9 Evergreen Traditions That Make An Indian Wedding The Most Beautiful Celebration In The World!

This article has been written by Namrata Arora for BollwoodShaadis.com

Indian weddings are colourful, bright, and loaded with traditions, they’re occasions of sheer joy. Each and every culture showcases its unique customs that are a delight to witness. Even just imagining a wedding without these beautiful traditions is quite a difficult thing, let alone actually not having these traditions be a part of them at all.

So, we thought of compiling a few Indian wedding traditions that should carry on for generations to come and without which, weddings will definitely not be as much fun as they are now.

#1. The Mehendi ceremony

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coloursphotofilm.co.uk

It’s all about applying intricate henna designs on the hands and feet of the bride. Not only the bride, but all her friends and the ladies in the family get it applied on their hands. It is said that darker the colour of the mehendi, the more love and affection the bride will get from her hubby dearest and mother in-law. The venue is decorated with flowers and curtains. This function is one for which the bride and her friends eagerly wait as this is practically their last night together to have fun, dance, sing, and let their hair loose with each other. Also, there is something enchantingly serene about this night that makes it a memorable one.

#2. The Chooda ceremony

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wedmegood

Can any Punjabi bride imagine her wedding to take place without having the chooda ceremony? We do not know what it is, but somehow, a marriage seems incomplete without those beautiful red and white ivory bangles. Many non-Punjabi  brides love wearing choodas as well. Seriously! And for her friends’ delight, it’s the kalire ceremony that follows and decides who gets married next!

#3. The Sehrabandi

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bollywoodshaadis

The sehrabandi is the ritual in which the groom’s sister ties a sehra on his head after completing a specific puja. It is one of the most emotional moments between a brother, who is getting married and his sister. In North Indian weddings, it is one of the most sacred and followed pre-wedding traditions.

 

 

#4. The Joota Chupai

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thebigfatindianwedding.com

The jiju’s relationship with his saalas and saalis is incomplete without the joota chupai tradition where the bride’s siblings hide the groom’s shoes while he sits for the marriage ceremony. They then return the shoes in exchange for money. It is the best way for the two to bond and become closer amidst having some fun and also some serious bargaining!

 

#5. The Bidaai

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This is one of the saddest yet happy and emotional event of the entire wedding, when the bride has to say her final goodbyes to her family and friends to go to her new house. Though it gets everyone teary-eyed, it’s one of the most cherished traditions amongst all

 

#6. The Kalash

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weddingsonline

When the bride enters her new house, she has to gently kick a small kalash full of rice with her right foot before she enters. This marks the beginning on her new life in her new house, and brings prosperity and good luck in the house. It is also synonymous with Goddess Lakshmi entering the house.

 

#7. Post-wedding games

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These are major stress busters for the newly-married couple after a hectic and long day. The friends and family members of the groom arrange for post-wedding games that the newlyweds are supposed to play. Games range from opening multiple knots on the thread tied to each other’s wrists prior to the wedding, or searching for a ring in a thaali full of coloured water. It is a great way to break the ice and bond with each other for the bride and her new family.

 

 

#8. Tossing of the bouquet

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lenaherveybaycelebrant.com

For a Christian bride, who does not have functions like the mehendi or the sangeet for her and her friends to connect, tossing of the bridal bouquet is one such moment where she gets to do that. It is special to her friends as it is believed that whoever catches it, gets married next!

 

#9. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

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etsy.com

Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolises borrowed happiness; and something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity. This custom is for the Christian bride, and it symbolises wearing something on her wedding day that has been in her family from generations as it is considered to be lucky and auspicious.

 

 

About the Author: This article has been written by Namrata Arora for BollwoodShaadis.com

Simply South Wedding

Tamilian Wedding Ceremony

Tamilian weddings are reflective of the community’s simple way of life. These weddings which span a period of two days are held on days other than Saturday and Tuesday. Also considered inauspicious are days that fall between the mid of July to August, mid of September to October and mid of December to January. While Punjabi weddings are known for their dhol and Gujarati weddings for their shehnai, prominent musical instruments at Tamilian weddings are naathaswaram and melam.

Tamilian wedding preparations begin once the match between the bride and groom has been finalized by their families. An auspicious wedding date is selected and the agreement placed on a plate full of bananas, coconuts and betel leaves. Since this occasion marks the beginning of the wedding celebrations, the bride and groom receive gifts by their respective in laws. The bride receives a silk sari while the groom receives clothes or cash.

