Buddhist matrimonial rituals are as simple as the people of this faith. They stay far from doing excess in anything including their weddings. However, the Buddhist matrimonial rituals are as wholesome as weddings in any other caste or faith. Keep reading to know more about their marriage rituals.
What makes Buddhist Matrimonial Culture Special?
Buddhist matrimonial rituals are completely unique and far from forcing people to follow a said path in the name of religion. Unlike other faiths like Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, etc, Buddhist matrimonial rituals do not force people to get married for salvation. Their teachings are a lot based on people’s personal choices than the enforcement of any law or practices.
Buddhist marriage beliefs are liberal and focus more on the realization of promises than actually keeping the one. Their laws do not compel people to matrimony or lead a bachelor’s life. Also, you can start family, bear children only if you wish for it. There is no compulsion for the same in Buddhist matrimonial laws. Personal choices triumphs over any religious duty in Buddhism. The laws offer full freedom to their people to choose their spouses and the kind of wedding they wish for or absolutely no wedding! Also, they don’t consider it necessary to solemnize the marital vows like in other faith marriages. Instead, legalization and paperwork are given more importance to solidify the marriage.
Curious to know all the Buddhist matrimonial rituals and how it works? Well, below given is a detailed guide for the same. Keep reading to find out!
The pre-wedding Buddhist matrimonial rituals start with Khachang. It is where the groom’s family friend visits the bride’s house with a bottle of wine and Khada (a piece of silk cloth). Acceptance of the silk cloth by the bride’s family signify their acceptance of the proposal. Later, both families meet each other and compare the Kikas of the Buddhist bride and the groom. Also, the families set an engagement date together and decide the color of dresses for the new couple. The most surprising ritual about Buddhist matrimonial weddings is that the groom has to present a gift to his fiance after Khachang. This present can be as huge as land or a home in her name.
Nangchang is a formal engagement ceremony where the maternal uncle of both bride and groom plays a special role in negotiation. The boy’s side of the family showers the girl and her family with multiple gifts along with meats and other edible items. The specially cooked rice and chicken is given to the girl’s mother for breastfeeding her and taking care of her for so long. Again, the families match Kikas and decide the auspicious date for marriage. However, after the engagement, the couples can live together in either of their houses.
Buddhist Matrimonial Wedding Ritual
The fundamental Buddhist marriage ritual includes the gathering of both families in front of Lord Buddha and offer him prayers. The shrine of Lord Buddha is all decorated with flowers and candles. Afterward, the boy and the girl and others would recite the Tisarana, Pancasila, and Vandana in either English or Pali. The Buddhist groom and bride are then asked to shower flowers on the idol and light the candles and incense sticks around him. The next step is to recite the vows for the Buddhist matrimonial alliance. Their vows are as follows;
Bride’s marriage vows
“Towards my husband, I undertake to perform my household duties efficiently, be hospitable to my in-laws and friends of my husband, be faithful, protect and invest our earnings, discharge my responsibilities lovingly and conscientiously.”
Groom’s marriage vows
“Towards my wife I undertake to love and respect her, be kind and considerate, be faithful, delegate domestic management, provide gifts to please her.”
The Buddhist marriage traditions do not follow the typical patriarchal laws of sending the bride to a whole new place and expecting her to accept it all. Instead, it depends on the willingness of the bride and groom wherever they wish to stay after marriage. Many Buddhist households even welcome their daughter and son-in-law to stay at the girl’s place.
Music, Dance, and the Marriage Feast
Healthy celebrations have always been a part of Buddhist matrimony culture. All sorts of traditional food and drinks are there in the post-wedding celebrations. Buddhist dance forms include Sangini and Maruni from Nepal, Tamang Selo in Sikkim, Zo-mal-lok Bhutia from Bhutan and Singhi Cham, Yak Cham and Chabrung in Meghalaya and Sikkim.
Apart from that typical Buddhist cuisine like Nettle Soup, a variety of Orchid flowers and cottage cheese, cooked bamboo shots are also present. Many North Indian dishes like Dal Makhani, Naan, Channa, Paneer, etc. Additionally, Indian sweets like Gajar ka Halwa, and Gulab Jamun are even there for the feast.
So, these are some of the rituals and traditions of Buddhist matrimony. Unlike, other faiths Buddhists do not believe in limiting the rights and choices of the girl. Their marriage rituals are as liberating as their faith.