Why do North Indian Hindu Weddings happen at Night?

As the wedding season heats up, each wedding brings with it more beauty, appeal, and food for everyone to eat and enjoy. They are the ideal opportunity to wear your best ethnic attire for every event and take a plethora of photos with your loved ones with no time constraints.

Weddings are the most wonderful time of the year, and they are unique in every location. For example, in South India, Hindu weddings take place in the morning and are over in an hour or two. North Indian Hindu weddings, on the other hand, are exhausting due to the numerous events, hence they take place at night and last approximately 8 hours.

So, Why do North Indian Hindu weddings happen at night: We all at one point have asked ourselves, why do North Indians marry at night. Well, the reasons are many:

  • The ruling Muslim establishments harassed Hindu families in Northern India with threats of kidnapping, extortion, and violence, as well as restrictions on non-Islamic festivities. As a result, weddings were traditionally held in the dead of night. The local Mansabdars and Jagirdars plundered the countryside to fill their own harems during the Islamic reign. 
  • Weddings happen throughout the country according to muhurat/Muhurtam timing (which is based on the bride and groom’s horoscope) and can take place at any time of day. There may be muhurat before midnight on occasion, but most people prefer to wait until the end of the day. Because if they don’t, they’ll have to cater to guests and be there for the “pheres” ceremony (bride and groom moving around sacred fire). To prevent the commotion, the family decides to attend to all of the visitors and hold the midnight mahurat after everyone has left.
  • After the widespread use of electric equipment in the last 50 years, the practice of night marriages has gained traction, particularly among the more affluent sections of society. 
  • Marriages in North India are also held according to the seasons since poor and rural people prefer to have daytime weddings because it is too expensive for them to cover the costs of relatives’ housing and lodging, as well as the baraat (groom’s side) in the winters and for one night.
  • The wealthy began holding weddings at night after the introduction of electricity and generators, allowing them to display their affluence. It also has to do with flashing lights and glitz, as well as enjoying activities like dancing, which they believe are impossible to perform in a day wedding.
  • North Indian Hindus wished to maintain their culture, which was being gradually eroded (by Muslims and Britishers). This meant defying new regulations enacted at the time, such as forced religious conversion and forced marriages. Hindus resolved to rescue and protect their daughters and sisters, therefore they began having marriage ceremonies at night.

Beliefs of North and South India:
The Dravidian race is descended from “South Indians,” while the Aryan race is descended from “North Indians.” According to Dravidian wedding customs, the hour just after daybreak was considered auspicious because the world was bathed in the first light of the sun. Dravidians thought of themselves as Suryavanshis (the descendants of the Sun God). As a result, weddings among the Dravidian race (known as Kalyanaman) were held after daybreak.

Aryan customs, on the other hand, considered the time between sunset and morning to be auspicious. The Aryans, who thought themselves to be Chandravanshis (descended from the Moon God), wanted the blessings of the Moon during their marriages, therefore they were held at night.

Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest and most widely practised faiths. It gives its practitioners the authority to bend to any acceptable extent to better the living conditions of society’s citizens. 

Unity in Diversity is what makes India great. 

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