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The pre-wedding rituals in a Tamilian wedding begin with a ceremony held to bless the couple. Known as the Paalikali Thalippu, this ceremony is conducted by the bride’s family wherein seven clay pots are decorated with kumkum and sandalwood paste and are then filled with curd and nine types of grains.  These grains are watered by seven married ladies and on the following day thrown in the pond. In the hope that fish will feed on the grains that would have sprouted, many consider this an auspicious omen in blessing the couple.

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An unusual but important ritual of Tamilian weddings is a prayer held to bless the bride with the fate of a Sumangali, a lady who passes away before her husband, which is considered quite lucky. During this prayer, a feast is organized for all married women attending the wedding and during this time they are gifted saris.

Once the prayers are over, the bride and groom, in their respective homes begin rituals to beautify themselves for their big day. The bathing ritual, Kalyanaponnu, also includes smearing the couple with scented oils. Post this ritual the bride and groom do not leave their respective homes until the wedding day.

In Tamilian weddings, the groom and his family arrive a day before the wedding. The groom is welcomed by his to-be mother in law with sweets and the sprinkling of rose water. Once the celebrations of the welcoming are over, a Nandi Devata Pooja is performed by five Sumangalis after which the couple receive gifts of fabric. This pooja is followed by the Navgraha Pooja which is known to rule an individual’s destiny. While the groom prepares himself for the marriage the bride takes part in the Vritham ceremony where the holy thread is tied around her wrist. These rituals are completed with the Naandi Shraartham wherein ten Brahmins are invited so the families can seek their blessings. The Brahmins are then honoured with gifts of paan-supari, coconuts, clothes, sweets and flowers.

On the wedding day, the bride and groom bathe in a ceremony known as the Mangalasnanam wherein prayers are performed by the ladies of the house. After this ceremony, they return to their respective homes to get dressed for the wedding ceremony.

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Once dressed, the bride privately performs the Gauri Pooja while the groom pretends he is heading for the Kaasi Yatra. At this point, the bride’s father requests him to stay back and accept his daughter for marriage and they then take the groom to the wedding venue. While the bride’s mother washes the groom’s feet, the bride is brought to the mandap by her maternal uncle.

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At the madap the couple exchange garlands thrice to symbolize their unity. While they are offered milk and bananas, the older women of the house ward off evil spirits by throwing coloured rice balls in all four directions. The bride’s father then hands over his daughter to the groom in the Kanyadaan ritual after which the groom ties a piece of string around his waist and the bride’s wrist. Once this ritual is over, the groom gifts the bride a new sari which she changes into before the ritual of placing the mangalsutra around her neck happens. Once he wears the bride the mangalsutra, the couple take seven steps together and they are now husband and wife.

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To complete the rituals, the couple step out of the venue together to spot the Pole Star and Arundhati Star only after which the bride makes offerings of parched rice grains into the holy fire. The wedding ceremony concludes with the groom placing toe rings on his wife’s right foot and couple then sipping on Panakam, a beverage made specifically for the occasion with jaggery, cardamom, black pepper and water.

Once the wedding is over, the bride’s family gifts the groom with a suitcase, clothes and a diamond ring in a ceremony called the Nagoli Vasthra while the bride marks her entry into her new home with the Grihapravesha ceremony. At the ceremony she is welcomed by an aarti post which she enters the house only after tipping a jar of rice with her feet.

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Once she enters her new home, the Valeyadal ceremony takes place wherein her sister in law gives her a gift after which they all indulge in traditional games. This is followed by the reception hosted by the groom’s family which gives the bride an opportunity to be acquainted with her new family and friends.

Marwari Wedding Ceremony

Marwari Wedding Ceremony

Characterized as one of the richest communities in India, it is no surprise when Marwari weddings are referred to as grand and opulent. Known to be gifted with strong values from youth, couples from this community tend to have weddings that reflect important customs and rituals.

The union between the boy and girl is marked with the Sagai ceremony which is the formal engagement wherein the male members of the girl’s family visit the groom’s house. The bride’s brother applies tilak to the groom’s forehead after which they give him gifts which include a sword, sweets and clothes thus formalizing the bond between the couple.

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Once formally engaged, a havan takes place at both the bride and groom’s house prior to the wedding. This pooja known as Ganpati Stahpna is performed to place an idol of Lord Ganesh in order to remove all obstacles prior to the couple beginning their new journey.

