Significance of Vidaai ceremony in Indian Weddings

An Indian wedding is an extravaganza of various ceremonies to enjoy and celebrate the moments leading to one’s initiation into a new journey of life. After all the fun and frolic, wedding rituals on the bride’s side conclude with the Vidaai or Bidaai ceremony. It is a ritual that marks the official departure of the bride from her home to her husband’s.

Vidaai ceremony

Tearful Adieu of the Bride

After Kanyadaan (when father of the bride or in his absence any elder male member of the girl’s family entrusts the bride to the groom), members of the bride’s family prepare to bid adieu to their girl with lots of blessings and good wishes. It is a moment of mixed emotions for everyone.

An emotional bride hugs all her near and dear ones. Overwhelmed with the pain of separation, her parents and relatives comfort her and give her their heartfelt blessings.

They take the bride to the groom’s family waiting to take her home. Before crossing her house doorstep, the bride throws back handful of rice and coins over her head. This act symbolizes her wish for prosperity for her parents and her gratitude for all they have done for her. This rice is collected by the bride’s mother and her other relatives.

When the bride and the groom sit in the car and the car starts, brothers and cousins of the bride push the car from behind. This is a gesture of pushing the bride towards her new journey of life.

As the groom's car moves forward, the girl’s family completes the Vidaai rituals by throwing coins on the road. This is symbolic of warding off all the evils from the path of the newly wedded couple.

Vidaai ceremony is known by different names in different Indian customs. Among the Sikhs, it is called Doli. A doli is a palanquin that was used in olden days to carry members of the royal family from one place to another. As per the traditional practice, brothers and cousins of the bride carry the doli with the bride sitting inside to the bridegroom’s house. Although, in modern times, the bride is taken in doli till a certain point after which she joins her husband in a car for the rest of the way.

Among the Muslims, Vidaai ceremony is called ‘Rukhsati’.

Significance of Vidaai ceremony

Girls have an innate ability to nurture, care for, and love others and in India they are considered the manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and fortune. During a Vidaai ceremony, parents of a girl hand over their loving daughter and their power of attorney over her to their son-in-law. The ritual marks the end of a phase of a girl’s life when she comes out of the loving protection of her parents to assume new responsibilities in life.

By throwing back the gains of rice, she repays her parents for all the caring they have showered on her. Hindu tradition says that daughters, the Lakshmi of the home will always wish prosperity and happiness for her parents even though she no longer stays with them.