GENEALOGY AND HISTORY SITES THAT ARE FREE TO ACCESS AND FREE TO USE

Hard to find but free places where you can research genealogy on line, without having to pay. Your comments and feedback are welcome to any post.

About me: Jerry E. Reed
First and foremost, I am a seasoned voice talent and media/public relations specialist with many other interests. I have been helping businesses with their narrations, presentations, commercials, and more all of my adult life.
For more information about Jerry Reed - Voice Talent visit:
http://jerryreed.com

I am also a genealogist, a
n avid photographer, and artisan bread baker.
My genealogy interest began before personal computers were a family "must have." Personal genealogy computer research has blossomed in the past 15 years. It wasn't long before someone decided that they could charge for information that should be free and in the public domain. I have always been frustrated by that. Now, thousands and thousands of pages of useful facts are coming on line daily in free-to-access digital archives located all over the world. So, I'm constantly searching for new sources of free on line material. Blog updates follow this section and all links are added to the master list below the new posts.
Updates are posted when
I discover another new source or when something I have already reviewed gets a major update.
Have fun and enjoy.
Note: if you find a link no longer works, please let me know so I can research and update it.



Sunday, February 8, 2009

Matrimonial investigation records - San Gabriel Mission - California

The matrimonial investigation records, or diligencias matrimoniales, are part of the McPherson Collection at the Claremont Colleges Digital Collection. This material was collected originally by William F. McPherson, an Orange County California rancher, scholar and collector. The records, predominantly from the Mission San Gabriel (other California missions are also represented), consist of notarized interviews with couples requesting marriage in the Roman Catholic Church during the period 1788-1861. According to the description on line, "The purpose of marriage investigations was to prove that the parties were free to marry." These digital images are scans of the original documents and are in Spanish. So, you may need the help of someone you know that can read Spanish. As with most romance languages, you can figure out the surnames and many of the words because of the similarities. So, finding specific family surnames should be reasonably easy.
When you get to the site, just click on the large image on the left side of the scrren. That will take you to the images and descriptive summaries.

ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/collection.php?alias=mir

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The matrimonial records are wonderful; do you think you will be adding baptismal and death records?

Jerry said...

I haven't seen them on line. But if I do find them and they are free to view on line, I certainly will add them. This particular source only had the matrimonial records available.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
Jerry

indian matrimonial sites said...

Thank you very much to share this information. It is very useful and informative.
indian matrimonial sites

Anonymous said...

Certain Missions are aren't so willing to freely give out their record info. Just wondered who Anonymous was looking for bc I have a lot of "Early Californio" birth/marriage/death record info.

Girish Jodi said...

Importance of Mehndi in Indian Weddings...

Indian marriages are known for their many rituals. In fact, the beauty of Indian weddings comes forth in the numerous traditions that are associated with the special celebration. Marriages being the most important day in one's life, mehndi has become an ornament for the soon to be brides. Infact one whole ceremony dedicated to its celebration popularly known as "Mehndi Ki Raat".Indian marriages are incomplete without dance, music and lots of laughter.

It is a common belief that the darker the color the mehndi leaves on the hands on a bride, the more will she be loved by her husband and mother-in-law. However, the significance of applying mehndi during weddings is not restricted just to sentiments and beliefs. Although these beliefs make the application of mehndi a much anticipated and charming tradition, the actual reason is of much deeper significance.

ExpressJodi.com-Common Platform for Happiness

Express Jodi said...

Once the prospective bride and groom is selected by the families and their kundlis matched to make sure that they have a happy married life , the big Indian wedding starts unfurling with its numerous unique culture. Marriage will happen to everyone sooner or later. May be you are busy pubbing and clubbing today but for a happy and secure tomorrow marriage is the only way out. Indian Marriages are not only about the couple, they involve the whole family. The Mehndi night is a festive night in the girl's family where professional Mehndi artists draw intricate designs in henna on the hands of the bride and other female members. During the Sangeet, professional entertainers are brought to regale the guests.

