Any wedding is a beginning of new life with new people and new kind of environment. Wedding games are one way of knowing and getting acquainted with each other in the shortest period of time. Many wedding games are played during and immediately after the marriage. The purpose of such games is to break the ice between the couple and their family, friends and relations.

 

1.    Hiding of shoes: When the couple steps in to the mandap for a holy wedding ritual of pheras, they must take off their shoes. It is customary for the family and the friends of the bride, usually the bride’s younger sister who smartly snatches the groom’s shoes and hides them. After the pheras are over, the shoes are given only after demanding a ransom from the groom. The ritual is to build up a harmonious relationship between the groom and the younger family members of the bride.

2.    Fishing of the ring: In this post vidai period game in the groom’s house, the couple is made to sit facing each other with a bowl of milk in front of them. The ring is dropped in the bowl. Newlyweds are asked to find the ring. Whoever gets the ring first is described as winner. The ceremony can also be performed using a pot of water which is churned vigorously so as to make a whirlpool effect once the water swirls in the pot to the point that the ring is hard to spot. This game is also called Aeki Beki.

3.    In some customs, a vessel is filled with water, which is coloured, by putting sindoor and milk in it. After that, a ring and several coins are put into it. The bride and groom are then asked to find the ring. Whoever finds the ring 4 out of 7 times, wins.

4.    Pillow talk: In this post marriage ritual, the married couple is made to sit back to back. A pillow is held between them. Both bride and groom are asked questions about each other. The answers to these questions are given not by speaking but by nodding the head. The pillow talk checks the compatibility between the couple.

5.    Unknotting the knotted strings: The knotted string is a kind of bracelet tied on the hands of both the bride and the groom. The couple tries to unknot the complex knots of the string using one hand. This game of unknotting the knot is played when the couple is brought to their rooms (decorated) to mark the first night. The couple has to open the knot tied on the wrist called ganth inside it with single hand.

6.    Til play: This post marriage game is played with sesame seeds to tell the importance of sesame in married life. Sesame is rich in calcium and indicates the necessity of the bride to consume calcium in her post married life.

7.    Father-in-law, daughter-in-law money game: In this game, father-in-law puts some money into a bag and keeps it in front of the bride and asks her to take as much money in one go.

8.    You touch my heart game: This game is particularly enjoyable for the women from the bride’s side. In this game, several rounds are made with a sari wide enough for a hand to pass through it. It is then held lengthwise and behind it stands women from the bride’s family including the bride. All the women thrust their hands upto the wrist between the holes. The groom standing on the other side can only see an array of hands. He has to select the correct hand of his bride. He is given three chances. If he fails, he has to pay fine.

9.    Where is my heart game?: In this, the married couples present stand back to back in random order in such a way that they cannot see each other.  Each woman has to find its spouse by calling it different name with an enticement such as “Where is my heart?” without addressing him by his name. The husband has to respond accordingly. There is a lot of laughter involved after the wrong selection. Those who find their spouse, leave the games while those who fail continue calling out till they have found their partner.

10.  Going home: This is a game played at the groom’s house when sisters of the groom lock the entrance door as the bride arrives in her husband’s house. They take her to a covered heap pretending it to be their family deity. They ask her to bow her head before entering the house. The bride ever anxious to oblige dutifully bows her head. The room full of women burst out laughing when the cover is taken off to reveal a pile of shoes arranged in a mound.

 

These wedding games help the bride to settle in the new family and surroundings. Most of these games are applicable in arranged marriages where bride and the groom were not permitted to see each other before their marriage. Wedding being a beginning of new life with new people, these games help in building relationship and adjustment and understanding the responsibilities.