Friday, April 29, 2011

Would You Like a Spot of Tea?

I've been up since 4am to watch the Royal Wedding coverage. I think I could use more than one cup of tea to get me through the rest of today.

Was that wedding beautiful, or what? I loved seeing all of the funky hats, but the most wonderful part was the anticipation leading up to Kate's arrival.

There had been so much speculation of what her gown would be. I myself had always thought it would be a full skirt, like she had, but I wasn't convinced it would be lace. What a pleasant surprise, it was. Her gown, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen was reminiscent of one of my favorite gowns of all time-- Grace Kelly's. Hopefully this is a sign for the return of the lace sleeve wedding gown.

Kate MIddleton's incredible gown.
Grace Kelly, in 1956.
The music, Westminster Abbey, a prince, it could not have been more of a fairytale. Kate Middleton was so composed and regal. I would have been a giggling buffoon, had I been in her shoes.

I will remember this morning for the rest of my life! I sat in my living room with a robe and a tiara, nearly brought to tears by the marvelous ceremony. My phone is nearly dead from the frantic text messaging I did with family and friends. I think Twitter may explode!

What a morning!

Now, how will I get on with the rest of my day? My life now seems dull and common!


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Do you have anything else you want to blog about?

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Fertility Rituals

Marriage is one of the biggest fertility rituals Known in Indian culture. When two people get married. they are said to enter grihasta ashram where they are expected to bear children. satify their sexual urge, earn money and follow religious practices. Hindu marriages profess the idea of coming together of the energies and paving way to a new creation.

Offering of Grains

Throughout India, one thing that remains common to all communities is offring of grains in wedding ceremony. Mostly rice, puffed rice or whole grains, these grains are fed to the sacred fire in different ceremonies.

Importance of Shiva's Bael leaves

Holy Bael leaves are proffered in several ceremonies before the wedding and after it. In many communities in india, before the wedding day arrives, Bael leaves are placed in earthen pots which are topped with different kinds of cereals. After the wedding, the sprouted seedlings are then released in a flowing river or a pool. This ritual is performed to invoke blessings of Lord Shiva upon the married couple and pray for their progeny.

Vishnu's pious Lotus

As per mythology, at the time of creation of the universe, while lord Vishnu was pondering over the creation of mankind, a pious lotus rose out of his navel. On that lotus was seated Lord Brahma who paved way to the creation and illumination of the universe. Thus, lotus remains symbolic of procreation, birth and fertility. It is Therefore, offered during wedding puja to the gods to confer potency upon the couple. Also, At the time of a Hindu wedding, the bride and the groom are given the stature of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu because they represent the eternal companionship and exemplify how a relationship between husband and wife should be.

Nose ring

Usually seen as a piece of accessory, almost all brides sport nose ring on their wedding day. In some communities, girls are told to get their nose pierced before they tie the knot.

Sacred coconut rituals

Across India, since time immemorial coconut has enjoyed its association with human fertility in a sacrosanct manner. In Gujarat, there is a ritual of bride presenting a coconut in a customary way to the groom at the time of the marriage. Here coconut is symbolic of the progency of the couple that the bridegifts the groom. Of all the fruits, coconut is most closely related to human skull because of the three marking on its base that resemble human facial features.

The mantras of virility

During saat pheras in a Hindu marriage, there are several mantras that are chanted for progency of the couple. While the first phera is for a long lasting companionship, in the second Phera, "Kutumburn rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam", the bride promises the groom that she will fill his with love and will bear children of him.

The History

There was a time when potency was considered as the be all and all of all activities. The earliest ritual of fertility among Hindus can be dated back to the Harappan civilization where it has been discovered that people worshipped clay figurines of a mother goddess who represented fertility. Several phallic symbols representing gods in sitting position wearing bull's horns (Bull being a universal symbol of male potency) have also been found at the sites of indus Valley Civilization. As the world evolved and ancient civilizations paved way to the modern societies, marriage started being considered as a mandatory ceremony before women could conceive. Also, the idea of marriage was propelled by the thought of having the family legacy move ahead; so that families could get heirs.

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