The individuals not only marry each other but tie an everlasting bond with each other's family. The Shagun is exchanged by the prospective families which consist of numerous gifts to the soon to be the wed couples. The wedding rituals start with the Haldi ceremony that is done to purify and ready the bride and groom for their union. Haldi and oil is poured over their body and hair by the family members after which they are forbidden to leave their house.

When any one's marriage is settled, an auspicious day is fixed for the wedding. On the appointed day the bridegroom is taken in a grand procession to the bride's house. He is generally clad in white silk with saffron spots on it. He wears a crown of flowers on his head. He is seated on a fine mare and is joined by a large number of men carrying different sorts of articles of pomp and grandeur. He is accompanied by his relatives and friends who are attired in their best clothes. The children wear very gaudy dresses. The procession is generally led by a band. At intervals fire-works are let off.

When the matrimony procession reaches the bride's house, shouts of welcome in different forms rend the air. The Swaagat is the ritual to welcome the groom and his entourage by the bride's family. The kith and kin of the bride come out to receive the bride-groom and his party and conduct them to a hall richly decorated and illuminated for the occasion. The bride watches the arrival from one window of the house, careful not to gaze upon his face and then comes out to welcome him. The guests and visitors take their seats in the same hall where they are served with tea and sweets. Some who are accustomed to smoke are offered hookas. Afterwards they are led to the dining hall where sweets, pudding, puries and other dainties are lavishly served to them.

During Vidai, the bride's brother is entrusted with couple's care. The Baraat leaves for the groom’s house are announced with drum beats and is welcomed by the women of the family. The wedding reception is the party thrown by the groom's family to announce the wedding and this usually takes place a day after the wedding.

Marriage involves all-the families! And the best of all, it Creates Generations! So think guys and hail this medium of happily remaining in a long term relationship.



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Express Jodi said...

Sindhi Wedding

The Sindhi wedding is presided over by a special priest known as "Mehraj", specialising in matchmaking and a Guryanni , who presents the horoscopes of eligible boys and girls to those for a match.

Pre Wedding Rituals

Once the prospective bride and groom is selected by the families and their kundlis match to make sure that they have a happy married life, the big Sindhi wedding starts unfurling with its numerous unique rituals.

Janya or the sacred thread ceremony starts with the groom donning the sacred yellow thread while the Mehraj whispers Guru Mantra in his ears. Though this ceremony ritualistically should be performed during adolescence , most Sindhi's now prefer to do this day or two considered incomplete. After this comes the two step engagement ritual called Kachchi Misri and Pakki Misri.

Kachchi Mishri

Kachchi Misri is the informal engagement between the bride and the groom , where they are given coconuts and misri that signifies their acceptance into each other's families. The shagun is exchanged by the prospective families which usually consist of numerous gifts (Shagun) to the soon wed couples. Additionally the bride family sends 5kg of sweets, five coconuts , a basket of fruit and a small token amount of money to the boy's family. The groom's sister covers the bride's head with a red duppata and feeds her suji sheera , followed by the other relatives.

Pakki Mishri

Pakki Mishri is the formal engagement ceremony where the rings are exchanged in the presence of the priest , either in a temple or at home. The groom's family gifts the bride , clothes, cosmetics and jewellery , with which she is then adorned by the groom's sister and sisters-in-law. Similarly the bride's family gifts a clay pot of misri. This is followed by a Varmala ritual where the bride and groom exchange garlands while the families finalise the verbal promise of their marriage or shaadi.

The engagement is followed by Berena, performed ten days before the marriage, where is satsang is dedicated to Jhulelal, Sindhi God. Dev Bithani refers to the installation of chakki (stome grinder) in the homes of both the bride and the groom, while a Brahmin priest performs the ritual. After this ceremony, the couple is not encouraged to leave their homes and Ainars (marriage guards ) are appointed for them. During Lada , the groom's family invites the women in their neighbourhood for a musical night where they all sing traditional songs accompanied by dholak beats.


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Express Jodi said...

