Suhag Raat

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Suhag Raat (Hindi: सुहाग रात, Urdu: سہاگ رات‎, Bengali: ফুলশয্যা), a significant ritual in the life of a newlywed couple in the Indian subcontinent, refers to the first night when the marriage is consummated. Prior to then, both the bride and bridegroom are assumed to be virgins. The bed of the newlywed couple is decorated with flowers, which are believed to bring sweetness to their relationship.[1] This is an important custom followed in Vedic Hindu marriages. The tradition also extends to Jains, Buddhism, and Muslims. In some areas, especially in eastern India, "Suhag Raat" is also referred to as "Fourth Night" because this ritual is observed on the fourth night of marriage,[2][3] of the wedding.

Custom[edit]

The female members of the bridegroom's family customarily guide the bride to the decorated bedroom where she waits for her husband's arrival—optionally, with a glass of milk. [4][5][6] The couple's bed is decorated with roses, jasmine and rajnigandha flowers. It is traditional for the groom to wait outside with the relatives and family for some time before he joins the bride in the decorated bedroom. The bride supposedly waits for her husband behind a veil ("ghoonghat"). The husband slowly takes the veil off to reveal the bride's face in a ritual called "Muh Dekhai" i.e. showing of bride's face.[7] After consummation, the wife is also known as "Ardhangini" in Hindu Philosophy.[8][9] It is customary that the couple wakes up early next morning before anyone else, bathe, and change their clothing. The clothing worn the previous night is considered dirty, so the dhobi customarily arrives the next morning to collect them for cleaning. The Suhag Raat may extend to a honeymoon tour.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hindu Wedding". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Oriya Wedding". Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Bengali Wedding". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Rituals and Customs of first night in Hindu Marriage". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Rituals of Suhag Raat". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Importance of Milk in Suhag Raat". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Importance of Suhag Raat". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Wedding Night customs or Suhag Raat". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Suhag Raat Customs". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Suhag Raat". Retrieved 22 November 2014.