Thursday, March 17, 2016

An Overview of Maharashtrian Wedding Sarees

Weddings are special. And if it’s an Indian wedding, it is bound to be a grand affair. The colourful set-up is all about Hindu traditions, celebrations that are no less than carnivals, bold and bright colour dressed guests, bride and the groom and finally, rituals that get them married. In a multi-cultural country like India, each part celebrates this holy ritual differently. Based on the culture, the rituals differ, the dresses differ and so does the set-up of the vivah (Hindi for Indian weddings).

A Maharashtrian wedding, is a completely traditional one that is simple as well as vibrant. The traditions of a Maharashtrian wedding is as per the Maharashtrian community, their religious and family values. Each member in a Maharashtrian family has a role to play in the entire ceremony. Maharashtrians, as a traditional ritual adhering community, believe in following the common ceremonies such as Mehendi, Milni, Jaimala, Saptapadi, Kanyadaan and pheras. In all these rituals, one of the most significant things is a bride’s saree or the traditional Maharashtrian wedding sarees.

Typically, for a Maharashtrian bride, the wedding sarees are of traditional golden orange, or a yellow marigold coloured saree. The other common coloured wedding sarees that brides are found to be wearing include gold, green and yellow. These Maharashtrian wedding sarees are of six yards (standard) or a nine yard saree. The colour of the bride’s saree makes it easier for people to recognise the community.

Traditional Six yards cotton saree of Maharashtra

Paithani sarees, originating from the city of Paitan, are one of the typical and traditional types of Maharashtrian wedding sarees. These are made of gold and are of the silk variety. These kinds of sarees have different patterns, mostly in the oblique-square designs mainly on the borders. The saree can be found to be having motifs in the form of peacocks, kaleidoscopes and parrots in the end of the saree, better known as pallu of the saree. These kinds of sarees are available either in one colour or two colours with broad golden borders. These silk sarees are hand weaved and takes at least a month to complete.

In the earlier times, Maharashtrian brides were known to wear the Nauvari sarees. The design of the nauvari sarees is unique It has a trouser-like design as the nine yard saree is designed to be wrapped around each leg. This would give a trouser like design instead of the full length skirt design that is usually associated with a saree. Nauvari sarees are believed to be more comfortable to wear since these can be worn without a petticoat.

Like any other Indian brides, a Maharashtrian bride also wears traditional gold jewelleries. Some of these can be the statement pieces, heirloom jewelleries or simply, some new designs. Jewelleries like the one choker style necklace made of gold known as Thushi is an essential item alongside the jhumkas (earrings), nath (mango shaped nose ring) and the bajuband or the armlet. Many of the brides also wear the green and gold bangles in both the hands and the half-moon shaped bindi on the forehead. Most of the bride’s jewelleries are gifted to her by the elders, especially the parents or the elders in the family who save money to buy gold for the marriage of the daughter. Since the Maharashtrian wedding sarees have a traditional feel, the gold jewelleries make real good adornments with them.

Any Indian Hindu wedding is nothing less than a grand celebration of rituals and relationships. Usually celebrated for close to three days, the brides get to wear different types of sarees depending on the occasions and the requirements. For the Maharashtrian brides, they can choose to wear the different kinds of traditional Maharashtrian sarees during each occasion and the traditional Maharashtrian wedding sarees on the big day. 

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