An ode to the wedding songs in Punjabi Wedding

Punjab is the state of festiveness. It is said that punjabis can groove to the beats of dhol even if there is no occasion. As such, when there is a shaadi in the house, it given them a reason to sing and dance. In Punjab, there are different genres of songs when it comes to marriage songs. There are categories divided on the basis of moods and situations.Some of the most popular categories include:

Gharouli de Geet: These are happy songs that are sung when the pitcher is filled for bride/bridegroom's bath on the day of the wedding.

Sehra: As the Hindu priest ties the sehra (flower veil) on the forehead of the groom while chanting sacred mantras, the close family members sing sehra songs to pep up the environment.

Suhag: A fairly popular category of wedding songs, the suhag songs are sung by the bride herself as she praises her of her life. Some of these wedding songs also reveal her anticipation of the approaching life in her husband's home. In some households, bride friends and cousins also sing these songs on her behalf.

Jaggo: Jaggo songs are sung a night prior to the wedding. These songs are sung as a celebrative way to invite the neighbours to the wedding.

South Indian Melodies

Laali: These are songs of praise for the bride and the groom who are seated on a swing in a
ceremonial manner and are rocked back and forth. The back and fro motion of the swing in the ritual signifies the waves in the sea of life while the chains represent the eternal karmic link with god. Their movement on the swing depicts that the couple is together in body and mind that they would together cross the ocean of life.

Nalangu: During this ritual, the new bride sings and calls her husband to spend time with her. These songs fill the atmosphere with a sense of merriment. The time signifies the breaking of ice between the bride and the groom as there are several other playful activities that take place, subsequently. While family members break papads on the couple's heads toward off evil, the bride anoints husband's body with sandalwood and sings to him. The female relatives poke fun at the couple and the in-laws while singing songs.

Adding a Zing of Culture

A part from the pre-wedding ceremonies that are replete with the sounds of traditional wedding tunes and lyrics, these days marriages are also witnessing a sort of rebound that seem incomplete without these rhythms and libretto. Live performances usually have the popular singers belting out hit numbers some originals, some legendary wedding songs that set the mood for the evening and get the guests tapping to these numbers. Traditional wedding songs are those symphonies that have bouts of emotions hidden behind, that bring people together to celebrate and have fun and that which any Indian marriage is not complete without.

Expressjodi said...

A Complete guide for your auspicious occasion of marriage

Congratulations !

You are about to start a new life.. one filled with the promise of happiness and dreams coming true..
Your wedding is meant to be a momentous affair, but one that will demand a lot of planning and decision making. This wedding planner is specifically designed to provide an organised approach towards making your wedding a runaway success. By following this guide, step by step, and all your plans, we hope will run to perfection.

Setting the Wedding Date
The date is usually based on the auspicious time given by the family pandit, but it is thoughtful to make sure that it does not clash with any other event in the family, and is convenient for people to attend.

Engagement
This is the first of the formal ceremonies. Traditionally , rings and gifts are exchanged between the bride and the groom's families. Ascertain ring sizes and buy the engagement rings well in advance, so that the couple can try them out before the ceremony.

Invitation Cards
Invitation cards are now available in individualistic and unique designs.
*Place an order for invitations with a printer well in advance. A few extras will come handy.
*Also order for informal cards for writing "thank you" notes.
*It is in good order to place a small map of the venue on the invitation card.
*Start mailing the invites two months in advance for outstation guests.
*It is nice gesture to send invites to even those family members and friends who you know will not be able to attend the ceremony.

Legal Formalities
*Register at the matrimony sites.
*Inform change in address to the postal department and to all the relatives and friends.
*Apply for change of maiden name in important documents, ration card, etc.

Check List
Maintain a time Schedule.

Once the shaadi Date is decided.
* Plan your budget.
*Visualise your wedding theme.
*Choose the venue.
*Start interviewing service providers.
*Start your trousseau and jewellery shopping.
*Decide on your honeymoon destination.
*Draw the guest list.
*Buy a wedding planner and maintain records.

