ShayariHolic sharabi shayari is the popular name for the custom of treating the hands and feet of a bride on the auspicious occasion of her wedding. This custom is practiced not only by Hindu women but is also observed by followers of other religions. It has roots in the olden era and is called ‘Smeerak’ in Punjabi, ‘Pindswara’ in Marathi and ‘Bheli’ or ‘Benda’ in Bengali. The term, ‘Shayari Holi’, has its origin in the words, ‘Odissi’ meaning joy and ‘iddhi’ meaning devotion. ‘Shayari Holi’ literally means the joy of devotion and ‘Odissi’ gives us the idea of joy.
The wedding ceremony in India is mostly arranged by the father of the bride who is known as ‘Kuldevta’. He makes all the necessary preparations before the marriage day. He makes the necessary arrangement for the flowers, the guests and the wedding feast. But in some parts of India the bride’s family does not arrange the marriage itself and the father of the bride takes care of arranging the marriage.
The wedding gifts are arranged by the groom’s family after the marriage day. These gifts are ‘Dahi Handi’ or ‘Kada’ and are generally small in value. These gifts are given to the bride and the family and friends of the bride on the occasion of ‘Dahi Handi’ or ‘Kada’. This tradition has its roots in the olden times when the bride’s hands were decorated with henna which was given as a gift from the groom’s family. Later on this tradition came to embrace all the family members and friends with a variety of gifts.
After the bride and the groom have left the house, the ‘Paniyatra’ or the wedding procession takes place. The Paniyatra is a grand affair with music, dance and the giving of gifts to various people. It passes through the main hall where the ‘Shashtikshali’ or the wedding canopy is placed. The gifts that are carried in this are the symbol of love and affection and hence the Paniyatra is conducted with great pomp and show.
The gifts that are exchanged during the Paniyatra include precious stones, cloths, jewelry, utensils, furniture, bedding etc. The gifts are exchanged between the ‘Brahma’ or the groom and the ‘Rama’. This is followed by the ‘Dahi Handi’ or the dance which is done by both the family members and friends. The ‘Dahi Handi’ is one of the most favorite traditions of the Indian religion. This dance is believed to be originated from the remotest of times. The hands and feet of the bride are decorated with lots of beautiful colors as a symbol of love.
The ‘Vratham’ ceremony is one of the highlights of the entire Paniyatra. In this ceremony the daughter of the groom is presented with flowers and other gifts by the ‘Mughal Raja’. After this the ‘Dahi Handi’ is performed by both the families. This is followed by the ‘Chitrakari Yatra’ which is considered to be the biggest gathering of the whole Paniyatra. This is when the couple finally ties the knot. The newlywed’s house is also adorned with lot of flowers and other gifts.
‘Seviyan’ and ‘Thalappas’ are two other significant events that take place on this very auspicious occasion. The first one is where the bride’s friends and family visit her and pay their last respects to her. After this she is given away in the custody of her mother and her future husband. The ‘Seviyan’ is also considered to be a great time for the groom to bid adieu to his wife.
The ‘Thalappas’ is a completely different affair. This is when the groom and the bride perform a series of exercises and stretches in the presence of holy men. Some of the important events of this occasion are when the bride’s mother gives her away to her husband, and the recitation of the sacred Kirtans. There is also a special ceremony conducted between the groom and his bride before the ‘Seviyan’. Whatever the particular celebration is, it is bound to be colourful and joyous.