Marriage is a social bond or legal contract that establishes a conjugal relationship between two people. Although the definition of marriage varies from country to country, in general, marriage is an institution through which an intimate and sexual relationship between two people gains social recognition. Marriages are usually performed through formal ceremonies. Although marriage is limited to two people of the opposite sex in many cultures, polygamous marriage is recognized in some cultures and same-sex marriage in some cultures. Family begins through marriage. Apart from this, the opportunity of procreation and inheritance is created through marriage.

In Bangladesh, men related to through marriage are identified as Swami (Pati) and women as Stri (Patni). The joint life of husband and wife is termed as “conjugal life”. Different religions have different marriage customs. Similarly, marriages are held in different societies in different customs. Although marriage is primarily a religious practice, it is also a legal practice in modern civilization. 

Bangladeshi wedding refers to weddings and related rituals held in different regions of Bangladesh. Throughout Bangladesh, marriage is referred to as “biy” or “bibah”, but regionally it is called with different pronunciations, such as: Biya or Biya (BIA) or Biha, influenced or imitated by the Hindi language, Shaadi. In the Sylhet region, marriages are sometimes derisively called Henga. As weddings held in Bangladesh have taken on various religious affiliations through religious interactions, so have the customs of this ethno-sovereign region. But in all cases the wedding is roughly divided into three main parts: Gaye Halud, Biye and Baubhat or Walima. However, a slight difference is observed in the division of this segment by religion.

In Muslim marriages, the marriage ceremony is performed by calling a Qazi at home or at a community center. The Kazi, in the presence of both parties, seeks the consent of the bride and groom and with the consent of both, the main formalities of the marriage are completed. In Hindu weddings, the priest recites the marriage chants, then keeps the fire in his left hand and circumambulates it seven times to complete the main ceremony. In addition, according to Hindu scriptures, “divine marriage” also takes place, in which the daughter’s father goes to the temple and gives the daughter to his son-in-law as a witness to God. In Buddhism, Buddhist monks teach marriage by chanting mantras. Christians are married in church, in the presence of a priest, by reading from the Bible, knows the consent of the couple, and the marriage is consummated with the consent of both.

In many countries of the world, the wedding ceremony is over in a day, but the wedding in Bangladesh is not over in a day, but never over a month. The main event of the wedding is at least three or four days long.

Various wedding ceremonies in Bangladesh:

Gaye Hualdu:
Gaye Hualdu is a ceremony outside the main wedding ceremony, which is usually held before the wedding. Although the beginning of the ceremony was the ceremony of putting turmeric on the bride or groom, but with the passage of time, the ceremony has now become much more extensive. At the same time, the event has also begun to incorporate many cultures outside the country.

The wedding ceremony is the main ceremony of marriage in Bangladesh. This event is organized by the bride and groom attend as guests. The groom attends the ceremony along with his family members, close relatives, friends and neighbors. Usually there are separate places for bride and groom in the ceremony. Go and sit in the seat assigned to the bridegroom. Scriptures are recited by a qazi at Muslim weddings. It is a social process of knowing the mutual consent of the bride and groom. First the bride’s consent to the marriage is taken in the presence of the groom and bride’s counselors and then the groom’s consent is taken by the same Qazi in the presence of the groom’s and bride’s counselors. Thus the main ceremony of marriage is completed. Then the feast begins. The wedding feast begins with the groom’s feast.

For the groom, food is served on a separate large dish, called chhadri (pronounced: sadri) in some regions. Most of the food served in this dish is wasted and the ritual is done purely for beauty. Besides, food is served separately for the guests of the bride and groom. The menu usually consists of high-calorie foods, such as: polao, roast chicken, korma, kebab, rezala; Sweet foods include: curd, paish, jorda; Digestive aids include Borhani etc. In addition, some weddings include white rice and soft drinks. After the wedding feast, the groom is taken to the bride and the two are seated together. After performing some more rituals there comes the farewell phase. The bride is handed over to the bridegroom walks out of the venue with the bride towards her home. A tearful moment is already created between the bride and groom.

Apart from other religious ceremonies, the main function in Hindu weddings is Satchakkar or Satpak. For this, a fire pit is made in the middle of the mandap, a part of the cloth worn by both the bride and the groom is tied together and the fire is placed on the right side and it is circled seven times. This is how the main ceremony of marriage is completed.

Baubhat or Walima:
One or two days after the wedding ceremony, Baubhat or Walima is organized by the groom. In Baubha, the bride and groom participate as guests with a group consisting of their close relatives-friends-relatives. Even though it is the bride’s party, this party is also called the groom’s party. Groom’s party guests are also invited.