At 6 Months to the Wedding...
*Order the invites and stationery.
*Book the pandit, beautician , car hire agency.
*If travelling abroad for your honeymoon, check your visas, passports and medical clearance.
*Reserve your wedding night bridal chamber.
*Make hotel bookings for out-of-town guests.
*Start a beauty regime.

At 2 Months to the Wedding...
*Do an RSVP with guests and draw up a final guest list.
*Confirm all reservations.
*Choose gifts for relatives and friends.
*Do a hair and make-up run through.
*Make a list of photographs you wish to be taken.
*Make a list of the music you wish to be played.

At 2 Weeek to the marriage...
*Do a final confirmation of all the reservations and service providers.
* Confirm the transportation schdule.
* Give the caterer the final guest count.
*Make sure all attentdants have a copy of the wedding day schedule.
*Do a final dress fitting with shoes, jewellery and make-up.
*Pack for your honeymoon.
Its a once-in-lifetime moment. Surely make it your the best.

Expressjodi said...

Vivaah Wedding Decor Stylist

A wedding Planning Bussiness, Vivaah explores All the element that make weddings so special different. By tracing the romentic history of weddings from colonial times to the present suggesting ways to create a signature Wedding.

Cater to All function in the wedding such as:
*The Engagement
*The mehendi
*The Ceremony
*The sangeet
*The Reception

Engagement
This is the first of the formal ceremonies. Traditionally , rings and gifts are exchanged between the bride and the groom's families. Ascertain ring sizes and buy the engagement rings well in advance, so that the couple can try them out before the ceremony.

Mahendi
Indian marriages are known for their many rituals. In fact, the beauty of Indian weddings comes forth in the numerous traditions that are associated with the special celebration. Marriage day being the most important day in one's life. Infact one whole ceremony dedicated to its celebration popularly known as "Mehndi Ki Raat". Indian marriages are incomplete without dance, music and lots of laughter.
Destination Weddings

Ceremony

The Baraat is also a wonderful part of the indian marriage. The groom with the sehra tied to hide his face sits on the horse, while his mother holds a lamp lit for the household deity. It is merry ritual when they set forth for the marriage venue along with a band of musicians playing popular tracks, with his relatives groove their way to the wedding. The Swaagat is the ritual to welcome the groom and his entourage by the bride's family. The bride watches the arrival from one window of the house , careful not to gaze upon his face and then comes out to welcome him. At the entrance the groom places his right foot on top of the bride's foot to denote his dominating strength in their future life together. In the Sindhi tradition the groom is seen as the embodiment of lord Vishnu on the wedding day. The couple is seated with a screen separating them so that they cannot see each other while his feet are washed in a bronze thaali with raw milk by the bride's brother and is known as Paon Dhulai. The couple now gets ready for the wedding ceremony and is taken to the wedding platform where the ceremony is to take place.

Sangeet
Decide whether it will be a small family gathering or a big event with a professional band in attendance.
*Book a Mehndiwali well in advance. She/he should bring the necessary material.
*List the songs and hand out the lyrics to all or you can use taped music as a back-up.
*Hold practice sessions prior to the wedding, if you are so inclined.
*Arrange for snacks or a caterer if the gathering is large.

Reception
Decide whether it will be sit-down affair or a buffet.
*Make the arrangements in advance and confirm with the venue manager/caterer in writing.
*Specify the number of guests expected to the caterer if you do not want to pay for extra food.
*Confirm arrangements a day before the event.
*Set up a gift table and assign a family member to receive gifts. Maintain a list of the gifts.
*Allocate space for alive band, bar and dining.
*After the reception, move flower bouquets and leftover liquor to the couple's residence.

While a destination wedding is a unique alternative to the traditional wedding, it is only successful when planned by an expert. Destination weddings require considerable planning and research, so couples should look for someone they know they can trust..

the main concept of vow's is to create an Exclusive One Stop Shop for all your wedding needs, right from the invitation card to the Honeymoon Plan.
it will be the first and final destination for brides and bride grooms seeking exquisite resources.

