, toys, roses and so on. This is to show respect and affection to the both family members.
At early days in the Bengali society, the bride and groom used to do this ritual separately. Mostly it was celebrated at their homes. But now, the modern families arrange this program together, in a hall or in a community center. It decreases the cost and this is more enjoyable. Today it is all about lavishing decoration and arrangement of everything on a gaye holud program. On that day the brides wear floral jewelries but recently some rich brides like to wear golden silver jewelries for a change.
Dance and music: one of the most attractions
In the past days, on this occasion, men were not allowed to participate. It was limited to only women. Now there is no restriction to the rules. In modern age ‘gaye holud’ is not an occasion only applying herbs. People arrange some music with musical band group or they call a DJ to liven up the program. Yes, the program is really to make waves with some of music. But long ago only girls among family, friends and neighbors used to sing songs which are known as girly songs. It is yet happened in the occasion but in a modern way. On that day, family members, friends, relatives, neighbors joined with dance and song. Especially, girls in colorful costumes can be seen in the dance. Bride groom and family girls dressed especially yellow. On this occasion, girls wear Saris and boys in Punjabi. On this occasion, the guests are to wear a yellow robe. Now many in occasions to wear other colors than yellow can be seen.
Sometimes people hire dancers or some people hire professional photographers to capture the beautiful moments and sometimes they hire cinematographers too to keep the moments alive.