Different customs of marriage in Bangladesh:

Dowry or bet

The practice of dowry in Bangladeshi marriages is very ancient. According to a study conducted by Shirley Lindenbaum, until the middle of the 20th century, the economy of Bangladesh was based on agriculture and therefore the source of income for marriageable husbands was not well-off, on the other hand, marriageable fair and quality brides were few and far between. So at that time the groom gave dowry to the bride. This dowry could be in the form of cash or ornaments or furniture. From the middle of the 20th century, agricultural people began to move towards cities, and husbands became urban and began to gain employment opportunities. On the other hand, brides remain in the same position, in the village. Therefore, as the value of the vessel increased, from that time the bridegroom began to give pledge or dowry to the bridegroom. But once the large population moving to the cities did not find employment and the price of the handful of employed women rose further, the practice of dowry became socially established.

In the beginning, when the bride was given a dowry, the girl who knew how to weave Shital rugs would get as much as twenty rupees at the time of her marriage. In the Manipuri community, looms, bobbins and other textile accessories are given as dowry by the bride at a competitive price, as the girls are the traditional weavers of the waist looms.

Later, however, the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1980 in Bangladesh made dowry-taking a punishable offence. Dowry is almost everywhere known as Dowry or Pan but in Rajshahi-Pabna region Dowry is called Nachari .

 Wedding dance:

In Sylhet, Mymensingh and Rajshahi regions of Bangladesh, a special dance is performed during the bathing of the bride and groom. Neighboring women organize this dance around the bride and groom. They participate in the wedding dance with paddy, durba, pan, kadi etc. Special songs are also common in such dances:

Marjani of Lachre Bhava is a little fixed,Malyani of Lachre Bhava is a little Gidar.I will feed you mangoes from the mango garden immediately. Iwill feed you jam from the jam garden immediately.

Bangladesh wedding dress:


Punjabi is the traditional dress of the groom wearing yellow. Although cotton Punjabi is in vogue from the past, today along with cotton, Khadi or Andi is also in vogue. Modern men are also seen wearing veils or northern chala along with Punjabi. In the past, Punjabis used to wear simple dhol pajama, but nowadays churidar pajama and even jeans are also noticeable. There are shoes on the feet.

The practice of yellow sari-red border with yellow bhushan on the bride is age-old. Nowadays the trend of jamdani saree in various colors like yellow, red, green, blue, white, purple etc. is noticeable. Some also wear katan, garad or graphic print sarees for variety. Wide hem cotton sarees have been around since ancient times to modern times. Some wear silk and even muslin. In the past there was a trend of cut blouses but now kameez cut blouses, contrast blouses are trending. Also some wear long jackets with blouses in winter weddings. The color of the blouse can be different. Other accessories include khompar kanta, bicha, nupur; Wallet etc.

Groom’s attire on the wedding day is usually Punjabi-Pajama and Sherwani. The groom wears a cap on his head and wears a turban over it. On the feet are socks and shoes. Handkerchief in pocket or hand. Turbans are sometimes made in Punjabi style with large colored cloths, sometimes ready-made turbans are bought from the market. The turban is sometimes made of pure white cloth, but most of the time the turban is colorful, multi-colored, and has chumki-zari work. Lately, in some weddings, it is also seen the custom of keeping a shawl or veil on the groom’s shoulders. The bride’s wedding dress is a colorful saree. A red saree is usually worn on the wedding day, but lately, apart from red, purple, green, pink sarees are also seen. The saree is quite elaborate: the wedding saree is quite gorgeous with a mix of wire, manipulation, chumki, puti etc. The bride wears a blouse, petticoat and shoes along with the saree. During the wedding usually high heels, semi heels, Or wears flat shoes, but shoes are also worn with sarees. Many times the practice of keeping handbags in combination with sarees is seen.


Wedding ornaments mean gold ornaments. Sometimes when the price of gold rises, silver is also used to fill the place of ornaments. Depending on the additional strength, some also use crystal or diamond ornaments. Also due to lack of capacity, some use imitation ornaments or gold plated ornaments. Tikli, tiara, bangle, earrings, nose pendant, nolock, neck chain, big neck jewelry, necklace, ring, payal, nupur etc. are widely used in jewellery. For men, wrist rings and necklaces are commonly used.

Also, floral ornaments are used in wedding ceremonies, especially women are decorated with floral ornaments in the ceremony of Gai Turan. In the past, marigolds and rosin were commonly used for floral decoration, but now green, purple, pink and white flowers are the trend. As raw flowers are used in making this kind of ornaments, so are dried flowers. Chrysanthemums and orchids of various colors are used in making ornaments. In addition, pearls, crystals or diamonds, stones and various types of beads are added to make flower ornaments. Flower ornaments include earrings, head tiara, tikli, ratanchur, rings, anklets with chains, various types of necklaces, sitahara etc. Besides, the voice is also created. In Dhaka, there are various shops for making such forms.