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Nishitha KM said...

hi... thanks for sharing the post.i love music,without music life would be a mistake.sankar is one of the best singers in bangalore and my favorite too.if you people want to enjoy music like cocktail and koraoke apart of your problems just go to his shows,damn sure you will like it ...

Expressjodi said...

Your Wedding Handbook

Get Organised

Plan your leave from work

Apply for leave work as much in advance as possible. Complete all pending tasks
and divide the workload between cooperative co - worker. “This way you can get up
to speed real quick when you return from your blessed – out honeymoon”

Delegate small wedding day tasks

Delegate duties in advance – get a couple of close friends to be by your side during
the ceremony to calm your nerves and handle the gifts, some relatives (in rotation)
to greet guests at the entrance, someone with a list of all vendor contact
information.

Have a chat with your photographer

Decide the theme you want for the marriage pictures and give the photographer a
list of moments you want captured.

Pack your accessories and wedding night bag

Pack a bag with all the accessories you’ll require to get dressed on the wedding
day. This includes jewellery, makeup, hairpins, safety pins, undergarments. Leave
this bag next to your wedding dress along with your bag of “just – in – case” items.
Also, pack a small bag to carry with you to the hotel for the wedding night. This bag
should have everything you’ll need. Besides lingerie, make sure to pack a change of
clothes for the next morning, your cosmetics pouch and a midnight snack (since no
one seems to eat at their own wedding!)

Gather Memories

Make a DVD of the days leading up to the wedding

“What I’m sure I’ll continue to find truly endearing and entertaining in the years to
come is the DVD of my wedding preparation – from the sangeet practices to the
makeup trails to some heartfelt moments with my family”
Maybe you can include messages from your close friends and family as well.

Write out ‘Thank you’ notes

A lot of people have worked tirelessly, spent lots of money and treated you like a
princess in the weeks leading up to your big day. Make some time to write
personalized cards for all of them and give it to each one before the wedding
ceremonies begin.

Look And Feel Your Best

Oodles of pampering

This is perhaps one of the most essential and enjoyable parts of your pre – wedding
routine. Book appointments at least 10 days in advance for your pre – wedding
beauty regimen, preferably at a spa you frequent. Make sure to include a stress –
relieving massage to soothe those nerves.

Get lots of sleep the night before

“No matter what beauty regiment you go through in the days before your wedding,
unless you’re well rested on the night before the big day, you will neither look nor
feel your best,”. “The last thing you need is a headache putting a
damper on your mood.” So the evening before your wedding should be a quite one –
spend quality time with your family, eat a healthy meal and get at least eight hour
of sound sleep. Eat something and use the washroom before the ceremony. You
have got a long day ahead of you. Grab a healthy snack before you put on your
makeup and use the washroom right before you head out to the mandap”

Focus on your husband – to – be

If, in spite of your best efforts, things get too chaotic, try this trick : “Every bride will have a moment of nerves, no matter how perfect
everything around her is. It’s human nature. When this happened turned complete focus on my handsome fiancĂ© and on the beautiful life we were about to
embark upon together. My mind instantly quietened down and I had a lovely smile
on my face that made me look even more fabulous in the pictures”. Maybe
you could even give his friend a note to slip to your fiancé right before the
ceremony. This could pep things up a bit for the two of you and help ease the stress
too!

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Expressjodi said...

Great expectations

Life is full of surprises, particularly if you are a newly - wed . Expressjodi you a glimpse into the future and tells how to be prepared to face married life

Love is all about romance whereas marriage is a lot about responsibility. When two different individuals from different backgrounds live together, differences of opinion on things like spending habits, career, having and raising a baby, sharing household responsibilities etc, are bound to crop up, the key is to broaden your outlook and accept all the changes that marriage brings, and to remember that marriage is a momentous change for you and your spouse. And, fear not, over a period of time, you will find a way to make it work.

Responsibility

With marriage comes a whole lot of responsibility. "From the time you ger married, the decisions you make will not be yours alone, but your partner's as well. This is because your choices will impact both of you. But this doesn't mean that you're tied to a ball and chain. "It only means you have a companion with you for life. In fact, in your capacity as a spouse, you become your partner's caretaker, friend, confidante and even punching bag etc.

