For those of you who don't know, Raveen and I got married a little over 7 years ago and whilst following all traditions and customs, we weren't always certain about the meaning behind the acts we were doing with our families and loved ones. We wanted to put together a play by play for those to be bride and grooms or for those of you who are simple looking to learn a little bit more about the Punjabi culture! Taking you back a few years ago to where it all started, enjoy glimpses of our wedding, piece by piece.
xo raman and raveen
A Mayian Ceremony [also referred to as Haldi, Batna or Vatna], is a traditional ceremony taking place a few days prior to your wedding. This ceremony consists of friends and family rubbing a paste on the bride and groom; the traditional meaning of Maiyan is to cleanse the skin and create a glow!
Traditionally this ceremony involves "cleaning" the bride and groom in preparation for their wedding day. The bride and groom are not to shower after this ceremony and are also not to leave the house or see each other. As most traditions go, there are a lot of changes and variations to bring this ceremony into present day.
Before we begin, there are a few terms you will need to know to:
- Maiyan - the actual paste that is rubbed onto the bride/groom. We also have a recipe to make this paste later in the article.
- Maiyan Chowk - the design created on the floor in-front of the bride/groom, also referred to as a Rangoli. More information on this in the next section.
- Subor - this is the fabric/cloth placed over the bride/groom during the ceremony. It can be any material but is generally a traditional phulkari chunnie/dupatta
- Peeri - The stool/ottoman the bride/groom will sit on
- Futti - Traditionally a rectangular piece of wood to be used as a footstool/footrest for the bride/groom
- Gaaney - traditional and auspicious red thread tied on the bride/goom and also on all female guests.
Preparing the Maiyan Chowk or Mayian Rangoli
Start by using flour; sprinkle the flour to create an outline of the design of your choice. This can be done on the floor or on a cardboard surface. Continue to fill in design with colored rice or powder. Flower, candles and other elements can also be added to the design of your choice to enhance it further.
The Maiyan Chowk is usually created by the women in the family and close friends. Sisters, cousins, nieces, and aunts can all participate to create the Maiyan Chowk. The Mother of the Bride/Groom usually does not participate in creating the Maiyan Chowk.
We now see many getting creative with these designs, incorporating their cities, favorite sporting logos, brands, etc.
How to make Mayian -
1 cup channa flour
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 cup of oil
Mix to a consistency of very soft dough
How to make colored rice for your Mayian Ceremony -
Colored Rice Recipe
1 cup uncooked rice
1 teaspoon of food coloring at a time
Place in a bowl and mix food coloring into uncooked rice. Adding a drop at a time to get the correct color. Continue mixing until all rice has soaked up the food coloring.
Continue this process for each color of rice.
Maiyan Details - a step by step for the Mayian Ceremony
Note: Each family has slightly different traditions, the below details are one variation of how a Maiyan Ceremony can take place.
Traditionally the Bride/ Groom have two Maiyans, the first Maiyan Ceremony is performed before 12pm and the second Maiyan, typically held the day before the wedding, is done after 12pm. Both Maiyans should be in an outdoor uncovered area facing the East.
A close family member may host your first Maiyan Ceremony. If you are hosting both of your Maiyan Ceremonies at your own home, you usually sit in the same place for both Maiyans.
The Bride/Groom removes their shoes, cover their head and walk toward the Maiyan Chowk holding any or all of the following: The Subor (Phulkari Chunnie), a tray with the Maiyan, their ottoman/stool & the foot stool. Oil is spilled in the doorway before the Bride/Groom exit the house to walk toward the Maiyan Chowk.
Once the Bride/Groom reach the Chowk, someone will place the stool behind or on the Chowk for the Bride/Groom to sit on, and place the footstool in front of the Bride/Groom. The Subor is then opened up and held above the Bride/Groom's head by 4 people as a canopy.
Friends & family gather around the Chowk, each person takes turns applying the Maiyan on the Bride/Groom; the Maiyan is usually rubbed on the face, arms & legs.
While the Maiyan is taking place, Boliyan (songs) are sung and gaaney (red string) is tied on everyone’s wrists. TIP: Have a pair of scissors handy to cut the gaaney.
When everyone has applied the Maiyan, the Mother of the Bride/Groom feed her/him five bites of something sweet, generally Laddo. If the Bride/Groom has a Bhabi (sister-in-law), she is supposed to stop the Mother from feeding the Bride/Groom as a game.
When the Bride/Groom have been fed, the Subor is placed on the Bride/Grooms head, and then there may or may not be Sagan (money) given to the Bride/Groom. At this point the Bride/Groom head inside the house carrying the Subor on their head.
The Mother of the Bride/Groom will then step over the Maiyan Chowk five times & then scoop up all the rice & place it in a bag or to the side. Some water will be applied to what remains on the ground from the Chowk, the Mother will then gather what she can in her hands and place five hand stamps on a wall or side of the house.
The entire Maiyan Ceremony is then complete.
Mayian Ceremony Video:
Frequently Asked Questions for your Mayian Ceremony:
Does the Bride/Groom shower after the Mayian Ceremony?
We wish we could provide a better answer to this question. Each family has different traditions and different ways they do each ceremony. Depending on your family, you may or may not be allowed to shower after the Mayian Ceremony. Neither way is incorrect, they are just different.
What happens to the outfit the Bride/Groom wears during the Mayian Cermony?
Again, each family is different so there are variations, but traditionally, the outfit that is worn during the Maiyan is not worn again and is generally gifted to someone less fortunate than yourself.
Do you still have an unanswered question, send us a message & we will do our best to provide an answer for you!
Vendor Credits: all photography and videography provided by: Wedding Documentary