is pleased to provide an insight to these traditions...
traditional ceremonies and are an integral part of the Buddhist traditions. A
typical Buddhist wedding is comprises of two components, Buddhist and
Non-Buddhist components. The Buddhist component includes the recitation of
prayers and the offering of food and other gifts to monks and images of the
Buddha. The non-Buddhist component is rooted in folk traditions, followed by the
Earlier it was a rare sight to see Buddhist monks to be present at the actual
marriage ceremony. Since they were required to be present at funerals, their
presence at a marriage was not considered good. Buddhist weddings are usually
conducted in a temple. These days Buddhist monks are present at the ceremony but
depart for lunch immediately after the ceremony.
Rituals and Customs
The couple first bows down in front of the Buddha. They then recite Buddhist
prayers & chants and light incense and candles before the image of the Buddha.
The parents of the couple then place a loop of string on their heads to
basically connect them. Once they are connected the couple will make offerings
of food, flowers, and medicine to the monks present. Cash gifts put in a temple
may also be made to the temple.
The priests then place a thread on the heads of the present monks. Recitations
in Pali are made to invoke blessings and good wishes for the couple. The string
is connected to a container that will be sanctified for the ceremony. Merit is
supposed to travel through the string and touch the water. Buddhist weddings
have elaborate procedures keeping in view with Buddhist tenets.
A red paste is created and a small portion is applied to the forehead of the
bride and the bridegroom. This is similar to what is done at Hindu weddings. The
bride’s mark is done with the butt of a candle keeping in with the tradition of
not touching women. Buddhist weddings in recent times have cut down on the
elaborate ceremonies involved. Monks also have a greater role as compared to
earlier times when they were forbidden. The fusion of modernity and scientific
knowledge have made their influence on Buddhist weddings too.
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