Finances

Arguments over money are bound to happen, so be prepared for it. And unless you establish some ground rules for dealing with financial issues, you will continue to have these arguments. Bear in mind that you are now a part of a unit, and no longer flying solo.

In - laws or outlaws?

if you thought that marriage is all about sharing your life with your significant other, think again, and this time, factor in your in - laws into the equation. When you're used to a particular lifestyle, moving in with your in - laws can be a rude shock. You will be required to make changes in your daily routine. Like waking up a little earlier to help around the house or rescheduling your plans on weekends or even modifying some of your eating habits. these might seem like an additional burden, particularly if you are a working woman. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to handling your in - laws. They may be rigid in their ways, but there is always a way to work out a compromise.

Sharing space

Marriage involves sharing everything - whether it is sadness or glad tidings, chores or finance, which can be a difficult task. This is why marriage necessitates an equal contribution from both side. " Sharing is absolutely essential for a happy marriage,. Besides making it easier to run the show, it also brings you closer to your partner, and cement a bond in a way that only experience can.
Differnces of opinion

Shaadi brings two different individuals together, as well as two sets of arguments for everything. Remember that your husband is as new to the marriage and the relationship as you, and he is facing the same issue for the first time as well.Irrespective of the nature of the relationship, any two people are bound to have differences of opinion at some point of time, It is how you handle these differences that mtters. The best antidote for deviant interest lies in adapting to the situation. "Be carteful not to retaliate for the sake of it,"

Planning for the future

As a single independent working woman, you may be used to your lifestyle, going on holidays or splurging on the latest pair of Jimmy Choos. But married life is a journey and you need to plan carefully to get to your destination. "Planning is the key. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page as far as long - term goal are concerned," "Whether or not you plan to have a baby or deciding on investments for the future and are thing that you should discuss in advbance, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises in you married life,"

Expressjodi said...

Brahmin Shaadi
Historically, the Brahmins in india were divided into two major groups based on geographical origin of the people. The Brahmin groups that lived to the north of the vindhyas were referred to as Dravida Brahmins. Each group was further divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement.

Sagaai
The Sagaai or the engagement ceremony symbolises commitment However, the South Indian Brahmin do not lay stress on the presence of bride and the groom in their Sagaai, rather it focuses on commitment between the parents of the groom and the bride. 'Latto' i.e., 'engagement plate' Which consist of coconut, flowers, turmeric, betel leaves and betel nuts hold more importance, in their engagement ceremony. The Maithil Brahmin bride of bihar makes her wedding affair stand apart by receiving the blessing from the Dhobi's (washerman's) wife - a compulsory tradition in the Bihari Brahmin wedding.

Haldi
In Haldi ceremony turmeric powder is mixed with milk, almond oil and sandalwood and applied to the bride and the groom. In Kashmiri Pandit this ceremony has a twist becuase cold, white yoghurt is poured on the bride as an alternative to haldi. ritual is followed by a special custom called Shankha (shell) Paula (coral) in bengali Brahmins, where seven married women embellish the bride's hand with red and white bangles, the shell is supposed to calm the bride and the coral is believed to
be beneficial for health. Mehndi is also applied on every bride's hands during the Mehndi ceremony. However, a Bengali Brahmin bride applies alta (red dye).

Jaimala
After the ceremonious arrival of the groom, the garlands are exchanged between the groom and the bride, while the priests chant mantras. Jaimala is the symbol of unifying two souls into one. But in tamil nadu, "Oonjal", a unique jaimala ceremony is performed and could be best decribed as a tug of war. In this ceremony, the women sing songs to encourage the bride and groom to exchange the garlands while the uncles persuade the soon to be couple not to Exchange the garlands.Before the ceremony of jaimala, the bride makes a majestic entry in Bengali weddings.

