In the beautiful valley of Kashmir, wedding traditions are just equally beautiful. The weddings are a glorious affair, with the bride and groom resplendent in tasteful traditional dresses and oodles of glittering gold jewellery. Traditional dances and music are an integral part of the ceremonies giving them a very earthy appeal. The engagement ceremony is called Kasamdry where the families meet at a temple in the presence of a priest, decide a formal date for the wedding and exchange flowers. This is followed by Livun and Krool Khanun which involves thorough cleaning and decoration of the bride and groom's homes. Next comes the Maenziraat or ceremonial bath where the bride's Mama washes the bride's feet followed by Mehendi ceremony at night, which is accompanied by traditional song and dance ritual called the Wanwun ritual.
On the morning of the wedding Kanishran or divagone/diugun ritual takes place where the bride and groom are applied a mixture of besan, curd and saffron before they change into the wedding attire.
The Kashmiri brides wear embroidered lehengas either red, pink or yellow in colour. They wear velvet lehengas as the weather is cold. Alternatively she could also wear a glamorous version of the pheran with intricate zari work mixed with traditional Kashmiri thread work. Brides wear a head gear called Tarang on their head which includes a white cloth and a head band called Kalpush. This is covered by the bridal dupatta. Besides the regular necklace, bangles, paayal and toe rings, the brides wear a special type of earrings called Dejharoo which are like gold pendants hanging on a gold chain through the earlobes. These hold as much significance as the mangalsutra. The bride also wears a waistband over her lehenga.
The Kashmiri wedding ceremony is called the Lagan. There are seven pheras done as per normal Vedic rituals. The priest does his pujas before calling for the groom and he's followed by the bride, carried by her maternal uncle. The bride and groom's head are covered and they are given a large mirror inside that cloth to see each other for the first time. Then the Kanyadaan takes place when the bride's father places his daughter's hand in the groom's hand which is never left during the entire ceremony. This is followed by the pheras.