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उत्तराखंडी ई-पत्रिका

उत्तराखंडी ई-पत्रिका

Monday, July 18, 2011

Garhwali Wedding Folk Songs for Wedding Vows (Sat Fera ka Mangal)

सप्तपदी को मांगळ

(Garhwali Wedding Folk songs, Himalayan Wedding Songs, Indian Wedding Songs)

Bhishma Kukreti

(Abstract:Wedding is an important aspect of human beings. Each society and religion carry out wedding ceremony according to laws, social aspect and religious aspect. Wedding vows by groom and bride are essential part of marriage of all religious sects.In this write up, the author tries to provide wedding vows of different religions and countries. There is also explanation of Garhwali wedding folk song sung at the time of Saptpadi wherein groom and bride take vows or wish for blessing.)

Wedding vow by groom and bride is common in all societies and religions. There may be different types of wedding vows according to place, class and time as:

1- Religious wedding vow

2-Non religious Wedding vows or Legal vows

2-Traditional Wedding vows

The vows of each religion are different than others as the custom of each religion are different.

Christian Wedding Vow Customs

There are following types of wedding vows in Christian communities

1- roman catholic type of wedding vows

2- Baptist type of wedding vows

3-Episcolpal Wedding vows

In Christian custom the priest asks question to bride and groom as

Priest to groom “ Do you (name of groom ) take (name of bride) as wife?”

Groom to priest , “ yes I do”

Priest to bride, “Do you (name of bride ) take (name of groom ) as husband ?”

Bride to pries Yes I do”

In some tradition, bride and groom read the following lines

I, (name of bride/groom) take you, (name of groom/bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold , from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”

Jewish Ways of Wedding Vows

There are three ways of wedding ceremony in jewish communities- Orthodox, Conservative and reform ways of wedding ceremony.

In many Jewsih wedding the vows are recited when the groom places the ring into hand or bride In all mcustoms the groom asks the bride (through priest) whether she wants to become better heart? And same way bride may asks to groom before placing ring to his finger. The vows are in the name of laws of Moses or Israel

Islamic way of Wedding Vows

Nikah or marriage is sacred ceremony . There are following three main aspects of Islamic way of wedding including wedding vows by bride and groom

1- Contract or agreement by both parties to go for marriage contract (Nikah)

2-Mahr : Maher is divine gifts by groom to bride. Mahr is symbol of taking responsibilities by the groom

3-Assembly and Kaboolnama : Marriage take splace before assembly of people and two witnesses are must. The priest reads the contract and ask the agreement to groom and bride . The bride and groom answers “Kabool or Yes I agree”.

The marriage takes place in Masjid and the contract record (adk Nikah) is kept there

Difference in Turkey way of Wedding

In turkey, the civil authorize the wedding ceremony than Imam .

Zoroastrian way of Wedding Vows

There are following main stages in Zoroastrian wedding ceremony

1-Assembly of people and Marriage Couple: The marriage ceremony is called Shahjan in Parisian language. The assembly should witness the marriage ceremony

2-Priests : two priests perform the rituals and conduct the religious parts

3- Bride takes first seat and groom takes opposite seat in wedding place. There are many ritual items in the wedding place as per religious codes.

4- Curtain of separation and its removal : This ceremony is also found in Garhwali wedding, wherein there is put a curtain between bride and groom that they don’t see each other’s face before a particular ritual. The curtain is removed after finishing the specific ritual

5-Fastening the hands of bride and groom: The senior priest takes right hand of one each and tied their right hands together as per ‘Ahunvar formula’

6- Encircling the twist: When the hands are fastened, the raw twist is taken seven times around the pair and priests recite several auspicious rituals as per religious codes.

7-Throwing sacred rice

8-Pazad reciting: The senior priest stands before groom and junior priests stands before bride and senior priest recites in Panzand

9- Questions and answers to witnesses: the priest asks question to each witness from the side of bride and groom for agreement of marriage as per religious formula. The witness answers “yes”

Then the priest asks the question to groom and bride, "Have you preferred to enter into this contract of marriage up to the end of your life with righteous mind?".Both reply: "I have preferred."

The above statement is wedding vow in Zoroastrian custom of wedding

10- There is joint addresses by priests and they offer blessing (Ashirvad) to couple.

Chinese way of Wedding Vows


The Chinese wedding vows are very formal. The minister or priest asks the question to bride and groom for agreement

Minister to groom ;You are willing to marry (bride’s name) as your wife in sacred marriage together for life? Whether she is in good health or sickness, wealth or poverty, beauty or is plain, in good times or bad, you are willing to love her, comfort her, to respect her, and protect her and willing to be loyal to her forever ?”

The groom accepts ,”yes”

Same way the minister asks questions to bride “You are willing to marry (groom’s name) as your husband in sacred marriage together for life? Whether he is in good health or sickness, wealth or poverty, beauty or is plain, in good times or bad, you are willing to love him, comfort him, to respect him, and protect him and willing to be loyal to him forever?”

Bride says, yes”

The Pumi Way of Wedding Vows

Pumi is an ethnic group of China. Their marriage style is slightly different than nationalize system.

Pumi arranges marriage day on 2nd, 10th or 12th day of slack winter.

