Nepali Wedding Traditions and RitualsNepal has a wide variety of ethnicity and tribal population, giving diversity to the rituals and practices involved in weddings. However, the majority of marriages in Nepal are either according to Hindu tradition or Buddhist traditions.
Difference Between Hindu and Buddhist Weddings in Nepal
The one significant difference between the two is that Buddhists don’t have engagement ceremony before the main wedding. While Hindus in Nepal have an engagement ceremony called "Tika-Tala" in which an official announcement of the marriage is made through the marking of the small red dot of kumkum on the forehead of the bride and the groom.
Many pre-wedding ceremonies are a part of the celebration, the first one being “Bagdan”, the Ganesha Puja, wherein an exchange of pot (Kalash) takes place symbolising the ‘giving’ of daughter by her father to her to-be husband
Following are various other events that occupy much importance in Nepalese tradition such as “ Swayamvara or the selection of suitable husband by the bride from a group of men.
No Faults in Our Stars
Afterwards, wedding rituals are performed by the priest as per the suitable time derived from the horoscope and astrological analysis.
Keeping the Bond Strong - Rings Exchange
Wedding in Nepal consists of many ritualistic performances that are deemed to strengthen the marital bond of the couple. A wedding in Nepal would conclude with the exchange of wedding rings between the couple.
Official Bride Entry
The bride sets off for the groom’s house where some post-wedding rituals are performed, mainly with the purpose of a proper introduction of the groom's family to the newly wedded bride.
Colourful Nepali Weddings
A traditional wedding in Nepal is famous for its richness and vibrancy. Right from the bright red or green wedding attires to lavish Nepali cuisine, they have it all to mark wedding as a majestic and memorable day. They generally last for 2-3 days.
Marriage Laws in NepalWeddings generally carry with themselves the baggage of legal procedures as well, which ought to be carried out carefully. Here is a glance to the steps that are to be followed for the same.
- Foreigners wishing to marry in Nepal are subjected to the same laws as Nepalese citizens, i.e. all the marriages happening in Nepal are legalised under the Registration of Marriages Act 1971.
- Individuals concerned should apply for the Notice of Marriage in the consular section of the relevant Embassy. Bare in mind the criteria to be eligible to use; the couple should be living in Kathmandu Consular District for at least 21 days by then.
- After 21 days, a letter of No Impediment and an Affidavit of Eligibility to marry will be issued, and from then you can get married within three months.
- Next, you have to visit the Chief District’s office with the documents issued by Embassy and other materials such as Decree Absolute or death certificate of the previous spouse( if married previously), original passport, a photocopy of the data page from the page of passport, photocopy of the entry visa into Nepal and passport size photos of the couple.
- After 15 days, the couple will be required to return to the office to sign the marriage register following which the marriage certificate will be issued, written in both Nepali and English.
- Charges for the process mentioned above vary from Embassy to Embassy.
- The whole process, right from compulsory twenty-one days, stay in Kathmandu to the issue of marriage certificate, takes approximately five to six weeks.
- Specific wedding planning organisations have all the above process of legalisation of marriage included in their package to provide a hassle-free destination wedding.
Polyandry System in Nepal
Fraternal Polyandry is a system where two or more brothers marry the same wife. In Humla, Dolpo and some other places in the North-West part of Nepal, about 42% of marriages are through polyandry. The reason is that the people don’t want to divide the farming land into many families that form marrying different wives. The farming land available is already less.
Divorce in Nepal
Divorce in Nepal is a long and cumbersome procedure. However, newer laws have made it possible for a woman in Nepal to keep some property even after the divorce. But sadly, there is a social stigma put on divorcee women. So, women often end up staying in an abusive marriage instead of taking a divorce.