Diversity of Traditions Followed in Punjabi Wedding

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Rung
  • Rasm-e-Henna
  • Dosti Gana
    Other Rituals
    Making of Dosti Gana
  • Symbolic Value of Coconut
  • Dry Dates (Chhuara) Symbolism & Benefits
  • Symbolism & Spiritual/Medicinal Purpose of Walnut
  • Historical Study of Walnuts
  • Practical uses
  • Wedding Flower
  • History of Wedding Flower
  • Tools/Materials
  • Methodology
  • Conclusion


Pakistan is a nation exuberated by rich experience of profound social assorted variety alongside local and Sub continental foundations. Punjabi relational unions are rich portrayal of Punjab ethnicity. Prearranged and semi-arranged matrimonies in Pakistan frequently get long periods of time to confirm. Wedding traditions and celebrations also are different significantly depending on ethnic surroundings and religion. A typical Pakistani especially Punjabi wedding has at least three main customs:

  • Rung and Rasm-e-Henna
  • Nikah/baraat
  • Walima

Mehndi/Rrasm-e henna in Wedding ceremony is one of the profound festivities that depict the fertile cultural heritage of the region.

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Rung is a very colorful and queer part of the rituals followed in Punjabi weddings. The Bride's family throws colorful paint on the Grooms side to confirm that a wedding will take place. The color will dye the clothes and when the people return to their homes, it'll be proof that what has just happened. This event indicates the beginning of life full of glorious and vibrant colors and wishing a couple and their family a colorful and happy union.


Rasm-e-Heena or mehndi is common ritual Punjabi wedding that is named after henna, a dye primed from the Lawsonia inermis plant which is assorted into a paste form to apply onto the hands of the bride and groom. This event is held before the main wedding ceremony called Baraat. Usually in Punjab's mehndi was traditionally held separately for the bride and the groom. However these days this ceremony is generally combined. Groom and bride sit together and now days this function is held and celebrated at marriage halls. The groom normally dressed in a casual Punjabi look which is generally black or white shalwar qameez, sherwani. Brides typically dressed in an embellished bright colored shalwar kameez, Sharara or lehnga. Mostly it is related to the color of henna, green, and yellow. In Rasm e-Henna Married women of the family and the best friends who are closely related to the bride apply henna to her hands, and feed her sweets. This ritual is supposed to bring good luck and deep desire of prolonged existence to the bride's/groom married life. In the case of groom Rasam started by the mother of groom and later the Rasm of dosti gana being done by the best friend of groom. The talent of applying henna in hands and feet is identified as Mehndi and it is a very aged practice and antique art form of the Asian subcontinent. The propagators were the Mughals. The histories of Mehndi culture bring forward by the Mughals in India all through 12th century AD.

In that period the royal and abundant community uses to beautify themselves with mehndi. The designs were intricately made by the artists or beauticians. Origin of mehndi also considered from Egypt because historian also found traces of henna art forms in Egypt. Henna has the clout of medicine was also used as a beauty and for its healing power for ages. The stunning patterning prevalent in India today has emerged only in the 20th century. India, most of the women from that time in India is described with their hands and feet with red stain designs. The bushes of henna plant can be grown in dry and hot conditions. The leaves are processed as a skin conditioner and as a reliever for rashes. The henna used for mehndi comes from a bush which is grown in the Africa and India. It is used for hair dye and as well as it work like hair conditioner.

1st main function held earlier to the marriage is decoration with temporary henna /mehndi styles on hands and feet. Mehndi artist's are called to the homes of the boy and woman and applies mehndi to the palms of the feminine members of the family, and also the hands and feet of bride. A basket containing mehndi dress and bangles is handed around thus ladies will select those who match the outfit they commit to wear to the marriage. The Mehndi ritual takes place within the mood of a recreation to want the bride/groom heartiest prayers by their friends, associates, and family. Bride and different girls get (henna) designs done, on their hands and feet (most girls savvy done exclusively on their hands however the bride gets it done on each hand and feet). For the bride the mehndi is distributed by the long run Mother in Law, fantastically wrapped, and adorned.

Dosti Gana

Punjabi wedding get-together is a solid impression of Punjabi culture. Fabulousness and marvelousness of Mayoon and Mehndi occasion is 'Dosti Gana'. That symbolizes unadulterated and profound holding of fellowship between bride/groom and their companions. The custom of bringing dosti gana for bride or man of the hour from companions is an exceptional and energizing component of Mehndi night. It's a figure of adoration and all the best for his/her inevitable new life.

For the most part the dearest companion or a companion designated by bride would carry dosti gana with her family and different companions, which may incorporate gana, mehndi, ubtan, fragranced oil (to apply in ceremony of Mehndi), mehndi outfit, gajray, churian, mehndi footwear, paranda, mehndi thaal, desserts and bunches of blessings to favor the young lady with enjoyment. For man of the hour's dosti gana it's somewhat unique as to incorporate dosti gana, mehndi, ubtan, oil, laurels,and extravagant adorned wrap-on for this shoulders, sweets, mehndi thaal, dholl player, and endowments.

