Hindu weddings are characterized by numerous rituals, ceremonies, customs and traditions that seems endless, and Bidai is one among them, that takes place on the day, the bride leaves for her in-laws house. This special ceremony marks the culmination of the entire wedding function that involves a series of events, starting from Haldi, Sangeet, Mehendi and the actual wedding itself. The bride, her family members, friends and bridesmaid are all in a somber mood, as the bride leaves her own paternal house forever, and embarks on a new journey of life, to her in-laws residence. This ritual or ceremony is called ‘Bidai’, which happens in every Hindu wedding. The family members of the bride sings ritualistic Bidai or farewell songs that makes the overall ambiance even more grim and sad, which is in deep contrast to the overall wedding ceremony. The bride is in tears, and so also her family members and close friends with whom she spent all her childhood and adolescent days. Now the time has come to bid them farewell forever. It is really a somber moment for the entire family of the bride, especially her parents who have brought her up. The bride is dressed in her wedding attire, which may be a bridal lehenga choli or a designer bridal saree, along with the full bridal jewelry.
The Traditional Bidai Attire
This wedding ceremony is really special, as it is the final ritual performed in the bride’s house, and from here on, she travels to her husband’s house, where she is going to reside for the rest of her life. The bride is dressed in her original bridal outfit that she wore on the previous day. In eastern India, brides wear traditional Banarasi sarees, whereas in north India, it is the usual bridal lehenga. In the southern part of India, the bride is in her Kanjivaram saree if she is from Tamil Nadu, and if she is from Kerala, it would be a Kasavu silk saree. This marks the end of the entire sequence of events and rituals that a Hindu wedding comprises of, and from here, starts a new beginning. The girl embarks upon a new journey which is somewhat a mixed bag feeling, until she blends perfectly with her in-laws and with the surrounding new environment. Therefore, Bidai is definitely a unique moment in the life of an Indian bride, which marks the transformation of a girl to a responsible woman in a new family.