Indian weddings are known for their elaborate ceremonies and opulent celebrations. Besides, they are held in a very traditional manner, commemorating numerous rituals as per the ancient Vedic era. This has sanctified the institution of marriage, making it one of the most important happenings in one’s life. Engagement ceremony is one such ceremony which marks the beginning of the wedding concord. It is also knows as the sagai ceremony or ring ceremony.
It is one of the first ceremonies that takes place between the two families and the would-be bride and groom. The engagement ceremony is basically a brief ritual wherein the couple exchanges gold rings. This ensures both the parties that the girl and the boy are now hooked. This is why it is also called the ring ceremony. This is followed by exchange of gifts between the families like sweets, dry fruits etc. this is followed by either a lunch or dinner party.
In some families the sagai ceremony is clubbed with the engagement itself. This is another pre wedding ceremony, which strengthens the bond between the both families. In sagai, the bride is given jewelry, clothes, make-up kit and baby toys, by the mother of the groom. On the other hand, the groom is put tilak and given gifts by the family of the bride. A havan is also performed at times. Here also a lot of gifts such as fruits, sweets, clothes are exchanged between the two.
These ceremonies are performed differently in different parts of the country and are even called by different names, such as aashirwad ceremony, chunni chadana, sagan ceremony, magni etc. However, the essence of all these ceremonies is the same. Besides, quite often, the date of the marriage is also decided and confirmed at these ceremonies. These ceremonies thus, conclude with the blessings of the elderly and the Almighty.