The most prominent post-wedding ritual after the Vidaai is the new bride being welcomed into her new abode. This ritual comes with various customary games, acting as an ice-breaker for the nervous bride.
There are various post-wedding ceremonies such as Abhishek, Anna Prashashan, Aashirvadah, and Grihapravesa – the welcoming of the bride to her new home. These ceremonies take place at the groom’s home where the bride’s mother-in-law gives the new couple a warm welcome. This is known as the Grihapravesa or home-coming.
This ceremony usually requires the presence of the entire family of the groom in particular, apart from the presence of his extended family. The Aarti is performed by the mother-in-law for the newlywed couple.
During the Griha Pravesha, the mother-in-law then applies a Tilak to both the bride and groom, after which the couple seeks blessing from the elders present. After this, the bride is to tilt a Kalash (pot) laden with rice using her right foot and then step into a dish with Alta. After this, she is to walk into the home leaving behind auspicious red footprints which is symbolic of the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.
The new home with new relatives and responsibilities is overwhelming for the bride. Hence, in order to make her feel more comfortable, ritualistic post-wedding games are performed after the bride’s entry. Although times have changes and couples essentially meet prior to their nuptials, the conventional post-wedding games are still practiced. Initially, they would contribute towards increasing the familiarity and the proximity of the wedded couple, however, today they are just a customary practice that brings in the fun element after the tearful Bidaai.
However, these games and rituals take various forms depending on the place, one thing which is common is to welcome a new member of the family with open hearts.