There are different types of dress up culture for both bride and groom on the occasion of marriage. But naturally the bride’s dress is more important here. Therefore, to meet such demand, various parlors have been developed in Mofswal as well as in the city, where brides are dressed in exchange for money. Parlors also advertise various types of skin care and beauty treatments including fair polish, waxing, threading, aroma therapy, etc. Even for decorating in famous and expensive parlors many times the bride needs to be booked in advance. Newspapers also publish special articles on wedding dresses, where different types of bridal dresses, different accessories and even bargains are mentioned. In the past, wedding dress meant red makeup. But today’s make-up artists are red in the wedding dress of the past, A preference for decorating using different colored shadows, reducing the amount of yellow and gold. However, in all ages, the bride’s hairstyle is dominated by bangs; Although some people also suggest braiding the hair and attaching flowers to it.

In the past, it was customary for both the bride and the groom to wear henna before or after applying turmeric. Nowadays grooms wear less henna, but brides decorate their hands full of henna as before. In the past there was not much variety in mehndi designs, usually a round sun on the hand, and some mehndi on the tips of the fingers, and only the palm of the hand was painted with mehndi. But nowadays, in addition to making various designs on the hands with henna, there is also a tradition of wearing henna on the palm of the hand up to the wrist. Many even dye their feet with henna. In the past, the practice of painting the feet of the bride with Altata became somewhat stagnant in the middle, but now the practice is gaining popularity again among brides.


In the past, various natural materials were used to decorate the wedding house. At that time, large arches were built at the main gate of the house with banana trees. Sometimes the youth of the house used to cut the bamboo and use it to make a beautiful fence and make a designer gate according to the criteria of elegance. Besides, as a material for decorating the house, paper strips were made into rings and a kind of paper-chain was made and the house was decorated with it. But gradually this arrangement has gone beyond the confines of the home and has been entrusted to the hands of a commercial organization called ‘Decorator’. Usually the people of the decorator company construct a gate or archway with bamboo and colorful cloth at the main gate of the house.

Decoration style:

The custom of decorating the various elements of the wedding house has been cherished in Bengali society since ancient times. In Hindu marriages, it was customary to decorate veils, and these veils were mainly worshiped by lotuses and the god of marriage – Prajapati. On the occasion of marriage, the ornate “Ayosra” is decorated with a dancing peacock holding a pekham, surrounded by fourteen or sixteen virgin women dancing in a circle. Besides, the tradition of drawing Alpana in marriage houses is still prevalent today. Most wedding alpanas are circular with a lotus in the center, and this large lotus-centered circular alpana is unique throughout the world except in the Bengal region of India. Of course, lately, various motifs have been added to Alpana. In addition, in the past, the pindi was used during the wedding. ‘Hundreds of lotuses’ were painted on it as a symbol of female parts and fertility. Cooler for carrying wedding items is decorated with various geometric designs or floral and symbolic designs. Scenes from the Radha-Krishna story can sometimes be found in the decoration of wedding kanthas, where the gopis are often depicted naked or half-naked.

Parties to marriage in Bangladesh:


In Bangladeshi marriages, the bridegroom usually proposes marriage to the bride, so the groom is an active part of the Bangladeshi wedding. The bridegroom organizes bauvhat or walima during the wedding ceremony. Generally, after marriage, the bride is taken to the groom’s house and the bride lives in that house for life.

the bride

Kanepaksha or Kanyapaksha, is a passive part in Bangladeshi marriage. Marriage proposal is not usually made by the bride. However, if it is necessary to give, it is usually seen that a third party called ‘Ghatak’ is resorted to. In rural areas, and even in urban areas, brides seem to be heavily preoccupied with girls. Because in many cases, as a new version of a seemingly extinct culture called dowry, the bride’s party has to give a large amount of furniture and property to the groom’s house during the marriage. In the cultural context of Bangladesh, Konepaksha is quite sensitive. Because if the arranged marriage breaks down for some reason, it becomes difficult for the bride, or even for another daughter of the family, to find a groom or arrange a new marriage, in many cases it becomes almost impossible. In this situation, many brides are forced to leave their place. Although the prevalence is lower in urban areas, it is not negligible.

The catalyst

A ghatak is basically a person who mediates between the bride and the groom and works to complete the marriage. This act of ghatak is called ghatakali. Ghatak is sometimes called Raibar or Ayvar in regional language. Ghatkali is not always a business, but sometimes becomes a social or family responsibility. Although many have made it their profession as a business. Ghatkali work is done from house to house, but with the development of information technology, many people are making Ghatkali work internet based. As a result of which, now sitting at home, they are making initial contact for marriage by directly contacting others by submitting their profile on Nidrishta web site.

Would you like to decorate and enrich the international wedding culture in your land by adding unique cultural elements, events, ornaments and accessories to your or your friends wedding? Or maybe you just don`t want buy but only design all your wardrobe clothing yoursel using the textiles and ornaments from unique cultures of Asia, Africa and Oceania adding a set of special ornaments to it with make up accessories? Dear shop keepers, designers and importers of Europe, dear families with soon to be brides and lovers of a personal and not labeled style – welcome to cooperation with Project Alpa Ost EU!



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