A Hindu marriage joins two individuals for life, so that they can pursue dharma (duty), artha (possessions), kama (physical desires), and Moksha together. It also joins two families together, Hindu weddings are usually associated with arranged marriages. Traditionally Hindu parents look for a match for their son/daughter in their own community. The two groups of parents arrange for the couple get together, they do this to help prepare an emotionally and financially stable marriage for their children.
Hindu weddings are extravagant, the most common colours are red and gold. In typical Hindu weddings guests sit on the floor, the traditional Hindu wedding ceremony consists of 15 rituals; couples can choose to select only those that have special meaning to them. The bride wears a sari bought by the groom for her, the saris are usually red with gold detailing. Flowers and garlands are a very important part of the Hindu wedding, they symbolize acceptance and welcome.
- The "tying the knot" ritual, in which the groom ties a gold necklace around the bride's neck.
- The Saptapadi ritual is when the bride and groom take seven steps together these steps represent a long and happy marriage, blessings such as wealth, happiness, strength and devotion.
- The bride feeds the husband a mixture of honey and yogurt to ensure good health and a sweet start to their marriage.
- The bride stands on a stone to signify her faithfulness and loyalty to the marriage.
- A marriage mark on the brides forehead, this is done with sedhu (orange power), this shows the world that she is now married. After the mark is applied the couple should touch each other their parents feet to receiver their parents blessings.
Om: Christians have the cross and Hindus have the Om. The Om occurs in every prayer, the symbol is actually a sacred syllable representing Brahman ( the source of all existence.) The Om is also used to signify divinity or authority
The Swastika symbol has a lot of relevance for people in India and has been used for over 3,000 years. The Swastika is considered to be a mark of auspiciousness and good fortune. The Swastika points in a clockwise direction as a symbol of progress in social, spiritual and financial aspects of life. The Swastika symbolizes the eternal nature of Brahman, it points in all directions to represent the Absolute that is Brahman. (Brahman is everything) The word Swatika is a fusion of two Sanskirt words 'Su' meaning good and 'Asati' meaning to exist together it means 'May Good Prevail.'