Gaye Holud (or literal meaning using tumeric mask on body) or tumeric ceremony is part of the Bengali wedding ceremony. The gaye holud is the Bengali version of a bridal shower/bachelor’s party. Both the bride and groom have a gaye holud. The relatives of each family can attend the other’s gaye holud except for the bride and the groom.
The bride’s gaye holud is the one I am showing you. This is the reason why we went to NY last April, to be part of the wedding.
The bride sits on a dais in front of or at the end of the room. Henna is used to decorate her hands and feet with wonderful elaborate designs. She usually wears orange or red sari and is decked in flowers and jewelry. Sweets and fruits are prepared and are placed in the dais with the bride.
One by one guests come up front to apply tumeric paste to the bride’s face. This is said to soften the skin and give the skin a wonderful glow (to be more beautiful for her wedding). Also, the bride is fed by the guests sweets and fruits after applying the paste. Make sure to feed the bride a small piece of fruit or sweets, as depending on the number of her guests she will be stuffed halfway thru her guest list.
There is a feast involved. While the ceremony is going on, snacks are served to the rest of the guests. When everyone had gone upfront and smeared the bride’s face and all the photos have been snapped, then the feast begins.
I must say that this is a wonderful experience for me. I did not realize that there was a gaye holud. I did come for the wedding. What an exotic ceremony it is.
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