To Baraat or Not To Baraat

The baraat is the procession of the groom and his family to the wedding. Often it includes riding an elephant or a white horse, being surrounded by people dancing and singing, instruments playing, to be met at the ceremony location by the bride’s mother with a thali to greet him.

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I had not planned to do this aspect of a Hindu wedding ceremony, yet I keep on getting questions about it! It seems like everyone really wants to do this. Even those who don’t know what it’s called ask frequently if Brad is going to dance down the street or ride in on a horse.

I thought it would be too much to explain such a tradition when so many of the guests will not be familiar with Hindu weddings at all, yet even members of his family have asked if they can do it.

When we went to the zoo a few weeks ago, Brad joked that he was going to ask them about renting an elephant.

Well, I have no interest in figuring out the logistics of getting an elephant or a horse involved, but if people really want this celebratory entrance, then I think we can work on a little dancing and music to accompany Brad’s arrival at the wedding.

So now I’m thinking we can get Brad and his family gathered at the end of the driveway and the bagpiper can maybe play something peppy while they walk down the driveway to the garden where the ceremony will be set up.

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About Ambaa Choate

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.