Like all other Indian weddings, in Marwari weddings too, this journey of togetherness includes a haldi ceremony. Known as the Pithi Dastoor, this ceremony happens for both the bride and the groom wherein they are beautified with the effects of the turmeric paste. After this ceremony, they do not step out of their house until the wedding day. Though the couple has to stay in their respective homes till the wedding day, the celebrations for the forthcoming wedding do not stop. Gatherings are held separately for the men and the women. Traditional ghoomar dances are performed at the ladies gatherings whilst the men’s gatherings have singers performing for the guests. It is forbidden for members of the opposite gender to be present at the others’ gathering.

Since Marwari weddings are a lavish affair, the Mahira Dastoor ceremony is a reflection of the assistance given to families to manage the expenses. This ritual happens in both the bride and groom’s house wherein the maternal uncle is welcomed by his sister and he distributes sweets, cash and jewellery to the family as a mark of helping his sister manage the wedding festivities of her children.

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Closer to the wedding, the groom goes through the Janev which is a thread ceremony. After a havan a scared thread is tied around the groom. This now makes him eligible for marriage, in other words eligible to take on the responsibility as the head of his new family. While the groom gets ready to take on his responsibility as a husband, the bride goes through the Palla Dastoor ritual a day prior to the wedding. On this day she receives her wedding outfit and jewellery from the groom’s family.

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While the bride adorns herself in her wedding attire on the day of the wedding, the groom goes through the Nikasi ceremony wherein the sehra is tied to his head by his brother in law and his sister in law applies kohl to his eyes. The groom is now ready to make his way to the wedding venue.

The groom makes his way with a Baraat that only consists of male members, each carrying a majestic sword. The groom enters the wedding venue hitting the toran, a decorative flower arrangement on the door, with a stick of neem to ward off evil.  After the Toranchar, the bride’s mother welcomes the groom with an aarti. Once this ritual is over, the bride enters the venue with her face fully covered. The couple exchange garlands in the Jaimala ceremony after which they take three pheras and are then led to the mandap for the rest of the rituals.

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At the mandap the Granthi Bandhan is performed where part of the bride and groom’s attire are tied in a knot by the groom’s sister or a priest. Once this has been done the couple perform the Pheras where they encircle the sacred fire four times.

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Once the pheras have been performed, the bride and groom offer puffed rice to the holy fire. This ceremony known as the Ashwahrohan symbolizes wishes and prosperity for the newlyweds. The bride then moves to the left of her husband as part of the Vamang Stahpana symbolizing that he accepts her and establishes her in his heart. The groom then performs the Sindurdaan where he puts vermillion on the bride’s head. The bride and groom then walk seven steps, Saptapadi, while making seven promises to each other.

The bride receives a bag full of money by her father in law in the Anjhala Bharaai ceremony. This is a way of welcoming her to the family and making her away of the responsibilities. The couple now touch the feet of the elders and take their blessings in order to begin their new journey.

Bengali Wedding Ceremony

Bengali Wedding Ceremony

In perhaps one of the most densely populated areas of the world lies a culture so rich in celebrations, festivals and religion. The Bengalis have a long history in their culture and traditions and this is evident in their marriage rituals too. A traditional Bengali wedding is one that can be distinguished from the rest because of its four distinct parts.

The Gaye Holud which translates as the coloring of the body with a turmeric paste is a ceremony that is held for the bride and the groom in their houses respectively. The morning begins with the bride and groom being fed some sweets before a period of fasting until the wedding. This is followed by a prayer performed by the eldest male member of the family towards the deceased male ancestors invoking their blessings. In a typical Holud ceremony, the groom’s family excluding the groom will visit the bride with the wedding outfit, the turmeric paste that has been touched to the groom’s body and some sweets. An important part of this ceremony is the dressing of the Rohu fish as a bride.

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This is also taken along with the other elements to the bride’s house. This process happens vice versa for the groom. The paste is prepared by five married woman dressed in traditional orange outfits and is then applied on the body of the bride by her female friends. Known to soften her skin and give her a glow, this paste is later washed away with water from the Ganges, usually brought to the house by female relatives.

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The Bibahobashor which is the main wedding ceremony is usually organized by the bride’s family. They send the groom a car in which he is accompanied by two elderly male relatives, one from his side and one from the bride’s side as well as the youngest male member of the family known as the Neet Bor who is dressed as a groom too. In a traditional Bengali wedding, the groom’s mother does not accompany her son to wedding as it is considered a bad omen. Instead she blesses her son on his new journey and stays home to welcome the bride. At the venue, the groom is welcomed by the sounds of conch shells. The bride’s mother washes the wheels of the car with water from the Ganga and feeds the groom some sweets while the rest of the family gift him his wedding attire.

