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August 25, 2016

The Mehndi event is a colorful celebration held a few nights before the wedding, which is traditionally celebrated by the women on the bride's side of the family. Generally, a professional mehndi artist or relative will apply henna in intricate designs to the hands and feet of the bride and other women in the family. These intricate designs symbolize joy, beauty, spiritual awakening and offering. Guests create a festive atmosphere by dressing in bright colors, singing traditional wedding songs, and dancing to popular music.


August 25, 2016

The pithi ceremony is an auspicious ritual performed for good luck. Generally, the bride and groom have separate pithi ceremonies at their family homes. Pithi is a paste made mainly of turmeric, chickpea flour and rose water. Family members and well-wishers of the bride and groom apply the paste on the bride/groom's skin. This yellow paste is thought to brighten and even the skin tone and is applied on one of the days prior to the wedding ceremony.


August 26, 2016

The puro ceremony is when the groom's family brings gifts for the bride to welcome her to the family. The trousseau trays are carried by Shams' sisters and female cousins. Shams will bring the boquet of flowers along with his mother who will have the henna basket for the attan. They are greeted and blessed by the bride's mother.

Afghan Attan

August 26, 2016

This dance signifies the acceptance of the bride, by the grooms family. Someone from the grooms side of the family normally carries a tray of Henna (mendhi) to offer the bride. Then the dancers gather in a circle, and then is followed by music which starts slow at first, and then gradually speeds up. There is a consistent beat and rhythm, and during that specific beat is when they clap inside the circle, so the movement of the hands is outside prior to the beat. It is then followed by the dancers bringing their hands out and then clapping inside the circle, and it is the same routine and pattern of movement, which then get faster. As the movements and routine get faster, the one clap turns into two claps, and the dancers who are more advanced, at times will add turns into the movements. All in all, they must keep the circular path with the clap on the beat, every other move added is up to the individuals who originate and add their own personal style to the dance. Common dance moves involve the extending of arms into air and the stretch and extension of legs. When extending arms into air, there are times when the hands are free or there is the waving of the regalia and extension of the attire to show the detail and color.


August 26, 2016


A Sangeet is more or less a big party thrown the night before the wedding day. Usually all of the guests who are attending the wedding are invited to the Sangeet. An Indian tradition during which the family and friends shower the bride and groom with dance, music, and laughs. Because of the large amount of guests attending a Sangeet it is usually held in a large space.

Most families take pride in throwing a lavish Sangeet for their son or daughter. Guests are welcomed with drinks and appetizers and there are many times ladies who will apply henna to your hands and sing song that help unite the families even more. It is a good way for people to interact with each other and have some kind of activity to do during the cocktail hour. Don’t shy away from that gorgeous outfit hanging in your closet, come dressed in your finest lehenga or sari because not only does the bride and groom wear a stunning outfit to their Sangeet so do all of the guests (the more sparkles and embellishment the better).

Music is a huge part of a Sangeet. Many times cousins of the bride and groom put on singing and dancing performances. Anything from a live band to a Punjabi DJ are spotted at Sangeets. Along with rockin music comes dancing. And boy do Indians LOVE to dance. So strap on those dancing shoes and get ready to party the night away.

Along with music and dancing and henna the Sangeet night is a great way to meet family and friends of the bride and groom and toast to their new life together.


August 27, 2016

Nikah in arabic means Unite. The nikah is a ceremony in which the bride and the groom unite as one under god by signing a contract in front of the mukhi & Kamadia (priest) of the community. The contract is the indispensable element of marriage in Islam, reflecting mutual consent and acceptance of definite rights and responsibilities. Prior to the signing of the contract the arabic Nikah is recited by a representative of the families. The last part of the nikkah is the Du'a (prayer) which invokes Allah's blessings for the newly weds.

Aina Mosaf

August 27, 2016

After both couples have officially signed the marriage contract they are then covered with a decorative shawl under which they are given a passage to read from the Quran together followed by a decorated mirror to view themselves for the first time as a married couple. In the past decades, this would have been the first time that the bride and groom would have seen each other's faces due to their marriage having been arranged. The shawl is then lifted and the bride and groom feed each other “Maaleda” also spelled "Malida", an Afghan dessert made from bread crumbs or in this case sweets, followed by intertwining their arms and offering each other a sip of a beverage, usually the juice of a fruit. Other traditions include placing henna on the bride and grooms hand and passing of the sweets to guest.

Saapatia & Ghadi

August 26, 2016

When the bride and groom enter the reception for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. They are greeted by the mother of the groom. In this case both mothers will be performing a welcoming of both families in each others homes and to rid evil eyes and bring happiness and prosperity by the following ceremonies:


Saapatia ceremony - two clay pots are placed in front of the couple. They have to break the saapatia by stepping on them and releasing the gifts they contain: lentils - representing the bounty of nature, silver - denoting wealth, sugar for sweetness and harmony, and turmeric - a sign of good health. According to tradition, the first one to break the pot is going to wear the pants in the family. According to Shams, why even bother to try!


Ghadi ceremony - Usually the bride's mother in law performs this traditon but in this case both mothers will pour water from a vessel, called a ghadi, onto the couple's feet to cleanse them and provide a fresh start for their life together.

The Knuckles

August 27, 2016

By placing the knuckles on the sides of the couple's heads and placing her hands on either side of her own head and cracking her knuckles, the groom's mother symbolically removes all their 'dukh' - suffering and misfortunes. The louder the cracking the greater the certainty that these misfortunes have been vanquished:


August 27, 2016

Khobo ceremony - a tray full of silver coins is presented by the groom's father to the bride. She's invited to accept blessings and as much as she can hold of the family wealth

Chero and Joota choopai

August 28, 2016

Two relatives, one from each side, attempt to detain the couple’s departure by holding onto the bride’s sari or dress and groom’s tie and hiding the grooms shoes that has been secretly obtained. The couple is ransomed to pay and give gifts to the satisfaction of the relatives before being allowed to depart.

Shinda aka Vidaai

August 28, 2016

This is the departure of the bride and groom after the wedding ceremonies have been completed. The event is usually somber since the bride symbolically will leave her parents’ home and embark on a new beginning with her husband. As she walks away she is asked the throw rice behind her and not to look back at her parents to symbolize the anticipation of prosperity in the future life. As we all know Sharmin has moved back to Albuquerque to be closer to her parents, and would like the celebrate this day with joy and happiness as they unite two families into one.

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