Nuptials in the Indian culture has spiritual significance attached to them. It involves so much more than just love to plan and fix an Indian wedding. It is a connection between two persons, two families, and their pertaining expectations. One can only imagine how big of a task it is to get the perfect Muhurta for marriages in India. The right dates, the right match of the birth chart (Kundli), and the right time- every aspect is important to make a marriage successful.
Every Hindu festival has a special reason associated with it which usually has references in Hindu mythology. There is a legend behind why the Wedding Season begins after Tulsi Vivah. Normally, any day between Prabodhini Ekadashi and Kartik Pournima is suitable for conducting Tulsi Vivah. The beginning of this period i.e. Ekadashi is also called Devuthanna which is the end of Chaaturmaas. As per Hindu tradition, weddings and other auspicious ceremonies like Griha Pravesh, Mundan, etc. should not be held during Chaaturmaas (starting around July till October). It is said that Lord Vishnu is in Yoga Nidra (a state of complete deep sleep) in this period. It is the perfect time for observing fasts and spiritual activities. The followers of the Hindu religion ideally follow this and organize weddings as well as other auspicious events after Tulsi Vivah.
Tulsi Vivah signifies the union of two divine souls. Tulsi or Holy Basil as commonly known is considered to be the most sacred of all in Hinduism. It is highly revered in ancient tales and worshipped every morning. To begin with, the Tulsi plant is decorated as a bride and a Shaligram stone as a groom. They both represent Goddess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu respectively. The Mangalashtaka is recited like a real marriage ceremony and the blissful unification of both the deities takes place. This is a sign of pure love and unconditional devotion towards each other. It gives a green flag in simple terms to begin real-life weddings. Marriages conducted on the Muhurta given by an astrologer are said to be fruitful and take place without any obstacles.
Tulsi Vivah Celebrations
The Tulsi Vivah celebrations are not just limited to a ceremonial marriage but there is a lot more to add cheer. Diwali is roughly celebrated till Tulsi Vivah and it officially marks the end of Diwali festival. Decorating the Tulsi plant as a bride and making two paper idols of a bride & a groom starts in the morning itself. While some people conduct this marriage outside their home, some arrange huge set- ups & decorations. Special treats are prepared to distribute after the ceremony. The wedding begins in the evening with recital of Mangalashtaka. A young boy is asked to stand as a groom in front of the Tulsi plant pot. The plant clad with saree and beautiful jewels looks almost like a real bride on her wedding day. She represents Vrinda (the original name of Tulsi). She is also known as Vishnupriya, the one who is dearest to Lord Vishnu. Neighbours, friends and families come together during this event and enjoy it to the fullest. After the last verse of Mangalashtaka, the groom puts a garland around the Tulsi plant and others start bursting firecrackers. A mix of sugarcane pieces, Kurmura (puffed rice), coconut, etc. is distributed amongst everyone present there. It is a moment of joy, celebration and festivities. Some people even print wedding invitation cards and host grand feasts.
Marriages in India are performed on specific timings of a particular day that is known as a Muhurta. A Muhurta is a favorable time for conducting any auspicious event. This ensures that the new beginnings start on a good note and becomes successful in the future- be it a marriage or any venture. As far as weddings are concerned, one must check for the right Muhurta by consulting a trusted astrologer. In India, numerous Muhurta are available after the Tulsi Vivah and this period is typically called the Wedding Season. This explains why the Wedding Season is at its peak in the Winters. It is almost the time for the Big Fat Indian weddings to begin!