Young ladies/friends can be increasingly imaginative to make a 'Dosti Gana' rather to take a pre-produced readymade. A few thoughts can be connected to create an interesting and wonderful dosti gana for your dearest mate. It's usually made up of by utilizling crisp/paper blooms, porcelain mixture things, shimmering stones and diamonds, extravagant patches and work, woolen/sparkle or shaded glass balls, dots, pearls, bangles, modest chimes and assortment of different trimmings. Dosti gana occasion can be increasingly customized and elite with the exhibition and embellishment of the considerable number of things included.

Other Rituals

Arbala: A young nephew or cousin wears a similar clothing as the man of the hour. He is known as the sarbala/shabbala (guardian of the husband to be) and goes with him.

Sehra: just like the bride's home, the Vatna and Ghara Gharoli are trailed by the sprucing up of the husband to be in his wedding clothing. After the man of the hour has spruced up in his wedding outfits, a prayer (supplication) is performed. From that point, the man of the hour's sister ties the sehra on the lucky man's head. After the fruition of Sehrabandi service, every one of the individuals who witness the capacity gives endowments and money to the kid as a gesture of good luck.

Making of Dosti Gana

There are several ways to make dosti ganas for the wedding ceremonies by the finest buddies of bride/groom. By interviewing/ investigating the gana shops in Jhelum. Came to know that at the time where there was no advancements of accessories material in the market people / friends of bride/groom used to make theses gana at home with help of available items of eatable and decorative material at home. According to gana seller they used to make gana by simple thread or any piece of shimmery cloth, wrapped by some rice and grains as well. Chunk of sugar was also part of ornamental stuff. Another thing small metallic bells called (ghungru) in local tongue which stung together to create a sound like a wedding bells that sounds so striking, dosti gana (with metallic bells). Apart from the metallic bells best friends of bride also used to attach some pearls in local language moti which also beautifies the essence of friendship behind the gana.

Now a day Dosti gana has been made by:

  • Dried fruits
  • Chocolate, candies, and chew gums.
  • Metallic bells,
  • Plastic glittery balls

The part of string pattern along with these there are congratulations messages in local language ( mubrak hoo) also been included in the same string to create the harmony among the dosti gana.

Some of friends make it with fresh flowers. A string length is selective choice of individual to have long or short. Most of the friends are happy to have it too longsome how it also indicates the bond of friendship between them.

These ganas made up of different designs and different patterns. Some are made short just compatible by the groom or bride. Some friends show their feel friendliness for their friends by making it too long same as with the height of bride/groom. There is a list of dried fruits which majorly used in making of gana.

  • Dried Coconuts
  • Dry dates
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins

All these fruits have symbolic value behind them.

Symbolic Value of Coconut

The coconuts have compatibility with the red blood cells in human body. Coconut has a tendency of healing so it can be used in medicinal purposes to compensate for low blood levels temporarily. In terms of spirituality, for coconut it is usually believed to have a purification control. When any one drinks/eats the extract of coconut or in any form this means to clean the sprit. A lot of cultures around the world practices this. Coconuts have sacred meaning in Hindu religion practice. The ceremony of breaking a coconut has very representative and symbolic feature in Hinduism. Each corner of India has its own tradition of breaking a coconut. Coconut water symbolizes cleansing. Therefore, it is believed that when a priest or spiritual mentor cracks a coconut, he wipes out the self-centeredness of a person. In Hinduism, it can be considered a method of humbling yourself to deity. That is why it is possible to perform this ritual with representatives of different religious groups. In Hinduism, there are various rituals associated with utilizing coconuts. One of the most fascinating rituals is connected with the Deity Maruti and coconut which is believed to forefend people from black magic. The preacher of Maruti executes ritual over the person who looks for to be released him/her from the black magic. After which they have to pray to Maruti and ask for forgiveness. When the ritual is done, the preacher broke the coconut and discloses the nature of black magic that was in the person. For instance, if the coconut breaks into pieces while the person is holding it, it is believed that he or she has under the spell of dark magic. This great magic can make a person experience so many disasters. Another ritual requires that people who desire to turn into humble or noble man to God have to drink the water from a coconut. As mentioned before, coconut water is cleansing and therefore a celestial tool for asking forgiveness. Some people drink coconut water, just because it is believed in Hinduism that after drinking this water they will be forgiven by their Lord. Coconut is additionally considered an energy preserver, it is believed that one can defend your negative energy in a coconut and then shatter it on the ground. People who endeavor to do this type of ritual might experience an incipient wave of puissance in their hands. So being an inhabitant of subcontinent forefather adopted this school of thought from Hinduism

Dry Dates (Chhuara) Symbolism & Benefits

Dry dates are basically dates without the moisture which make them look harder and shriveled; these are also used for religious purposes during festivals in Indian households. Dates are considered as sacred fruit as its value also mention in hadthith and Quran as well. And it's a symbol of good will. Due to mentioned significance in Quran it has been used in making of dosti gana to wish a Muslim couple a good and healthy start. While talking about dry fruits eaten during winter and rainy season to keep oneself warm and cozy, this gooey, dark brown and uniquely tasty dry-fruit come to mind. These dry dates have all the goodness one needs in the winter months as they are well known to possess many health benefits. In addition, they are excellent energy boosters and a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals that can help you regain good health, moist skin, silky hair, and sharp mind. Other than that this small bite gooey date is a full meal and an energy boaster. In Arab culture it has been used as full meal while travelling in long deserted journeys and wars as well.

