The engagement is an important pre-wedding ceremony that involves a promise of marriage between a bride and bridegroom. In fact, it is the beginning of a life that brings happiness to a couple. It is an extension of the pledge between families which helps to get more ideas about each other’s rituals or customs. On the other hand, the engagement traditions and customs may vary from one country to another country in various parts of the world. For example, engagement ceremonies in Asian countries are entirely different from other countries. They even have different approaches and practices although marriage has the same meaning.
Some engagements are sweet and some are perplexing. While some engagements are very strange, all of them have one thing in common love. Another thing is that people can know more about the traditions and styles followed in an engagement. Most engagements involve certain rituals that will determine the official date of a wedding.
Here are some engagement traditions and cultures of different nations in the world.
1. United States of America (USA)
The United States of America (USA) in the North American continent attracts many people from various parts of the world. Engagement customs in the USA remain traditional which is similar to western countries. In some engagements, a bridegroom should bend his knee to express love to a bride with flowers. A majority of women dream of the moment when a man proposes to her with a bending knee. Moreover, a man will wear a diamond ring or silver ring to a bride after announcing the marriage date.
The Japanese engagement ceremony is known as “Yuino” which involves a series of feasts and an elaborate gift. In fact, the two betrothal families will exchange highly symbolic presents after sealing the engagement. Today, it can take place in any location which doesn’t require a mediator. Yuino ceremony involves some etiquette and a groom and his parents can visit the ceremonial room before starting the ceremony. The bride and her family will enter the room after that for making a feast. Each family will exchange gifts which is the main highlight in the ceremony.
A long-time ago, Chinese engagement ceremonies followed traditional things where the parents of a bride would hire a matchmaker for making the process a simple one. At the same time, a modern engagement ceremony in China follows western tradition. Two families will officially acknowledge the event after a bridegroom proposes to a bride.
The engagement ceremony in Germany is more causal than in the USA. Earlier, it involved dating where one partner will present a ring to the other and he/she should keep that ring up to the engagement period. It is a promise ring meaning that the couple is still dating. Both partners should wear the ring in their left hand. They should wear the same ring on the right hand after the wedding.
Things have changed a lot today in Germany due to cultural differences and other factors. The German betrothal these days usually begin with an exchange of gold bands and a partner should wear them on the fourth finger of a left hand. The engagement rings act as a pledge which declares the marriage plans. Apart from that, the ceremony involves a formal announcement of the wedding with a ritual called “banns” which include members of a community who make the decision to postpone or halt the wedding. Germany’s engagement ceremony involves blessings, gifts, initiations, and other things that make the event a special one.
5. Great Britain (UK)
A man should propose a girl traditionally by their knees in the UK engagement ceremony. In addition, he should present the girl with an engagement ring that is generally worn on the third finger of the left hand. The British ceremony also involves a formal notice called “banns” which is similar to the German ceremony.
In Turkey, a couple should get permission from both families before the wedding. A prospective groom should ask the bride’s father to know whether he is really interested or not. It is a formal occasion usually held in the evening with family members. Moreover, the bride should also make coffee for guests. However, the groom’s coffee is usually mixed with salt to know his reaction after taking a sip.
In Thailand, there is an engagement function organized by both families called “Thongmun” in which a prospective groom presents his fiancée with various gold gifts. A bride will accept only a gold ring and not a diamond ring when a groom proposes to her.
The engagement ceremonies are different in North and South Italy. In southern regions of Italy, a bridegroom should ask to get permission from a bride’s father’s hand before planning a wedding. In the northern regions of Italy, the families of both parents will meet at a place instead of hosting a party. However, there are some couples who arrange parties to celebrate their engagement.
India is a very diverse country in Asia and engagement traditions vary from state to state. The Hindu, Muslim, and Christian engagement ceremonies in India involve several customs and rituals. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, each and every ceremony is unique in style. They also involve families of couples who announce a wedding date later. Apart from that, the Indian engagement invites family relatives and guests to share their happiness.
The following are some engagement ceremonies are followed in various regions across India.
Gujarati engagement ceremony
The Gujarati engagement ceremony is entirely different from other states in India. The function called the Gol Dhona or Gor Dhona which literally means seeds and jiggery. A bride and her parents will visit the bridegroom’s house with a lot of gifts followed by sweets and clothes. The couple will exchange rings in the ceremony and get blessings from elder members of the family.
Bengali engagement ceremony
The Bengali engagement ceremony doesn’t involve any exchange of rings. Elders of a groom’s family will visit the bride’s place and offer their blessings with cash or jewelry items. In addition, the elders of a bride’s family will repeat the same procedure to the groom. The ceremony usually takes place on a separate day. Sometimes, the event will be organized before 2-3 days. Aashirbadd is the name of the Bengali engagement ceremony that involves simple rituals. The bridegroom’s family will also present a beautiful decorated wooden seating called Piri to a bride. In addition, the function also covers some other things such as grand feasting.
Marathi engagement ceremony
Sakhar Puda is the name of the Marathi engagement ceremony which marks the relationship between two people. It literally means worshipping sugar that signifies a verbal agreement which involves both families. In this ceremony, the parents of a bride will present gifts to a bridegroom with sugar and other things. The event also involves a ring ceremony where a couple will exchange the rings as well. Apart from that, the ceremony has a puja done by the families of both bridegroom and bride. The families will feed each other at the end of the puja to celebrate the union formation.
Odia engagement ceremony
Oriya engagement ceremony usually involves the exchange of rings between the families of a bridegroom and bride. The ceremony called “Nirbandh” is the formal announcement of a wedding. On the other hand, it usually takes place without the presence of a bridegroom and bride. The elders of the families will meet in the bride’s place and take an oath that they will marry their children. Moreover, the ceremony involves a puja followed by a feast and both families exchange gifts between them. Both families will set a date for organizing the Nirbandh ceremony after matching the horoscopes.
Marwari engagement ceremony
Marwari engagement ceremony belongs to the Rajasthan State in India which binds two families. It is known as the Mudha Tika ceremony where a bridegroom’s family will visit a bride’s family in her home. They even carry a silver Thali with them that consists of essential items such as sweets, dry fruits, flowers, a diamond ring, and so on. The groom’s sister will put a vermillion tika on the forehead of a bride. She feeds a bride with jaggery and presents her with a ring. The bride’s sister will shower the bridegroom’s sister in return with jewelry or cash.
Kannada engagement ceremony
Kannada’s engagement ceremony is known as Nischay Tamulam which usually takes place in the bride’s place, temple, hotel, or wedding hall. The bridegroom’s family will carry a plate which consists of a saree, a coconut, and five types of fruits. An astrologer will do some rituals and chant some mantras to seal the union. The bridegroom’s family will present the plate to a bride after announcing the wedding date. In return, a bride’s family will gift dhoti and other things to a bridegroom’s family. It even involves reading the Lagna Patrika as a sign of commitment.
Telegu engagement ceremony
Telegu engagement ceremony is similar to the Kannada engagement ceremony. It is called Kanya Nishchayam which strengthens the relationship between two families. The bride’s parents will present a groom with a ring and other gifts and the bridegroom’s family will gift a bride with silk saree and other things. A Vedic priest will read the Lagna Patrika which serves as a sign of commitment. The ceremony rituals will have Vedic standards and procedures to make sure that the event ends well. He will fix a date for the wedding event based on the planet’s movements and couple’s horoscope. Both families will agree to organize the event after reading the Patrika.