Agrawal means the children of Agrasena or Agroha, an ancient city in Haryana said to be founded by Agrasena. Agarwals are the most important sub-caste of the Vaish community. Though a majority of the Agarval community follow Hinduism, a part of them follow Jainism.They are mainly businessmen hence are wealthy.They are very orthodox but still have a very modern outlook.
Agarwal wedding is an extravagant affair which is done over days. The important ceremonies are as follows,
Engagement or Rokhna: It is a symbolisation of bringing the bide and groom’s families together. The father of the bride or any elderly in her family applies tilak on the groom to indicate their acceptance of him.
Godh Barai: The groom’s sisters bring lavish gifts for the bride in an elaborately decorated tray of gifts, jewellery, toys, clothes and sweets and place these on the bride’s ‘jholi’ (lap).
‘Sangee: It is musical get together exclusively for and by the ladies of both the families The bride sits on a silver ‘chowki’ or low stool,decorated in fine clothes and jwellerygifted to her by the groom’s family.
Naandi: Its a Ganesh pooja, a pre wedding ceremony done by the preists..
Bhaat: Two days prior to the wedding the brides mother invites her brother the maternal uncle of the bride for a simple vegetarian feast called bhaat.The maternal uncle or “Mama” plays a crucial role in an agarwal marriage. He arrives with lavish gifts for the bride on the day of the bhaat and gives them to the bride.
Tel Baan and Haldi : The ladies of the families prepare the bride and groom for the forthcoming wedding by giving them a ritualistic bath after applying oil and turmeric on them.This ceremony will happen separately for groom and bride in their respective houses.
Henna or Mehandhi: This ceremony usually held one day before the wedding ceremony at the brides house where mehendi is applied for the bride along with lots of music and dance.
Barrat: Then the groom leaves for the wedding venue on a horse carrying a sword in a ceremonial procession called the barrat.
Jai mala : The bride on entering the wedding mandap places a garland on the groom’s shoulder.
Mangal pheras: The preist lights the ‘homa’ or sacred fire. Offerings are made into the sacred fire as a form of thanksgiving and purification. The bride’s veil is tied to the grooms waist band, and the couples goes around the fire seven times, repeating their marriage vows called Pheras.
Kanyadaan: The brides father gives away his daughter by placing her hand into the groom’s hand with a silver or gold coin. Amidst prayers, the pujari pours water over their joined hands and blesses them.
Muti bund and kangana: These are fun games played between the bride and groom.The groom closes his hand in a tight fist and the bride tries very hard to open it! Then the bride does the same and it is the groom’s turn to unlock her fist
Viddai: An emotional ceremony where the bride departs her maternal home and leaves to her husband’s home. Family and friends, shower her with blessings and gifts.
Vadhu Pravesh: It is the entrance of the bride in to her future home, where she is welcomed with arthi by her mother in law.