Weddings in India are known for being magnificent and the Wedding Procession or ‘Barat’ is the highlight of these beautiful events. Showcasing the joy of the Groom’s family, the ‘Barat’ consists of many different elements that are almost as majestic as the wedding itself. The procession starting from the Groom’s place to the Bride’s home or the wedding venue is a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds that captivate the boisterous nature of Indians. What makes it so special is that all the friends, relatives and acquaintances of the Groom come together at one place to share the joy and the celebration of two people getting united for life.
Barat is an important part of the ceremonies that take place as a part of an Indian Wedding. The Groom usually proceeds towards the venue mounted on a horse or horse-led carriage that is bedecked with regal finery. Nowadays the Grooms also opt for travelling by a decorated car but there are still many people who take pride in going by the traditional means.
The people in the Barat also called the ‘Baraatis’, dance and cheer accompanied by a Musical Band and light-bearers. The procession advances slowly, with the ‘Baraatis’ halting at places to dance and fireworks are lit as a celebration of the merriment. The whole scene is so lively, that passersby cannot help but stop and gaze at the enjoyable affair.
Upon arrival, the ‘Baraat’ is welcomed with fervor by the Bride’s family, after which the ‘Baraatis’ get acquainted. During this ceremony, the Bride’s mother performs the ‘Aarti’ before the Groom to bless him on this auspicious day. Sometimes, the Baraatis are also welcomed with flowers and sweets or even a spray of Rose water.
Then, the Groom, accompanied by the ’Baraatis’ enters the venue, where the people from the Bride’s side eagerly come forward to catch a glimpse. The variation existing in the diverse cultures of India is reflected at times in the ‘Baraat’ ceremonies that vary in subtle ways across the weddings taking place in India.