Two main ceremonies are part of the Punjabi Sikh wedding tradition: the milni (meeting) and the Anand Karag (blissful union).
The Milni And Barat Reception
The milni ceremony formally introduces the male relatives in both families. It takes place at the same location as the wedding. An Ardaas is conducted prior to beginning the introductions. The bride’s and groom’s father take the lead in the milni by meeting each other. The meetings involve a garland being placed around the neck of each relative by the equivalent relative from the other family. The two men then hug. The hugging has become a friendly competition as each man tries to lift the other off the ground while hugging.
After the milni, the barat reception takes place. The barat (groom’s wedding party – also called janaat) is welcomed by the bride’s family and offered food and drinks.
- Garlands for each person
- Bride side brings gifts for various relatives as agreed upon prior to the wedding day
Time of Day:
1 – 2 hours prior to the wedding
How it’s Done:
- The barat and the bride’s side gather together in a common area (for example, directly outside the gurdwara or wedding hall)
- Both families face each other with room between the two for the milnis to take place
- A granthi performs Ardaas
- The bride’s father carries out the first milni or meeting with the groom’s father by each placing a garland around each other’s necks. They then hug each other.
- The fathers then calls the next male relatives forward to perform the milni with the like relative on other family’s side. For example, the thiajis (fathers eldest brother) on each side will do a milni together and then chachajis (fathers youngest brothers), etc.
- After the last milni is performed, the barat enjoys food and drinks organized by the bride’s family
Bachai lok your Auntyji firmly believes gifts should not be given by the bride’s family to the grooms relatives. Gifts should only be bestowed on the couple, not their accompanying relatives. The primary purpose of the milni is to meet relatives and should be treated as such. The tradition of giving gifts or money by the bride’s family to the groom’s relatives during the milni is now considered old-fashioned and should not be followed. Your Auntji believes each family member should meet each other with happiness in their hearts as this sets the tone for the forging of new relationships.
Your Auntyji also thinks that since it is the 21st century and the Sikh religion believes in the equality of the sexes, it is a nice gesture to include women in the milni. At least the mothers should meet.