Wedding Blessing with a difference
Increasingly we see in North Cyprus many interesting and exciting events and recently at the Kybele Restaurant, Bellapais a wedding blessing was performed that was different and perhaps a first of its kind.
On Friday 28th December at 2.30pm, a Latvian girl, Inna Katz, accompanied by her Jewish parents and friends came together with a Hindu boy, Rahul Nair from the Mumbai area in India, with his friends in their traditional dress to celebrate the union of the couple with a wedding blessing performed by Keith Lloyd.
So on the 28th December this couple, who first met whilst studying at the London University, made that very special journey with their relatives and friends from mixed cultures and religions to the island of love that is Cyprus and even more importantly, that very special place which is Bellapais in North Cyprus.
Imagine if you will the history and heritage of Bellapais surrounding this couple as they came to the Kybele Restaurant where they were met by Keith Lloyd who, having spent time with them and researched their religious requirements, was able to carry out the wedding blessing starting with Kanyan Daan (giving away the bride) by her parents to the groom.
This blessing then led through the Hindu marriage ceremony leading up to the Agni Parikrama (Circumambulation Around the Sacred Fire) when the Groom leads his bride around the sacred fire in Saptapadi (seven steps) which constitutes the most important part of the wedding, as it legalizes the marriage according to Hindu custom and tradition. These two aspects of the marriage ceremony establish an indissoluble matrimonial bond between the couple.
The bridegroom taking the palm of the bride into his hand, circumambulates the fire with the bride leading. Going around the sacred fire holding hands represents the journey through life; which the couple vows to take each other’s company.
After taking the Seven steps the couple say this mantra together “Be my companion for life, fixed in seven vows. May I attain companionship with you. Do not break this bond.”
After the completion of the seven steps ceremony Keith Lloyd sprinkled water on the couple and there then followed the exchanging of Rings (Mangal Sutra).
In the final part of the ceremony called Sindhoor Daan (Powder) the groom first offers the Sindhoor three times to Lord Ganesh and then seven times to Mother Earth; once that is completed then he fills the brides head with Sindhoor by placing a dot on her forehead.
Following this ceremony, there followed the traditional Jewish ceremony of breaking of glass. This involved Rahul smashing a plate (or a glass) with his left foot, then counting the broken pieces which, by tradition, will match the number of children they will beget. At this time there were calls of Mazel tov (congratulations) and then all the participants at this joyous occasion gave flowers, gifts and made their personal wishes and blessing to the bride and groom.
What a wonderful experience it must have been to witness this incredible wedding blessing event arranged by My Wedding Cyprus and we are very thankful to Keith Lloyd for his in-depth description of the blessing ceremony together with the pictures we have shown.
By Chris Elliott