Mangal Phere
Fire is considered the most pious element in the Brahmin weddings and seven circles around that fire holds the seven promises that the nuptial couple make to each other amidst the Vedic mantras. The Brahmin wedding is deemed incomplete without the seven rounds around the sacred fire. Unlike other Brahmin weddings, in Gujarati weddings only four pheras are taken which are called the mangalpheras where the pheras represent four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Miksha (religious, moral, prosperity and salvation). Likewise in Malayalee Brahmin weddings, pheras are taken only thrice.

Post wedding ceremony vidaai
After pheras, the bride's family and friend bid her teary vidaai (farewell). The Kashmiri pundits make their vidaai even more special. their charming ritual, "roth khabar" is performed on a saturday or tuesday after the wedding. In Roth
khabar, the bride's parents send a roth (bread decorated with nuts) to their son - in - law's family. But the bride accompanies She stay with her parents and returns only when someone from in laws comes to fetch her back.

Griha pravesh
The new bride is greeted by her mother - in - law with Arti and tilak. The bride, who is regarded as the Goddess laxmi, enters the groom's house after the groom's house after kicking rice - filled pot. In Kannada Brahmin marriages, the groom changes the name of his wife in the name change ceremony where he decides a name for his wife and inscribes it on a plate containing rice with a ring. In Bihar, a very strange ritual is performs at the groom's place.

SEO Moz said...


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Expressjodi said...

Fertility Rituals

Marriage is one of the biggest fertility rituals Known in Indian culture. When two people get married. they are said to enter grihasta ashram where they are expected to bear children. satify their sexual urge, earn money and follow religious practices. Hindu marriages profess the idea of coming together of the energies and paving way to a new creation.

Offering of Grains

Throughout India, one thing that remains common to all communities is offring of grains in wedding ceremony. Mostly rice, puffed rice or whole grains, these grains are fed to the sacred fire in different ceremonies.

Importance of Shiva's Bael leaves

Holy Bael leaves are proffered in several ceremonies before the wedding and after it. In many communities in india, before the wedding day arrives, Bael leaves are placed in earthen pots which are topped with different kinds of cereals. After the wedding, the sprouted seedlings are then released in a flowing river or a pool. This ritual is performed to invoke blessings of Lord Shiva upon the married couple and pray for their progeny.

Vishnu's pious Lotus

As per mythology, at the time of creation of the universe, while lord Vishnu was pondering over the creation of mankind, a pious lotus rose out of his navel. On that lotus was seated Lord Brahma who paved way to the creation and illumination of the universe. Thus, lotus remains symbolic of procreation, birth and fertility. It is Therefore, offered during wedding puja to the gods to confer potency upon the couple. Also, At the time of a Hindu wedding, the bride and the groom are given the stature of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu because they represent the eternal companionship and exemplify how a relationship between husband and wife should be.

Nose ring

Usually seen as a piece of accessory, almost all brides sport nose ring on their wedding day. In some communities, girls are told to get their nose pierced before they tie the knot.

Sacred coconut rituals

Across India, since time immemorial coconut has enjoyed its association with human fertility in a sacrosanct manner. In Gujarat, there is a ritual of bride presenting a coconut in a customary way to the groom at the time of the marriage. Here coconut is symbolic of the progency of the couple that the bridegifts the groom. Of all the fruits, coconut is most closely related to human skull because of the three marking on its base that resemble human facial features.

The mantras of virility

During saat pheras in a Hindu marriage, there are several mantras that are chanted for progency of the couple. While the first phera is for a long lasting companionship, in the second Phera, "Kutumburn rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam", the bride promises the groom that she will fill his with love and will bear children of him.

The History

There was a time when potency was considered as the be all and all of all activities. The earliest ritual of fertility among Hindus can be dated back to the Harappan civilization where it has been discovered that people worshipped clay figurines of a mother goddess who represented fertility. Several phallic symbols representing gods in sitting position wearing bull's horns (Bull being a universal symbol of male potency) have also been found at the sites of indus Valley Civilization. As the world evolved and ancient civilizations paved way to the modern societies, marriage started being considered as a mandatory ceremony before women could conceive. Also, the idea of marriage was propelled by the thought of having the family legacy move ahead; so that families could get heirs.

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