The pearl of the nation, Manipur situated in the northeast, has colorful wedding rituals, traditional yet unique. As always, the weddings are an occasion of mirthful joy and splendid colors celebrating the very essence of love. Manipuri weddings boast of a bespoke elegance that has all the ingredients of a munificent Indian wedding. Let's discover it all...

Hinaba: This refers to the first meeting of the parents of the groom and the bride. Here, the groom's parents visit the bride's place where the horoscopes of the prospective couple are tallied. If all goes well, the date of the next meeting is fixed.

Yathang thanaga: In this ritual, the parents of the bride visit the groom's place and give their consent to the wedding.

Waraipot puba: The groom's family brings food items to the bride's house. The wedding is finally sealed between both the families.

Heijapot: This refers to the formal engagement of the bride and the groom. The groom along with his family visit the bride's family with gifts. The bride's family invites their relatives and close friends to be a part of this happy occasion. The priest finally announces the wedding date amidst a lot of cheer.

The groom, his family and other kinsmen are greeted at the bride's place by a Meitei woman. With a thali covered with banana leaf and containing betel nut and betel leaves, they are accorded a warm welcome inside. The seating arrangement and the wedding altar is made around the tulsi (basil) plant. Interestingly, all the rituals in a Manipuri wedding are centered around the tulsi plant. A diya (earthen lamp) is lighted and the groom's feet is washed by a young boy from the bride's side. The bride, adorned in the opulent Rasleela dress, is now brought to the altar. She carries with her the garland of fresh flowers which she has made herself. After the garlanding, the couple takes seven circles around the tulsi plant amidst the sounds of shehnai and kirtans. The bride enacting the role of a gopi (Lord Krishna's beloved) moves gracefully with the rhythmic tunes of the shehnai. Following this, two women from both the families release a pair of taki fish into the water, symbolizing the bride and the groom. It is considered a good omen if the fishes move side by side in the water. Thereafter, a lavish meal is served to the deities so that the newlywed couple gets their blessing in abundance. The guests are then served dakshina (token money) and sweets for having graced the occasion. Finally, the bride leaves for her new home with the groom and his family.

The next day after the wedding, the bride's parents visit their daughter's new home to check on her well-being. Mangani chakouba is the last ritual in a Manipuri wedding which takes place after five days of the wedding. This marks the newlyweds' first visit to the bride's place after their wedding. Also, the entire clan of both the families along with other guests are invited for a grand feast which includes many items of fish and other authentic Manipuri dishes. The guests also present the newlyweds with various gifts like rice, meat, fowls, pigs, money or alcohol to mark their new journey of life.