Symbolism & Spiritual/Medicinal Purpose of Walnut

The Walnut is a symbol of intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration. These nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods. Eating walnuts may improve brain health and prevent heart disease and cancer.

Natives while using it as a part of "Gana" see the Walnut as an symbol clarity and focus, gathering positive energy, and a good luck charm to start a new chapter of marital life.

Historical Study of Walnuts

Native American Indians enjoyed the pleasures and health benefits long before European explorers arrived. From 500 AD to the end of the 18th century Europeans used walnuts to create rich, inexpensive, nutritious milk, a common household staple. Rich families were able to afford the larger, cultivated variety while the poor foraged for wild walnuts.

During the fourteenth century, walnuts started to appear on the dessert list at French royal banquets.

King Louis XI's barber used the heated edge of a walnut shell instead of a razor as he thought it would prevent nicks.

In the 17th century, walnuts became an important and necessary staple in France. During the famine of 1663 poorer families resorted to grinding up shells to create unappetizing bread.

In the early days of jet transportation, crushed walnut shells were used to scour the compressor airfoils clean.

During war times the Europeans made gunstocks from the firm wood of the walnut tree. During World War I, hardy black walnut was used for airplane propellers.

In World War II, many French families turned to walnuts for a source of protein when they had little to eat. So the usage of walnuts in dosti gana is worthwhile because it has brief history its excellent use from Romans to inhabitants of subcontinent.

Practical uses

In Indian culture, walnut is found in offerings in main festival celebrated in Hinduism called Diwali. Apart from this Walnut oil is costly and is used carefully most specifically in salad dressings. It's also used oil paint as a binding medium.

Wedding Flower

Wedding Flowers play an essential component of wedding, used for equally for decoration and as a tradition in gana making. Flowers utilized in a Punjabi marriage ceremonies will vary from natural Cut Flowers, mostly artificial flowers like ceramic artificial glittery flowers, to hand-woven flowers with Swarovski crystals, and silk blooms.

History of Wedding Flower

In early Roman Weddings, Brides carried herbs under their veils to ensure fertility and ward off evil spirits. In Weddings in ancient Greece, the Ivy was used to represent enduring love. Different customs have adopted different conventions in the use of flowers in weddings. Lotus represents four virtues in the Buddhist religion as well as being the cornerstone of Asian flower culture.

Moderately priced anemone flowers represent 'expectation,' which seems fitting for an event that symbolizes a future together. Other interpretations include good luck and protection against evil, each color symbolizes something different. Colors also represent some symbolic and emotional values for example, Pink represents boldness, red symbolizes love, and white indicates talent, wealth, abundance, and truth


Basically it seems quiet an easy task to make "Gana", but creating something unique and extra ordinary isn't a piece of cake. Every individual carries a different set of mind and choice of material and ornaments used to create a "Gana'. Gana makers use their inventive skills to make it attractive and appealing. Basic tools required to sew a "Gana " are big sewing needle, cotton crochet thread, pair of scissors, coins, currency notes, dried coconuts, dried dates, flowers (plastic / paper), peanuts, walnuts and other dried fruit items as per wish of the customer or "gana Maker" him/herself. With the forthcoming blends of modernization, today people are bringing diversity to this tradition as well. Chocolate bars, chewing gums, candies, and variety of edibles are added to in these bracelets (gana's) to add diversity and trendy touch, according to tastes and likes and dislikes of every individual.


All the above mentioned material sewed in sequence in different colorful cotton strings. The design is first drawn on sheet to get an idea, later its organized in the same shape according to the required customer. Some sequences; greetings and well wishing cards are also added sometimes to enhance the creativity of these traditional "gana".

Now the machine made gana are also in. They are made up of different metals, like gold, silver, copper etc. These machines made gana have made things easier and affordable


Belief system behind rituals followed in mehndi culture concludes that these series of traditions' followed in Punjabi culture have not rendered at once. All of the above mentioned traditions have got some spiritual, cultural, and moral values behind them. The influence of neighboring civilization and cutlers beside the blend of globally followed wedding rituals in different ways according to their belief system is also well observed. It is concluded that "Dosti Gana" culture followed in Punjab is gesture of love, care, and affection for bride/groom. It also depicts the strong friendship among bride and bride mates and eternal bliss for the couple.

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