A wise person once said that Marriage is not just a union of two people but two families coming together. The saying cannot be more true in case of Hindu Marriages. Pick up any Hindu Marriage and you would see a grand emotional celebration involving elaborate and specific wedding rituals as symbolic gestures.
Be it Mehendi, Baarat, Vadhu Aagman, Kanya-daan, Gat Bandhan, Pheras or Mooh Dikhai, each ceremony involves participation of family members and continues much beyond Vidaai. Pag Phere is one such custom seen predominantly in Hindu Weddings in North and West India.
Traditionally in a Hindu family, a son is considered as a rightful heir. But it is the daughter who is an apple of the eye and welcomed as a symbol of prosperity and blessing as the avataar of Goddess Laxmi herself. When a girl leaves her maternal home after Vidaai, it leaves her family members with mixed feelings – Happy, as their girl finds a new home and a wonderful life-partner, but also Heartbroken that she has to leave them. Pag Phera symbolizes the girl’s return to her maternal home after wedding – as a symbol of Goddess Laxmi returning home, to ensure prosperous future for her parents.
On the third day after the wedding, the bride’s brother visits groom’s house initiating Pag Phera ritual. He is also sometimes accompanied by other family members who carry gifts for groom and his family. As per the western India customs, groom’s family also prepare special food for the guests. The bride then returns to her maternal home with her brother and the family to stay over for next two days. On the sixth day after the wedding the groom visits his in-laws house to bring his better-half back home after a scrumptious meal. Bride’s parents also send sweets and gifts as ‘Shagun’ for groom’s family and shower blessings of a loving and blissful married life ahead as their daughter returns to her rightful new home.