significance of Kanyadan in traditional Hindu weddings

Ever wondered about the significance of Kanyadan in traditional Hindu weddings?

Kanyadan is considered one of the most pious and greatest of all donations according to Hindu Vedic Religion. The Kanyadan can be understood as ‘Kanya’ as Daughter (maiden) and ‘Dan’ means donation. According to Hindu wedding ceremonies, the Kanyadan is an essential ritual, without which a Hindu wedding cannot take place.

significance of Kanyadan in traditional Hindu weddings

Let’s find out how it is performed and the significance of Kanyadan in traditional Hindu weddings:

  • When a wedding takes place, the women in most of the cultures leave their parents’ house and start residing with her groom and his family, depending if it’s a joint or a nuclear family.
  • The Kanyadan signifies that the girl’s parents are now giving away their daughter to the groom, trusting that the groom and his family will take care of her as her own.

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  • The Kanyadan is known as ‘Maha Daan’ as daughters are very precious and special to their parents, therefore letting them away is no easy task for parents.
  • The parents that have performed this ceremony are considered to be free from the cycle of life and death, performing this ceremony can also free them of all their sins.
  • It can help them achieve moksha (salvation), hence, it is called a ‘Maha Daan’ or the great donation.
  • On the wedding day, the groom and the bride are seen as Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi or their incarnations.
  • The ceremony includes placing hands of the bride over the groom with some other holy objects and the daughter’s parents or any other senior members of the family pour holy waters on their palms.
  • The water flows through the daughter’s hand to the hands of the groom and then falls down.  The significance of this ritual is that from now on the girl is of the new family, though she can always fulfil her responsibilities as a daughter but the priority now shall be the family of her groom.

significance of Kanyadan in traditional Hindu weddings

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  • The person who is to perform the Kanyadan ceremony shall fast until it is performed.
  • In earlier times, it used to be a nirjala fast which means that the person even abstained from drinking water keep aside eating any food products. With changing times and traditions, people now consider drinking water.
  • This Kanyadan ceremony is followed by saat phera, sindhoor and mangalsutra ceremony, and the heads of the bride and the groom are touched to mark their union and successful wedding ceremony.

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