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The initial chanting of the mantras begins with the groom and later in the ceremony, the bride is brought seated on a wooden seat, known as a a piri by brothers and friends. Unlike most Indian marriages where the couple encircle the fire, in Bengali weddings the bride first encircles the groom while her face remains covered with Beetel leaves.

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Once this ritual has been completed, she can then put down the leaves and the couple see each other which happens amidst the heavy blowing of conch shells. This is followed by the Sindurdaan where the groom puts the vermilion powder on the bride’s head and then covers her forehead with a saree called the Lojja Bostra. The encircling of the fire takes place and the groom’s sister ties the loose ends of the bride and groom’s attire in a knot called the Gat Bandhan which the couple do not open. This ritual is followed by a feast usually amongst the youngsters of the family.

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The following morning the couple make their way to the groom’s house after a Kanakanjali has been performed which is the offering of rice. This marks the end of celebrations and the bride’s life in her paternal home and the start of the celebrations in the groom’s house and life in her new home.

At the groom’s house, the bride is welcomed with a ceremony called the Boubron wherein the bride leaves her footprints on a sari following which she is shown the areas of the house marking prosperity and wealth. It is at this point the elders in the house gift the bride with gold.

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The Bou-Bhaat is celebrated as the second day of the bride in her husband’s house. The day begins with the bride serving her in laws rice with ghee for lunch. This is followed by an evening reception wherein she is introduced to all relatives, near and far, from her husband’s family. The bride’s family also attend this ceremony with jewelry, clothes and other gifts for their daughter and her in laws. This ceremony is followed by a grand feast known as the Preetibhoj.

The Oshto Mongola marks the finale of the wedding festivities. This is a ceremony wherein the newly wed couple spend three days at the bride’s paternal home. Before they make their way there, a Satyanarayan Puja is performed to bless the couple. The Puja is performed by the groom’s family and the couple dress in their wedding attire. Once the prayer is over, the couple head to the bride’s home and the next three days include feasting and the opening of the Gat Bandhan which was performed on the day of the wedding.

Gujarati Wedding Ceremony

A state in the Western part of India with its people famous for their devotion to Lord Krishna, their food predominantly vegetarian and the traditional attire of women including mangalsutras, nose rings and bindis best describes Gujarat and its people. Thus when you have a culture that stands out so strong, you are bound to have wedding rituals that are sacred and long lasting.

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Gujarati weddings begin with the Gol Dhana which translates as ‘jaggery and coriander seeds’, a ceremony wherein a mix of these two are distributed. Once this is over do the wedding ceremonies begin.The actual wedding ceremony is an auspicious affair which consists of prayers and vows. These are recited by the priest and couple in Sanskrit, a historical language.

A Gujarati wedding typically begins with the sounding of a traditional wind instrument known as a shehnai and an Indian drum known as a tabla followed by a procession. This wedding procession, known as the Baraat is a journey which starts from the groom’s house.The groom makes his way to the temple where the Swagat happens. At the door of the temple he is welcomed by the bride’s family. The bride’s mother places a red dot on his forehead to bless him before the wedding c

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The wedding rituals begin with a Ganesh Puja wherein the couple and the families seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles.Once the puja has been performed the bride’s parents perform the Madhuparka which is washing of the groom’s feet as a mark of welcoming him to the mandap, the four pillars under which the wedding will take place. They then offer him panchamrut which is a mix of milk, ghee, honey, sugar and yogurt.

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Like in all Indian caste weddings, the wedding can take place once the bride’s father or guardian, generally an uncle, performs the Kanyadaan which is the ‘giving away of the bride’. In this ceremony the bride spreads turmeric powder on her palms signifying the change in her status from an unmarried woman to a bride.

Once the Kanyadaan has been performed the Vivaah, the wedding ceremony takes place. The priest ties a part of the bride’s garment to the groom’s whilst they face each other. This knot symbolizes the sacred union between the couple. They then wear each other garlands and exchange rings before family and friends before they offer their prayers to the sacred fire, Agni.

After a series of prayers, the couple then perform the circumambulation of the sacred fire, also known as Mangal Phera. The three steps are taken offering hymns for prosperity, good fortune and fidelity.

A significant part of a Gujarati wedding ceremony is the seven steps around the sacred fire, Saptapadi, each signifying a promise the couple make towards each other. On concluding this, a prayer is performed pronouncing them husband‐wife in an everlasting union.
The groom now wears his bride the Mangal Sutra, a beaded necklace containing the marks of Vishnu or Shiva and places red vermillion power, Sindoor, on her head. These two elements symbolize the Indian bride as a married woman.

