When two persons decide that they should build a life together, the next step they take is planning their wedding. No matter where they live, the traditions are always on the first place when a Sikh wedding is planned. They can be performed in every corner of the world and put a high interest in connecting two people that will become one soul after the ceremony. This union of the souls is made during an Anand Karaj, and it joins two persons in an equal partnership. Anand Karaj is a prescribed form of Sikh ceremony that is family orientated. A Sikh marriage is often arranged with little family interference and the future bride and groom are the ones that have the ultimate choice. They can choose each other first and after that, they can seek their parents blessing and consent. The main conditions for having an Anand Karaj ceremony is that both the girl and boy profess no other faith than Sikh. There are some rituals that have a major importance before and during a Sikh wedding.
The first one is the meeting between the two families. This takes place at the bride’s house and the groom’s family is invited. It is called “Roka” and it means that both the groom and the bride have stopped their searching for the perfect match. After this ceremony takes place, the two families gather again at the bride’s house to set the wedding date, and what preparations have to be done for the engagement. The engagement ceremony takes place at the groom’s place and it is a formal event. The groom presents the engagement ring in the front of family members and the bride’s family offers a kara to the groom. The engagement ceremony opens with a short prayer by a Sikh Wedding Priest. After this short prayer, a red scarf is put around the grooms shoulder, and dried dates are added to it. The guests can start to eat and drink only after the grandfather feeds the groom with the dried dated. After the engagement, other ceremonies have to be done before the wedding, which will prove the groom’s and bride’s commitment.
While the wedding ceremony an important ritual is represented by Laavan. They are the four prayers read by a Sikh priest that seal the marriage. The presence of a priest is essential and people can benefit from its blessing even in America, only by searching him on http://www.anand-karaj.org/. The bride and the groom move clockwise around the Adi Granth Sahib Ji Sikh Scriptures, while the priest finishes the prayer and before the next verse the couple bows to the holy books. This movement means that they accept each other and the priest as the center of their marriage. While this ceremony a palla is shared by the grooms and the bride, one end is put on the groom’s shoulder and the other is hold by the bride. When the lavaan is completed they are officially married and the others guests present at the ceremony throw flowers on them. At the end of the ceremony is said a final prayer and guruprasad is given to the guests.