When the groom marriage party reaches to bride’s house, the must sing the song’ Renqin”. The groom can enter only when the bride is satisfied

The bride has to show reluctance for leaving her mother’s house

When the bride leaves her house she sings a leaving song

When the bride reaches at groom house, she has to sing a song Kaimendiao (Tue of opening the gate)


Wedding vow in traditional Japanese custom


The minister says the vow and groom and bride should repeat the same respectively

Vows for groom by minister, “The woman I marry, no matter the health situation is I will love this person. Respect this person, Console this person. Help this person. Until death. Protecting fidelity . I swear.”

For bride the minister says and bride repeats “ you this man marry and becomes his partner. Will you in peaceful times during sickness, this person love, this person respect, this person comfort, this person help, until death. Dou you promise “. The bride says “yes I promise”


Rites of seven Steps or Wedding Vows in Native American way of Marriage


The wedding ceremony among native Americans is quite diverse and they take seven steps rites for taking wedding vows in the name of almighty . Both bride and groom take seven step sun wise or clockwise around sacred fire. There are seven vows in native American marriage- one vow for each step:

1- We wish blessing from god of heaven to protect all

2-We honor all you (god) created

3-We honor mother Earth

4-We honor fire

5-We honor wind

6-We honor water

7-We honor the whole universe you created

These steps are vows as well the blessing from God.

Saptpadi or Sat fere or Seven Steps in Garhwali (Hindu) style

The Saptpadi in Garhwali way of wedding is same as an average Hindu wedding ceremony. The bride and groom take seven feras (walking round the Vedi for seven times). The Agnikund is kept on Vedi as the fire is real witness of Hindu marriage.

In first four round of seven round of walking around Agnikund (sacred Fire ) , the bride is always behind the groom and in last three round of walk around Agnikund, the bride walks before groom . In each Phera , the bride and groom take vow. These vows are the extract of Karma (action of duties and happy life) :

1- Wedding Vow of First step or First fera : They 9the couple ) would provide prosperous life for house or the family that they would look after

2-Wedding Vow of second step: For healthy life, they would develop their physical, mental and spiritual powers.

3-Wedding Vow of third round or step: the bride and groom promis that they will earn righteously to increase the wealth for mutual benefits of family and society

4- Wedding Vow of fourth step or Fera: The couple pledges that they will accomplish knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love, respect, understanding and faithfulness for each other.

5-Wedding Vow of fifth step or Fera: they pray/promise to have children and take responsibilities for nurturing children. Both pray to be blessed for healthy , honest and mentally fit children.

6- Wedding Vow of sixth step or Fera: the couple pray to be blessed for self control of the body, five senses, mind, intellect, ego , soul and longevity of their martial relationship.

7-Wedding Vow of seventh step: They promise that they would be true, faithful , loyal to each other and would be companion, best friend for life time

The Pundit jee speaks in Sanskrit and makes the couple understand in local language that the couple take oath according to custom


Garhwali Wedding Folk Songs for Saptpadi

While Pundit jee and couple are busy in taking seven step around Agnikund and taking oaths for future married life , the women singers of village and professional Das singer (Mangler) sing the song about seven step and not the vows. The singers describe who is helping in taking the each step. According to Garhwali custom, the earth helps in taking first step; bride’s mother helps in taking second step,; younger brother of bride completes a ritual before third step; bride’s father helps in completing third , elder brother helps fifth step of Saptpadi or Sat fera; sister in law of bride helps a ritual; the uncle (younger brother of bride’s father0 helps the bride in taking fifth step and aunt helps in doing so ; elder sister and brother in law of bride help the bride in taking sixth step. The seventh step is without help as the couple becomes married couple and society, fire and pundit jee confirm that bride and groom are now married. The last stanza of folk song is about blessing bride that her husband is alive till her death.

This stanza speaks indirectly that males used live shorter than females in old time

सप्तपदी को मांगळ

पैलू को फेरो पैलू को फेरो धरती बिलाली
पैलू को फेरो धरती बिलाली ए

दुसरो फेरो दूसरो फेरो मा की लाडली
दूसरो फेरो मा की लाडली ए

तिसरो फेरो तिसरो फेरो पिताजी की लाडली
तिसरो फेरो पिताजी की लाडली ए

चौथो फेरो चौथो फेरो भै की लाडली
चौथो फेरो भै की लाडली ए

भै की लाडली भै की लाडली बौ की लाडली
भै की लाडली बौ की लाडली ए

पाँचों फेरो पाँचों फेरो चचा की लाडली
पाँचों फेरो चचा की लाडली ए

चचा की लाडली चचा की लाडली चची की लाडली
चचा की लाडली चची की लाडली ए

छ्यों फेरो छ्यों फेरो दीदी की लाडली
छ्यों फेरो दीदी की लाडली ए

दीदी की लाडली दीदी की लाडली जीजा की लाडली
दीदी की लाडली जीजा की लाडली ए

सातों फेरो सातों फेरो ह्वेगे पराई
सातों फेरो ह्वेगे पराई ए

ह्वेगे पराई ह्वेगे पराई स्वगीण रैई
ह्वेगे पराई स्वगीण रैई ए


By analyzing all the above wedding vows of various religions and ethnic groups , there is conclusion that vowing by bride and groom is not only limited to two individuals but the whole society and environment also taken care in wedding vows as society and environment make the life of would be couple more comfortable and purposeful. Most of the religious rituals are read by priests in old languages and priests explain those sayings into languages of the bride and groom.
Reference for Garhwali wedding folk songs : Totaram Dhoundiya, Mrs Shailja Thapliyal, Garhwali Mangal, Dhad Prakashan , Dehradun
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, bckukreti@gmail.com