Once the rituals are over, the couple then bow down to take blessings also known as Aashirvaad from the groom’s parents. While they do this, family and friends at the wedding shower them with flowers. This marks the completion of the wedding ceremony and the start of a journey as husband‐wife.

These Punjabi Wedding ceremonies are so much fun you may as well call it a Fun-jabi wedding! Pun intended!

They say you know someone is a Punjabi when their party catering for 100 people can actually feed 500 people, they are willing to do the bhangra everywhere they go (except the Gurdwara) and they call people they don’t know ‘uncle’ and ‘aunty’. And when you imagine a whole load of such people together, you can expect nothing less than fun, excitement and noise. In short, a big fat Punjabi wedding.

Punjabi weddings are extremely reflective of the culture and these customs and traditions just tell you how much fun they truly are!

Roka Ceremony – An official engagement is held to seek the blessings of family and friends. At this ceremony, the to‐be‐bride receives a very significant part of her wedding day jewellery, the nose ring, popularly known as the ‘nath’ by her mother’s brother.

Shagun – Translated as engagement, in this ceremony the girl’s family confirms this relationship between the couple. This is celebrated with the boy’s family receiving gifts and jewellery.

Sagai ‐- This is the formal engagement ceremony which takes place at the groom’s house. Followed by the tikka ceremony, The girl is draped in her ‘chunni’ by the grooms mother and a dot of mehendi is applied to her palms for good luck.

Sangeet – Translated as music, this ceremony is our answer to the Western bridal shower. The female family and friends of the to‐be‐bride gather for an evening of traditional music and dancing while they play the Indian instrument, ‘dholki’. Over the years, this has been modernised with a DJ belting out commercial music.

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Mehendi – As per customs, the ‘mehendi’ is sent by the boy’s mother.
The ‘mehendi’ marks the end of the pre‐wedding rituals and the wedding ceremonies begin. A set of rituals are followed in the bride and groom’s homes before they get together for the wedding ceremony.

Haldi – Wedding preparations begin with the bride being beautified with the application of a paste of turmeric and mustard oil. Post this ritual, the bride and groom are not allowed to meet each other until the wedding day.

Chuda – On the actual wedding day, all family members touch a set of red and cream‐ivory bangles which will be presented by the uncle to the bride. This will be worn by the bride as part of her wedding attire but she does not see these bangles until she is dressed up for her wedding. Close family and friends tie gold plated dangling ornaments called ‘kaliras’ to a bangle on each wrist.

Ghodi charna – Once the groom is dressed and has been protected from evil, he is set for the final ceremony which is ‘getting on the horse’. The groom makes his way to the wedding venue on a horse that has been fed and adorned by his sisters and cousins.

After a series of rituals in both homes, the wedding ceremony takes place at either the temple, gurdwara or a generic wedding venue.

Varmala – The bride and groom meet for the exchange of the garland of flowers. This ceremony signifies the acceptance and love they have towards each other while stating that from here on they will live with each other. Both the families tease the couple and an atmosphere of fun and frolic is built and an auspicious time is chosen for the wedding ceremony.

Kanyadaan – As per Indian traditions, a father gives away his daughter at the time of marriage. In order to get his daughter married he first places a ring on the groom’s finger after which the actual wedding ceremony can begin.

Phere ‐- The main part of any Hindu wedding is the circumnavigating the mandap like Christopher Columbus did to the world, only this needs to be done 7 times around the sacred fire with Panditji chanting away something, which few people understand.The groom applies sindoor to the centre of the bride’s head and then gets her to wear a black and gold beaded necklace called the ‘mangalsutra’.

Joota Chupai – While the ceremonies are being performed, the bride’s sisters and friends steal the groom’s shoes.the groom generally has to pay a price to get them back.It is so much fun when the groom’s side decides they wont let it happen.

Vidaai – Once married, the bride departs her parents home throwing puffed rice over her head. Accompanied by her brothers, she makes her way to her new home.At her husband’s house, she is welcomed by her mother in law who circles a glass of water thrice around the head of her daughter in law before welcoming her in.

Pani bharna – The girl then steps in to her new home by using her right foot to knock a vessel filled with mustard oil which has been placed at the entrance. This is followed by a prayer offered by the couple in their room and blessings taken from the elders.
This brings them to the end of the wedding rituals and to the start of a new life filled with love, happiness and health for both.

Phere dalna – The following day, the bride’s brother picks the newly wed couple and takes them to the bride’s house so the couple can spend a day with her parents.

Who would not want to be a part of the festvities! Amazing fun!

PS: It is usually left unsaid, but Daaru flows freely like water does 😉