Mangal Fera | Indian Wedding Ceremony
Mangal Fera Ritual
Similar to the Saptapadi ritual of the Hindu Ceremony, Mangal Fera (also referred to as Mangal Phere) consists of the couple taking four circles, or ‘feras’ around the agni (sacred fire). Either ritual may be performed based on the variations of the ceremony. While Saptapadi is more common and also noticeably relevant to the Hindu ceremony, Mangal Fera is frequently used to highlight the four basic goals of life. Each of these four cycles represents a promise just as each phere does in the Saptapadi ritual. The couple begins their walk around the fire, each completed circle representing the four stages of life:
1) To pursue life’s religious and moral duty (Dharma)
2) To pursue prosperity (Artha)
3) To pursue earthy pleasures (Kama)
4) To pursue spiritual salvation (Moksha)
Unlike Saptapadi, the bride leads the groom on the first three pheras, while the groom takes over for the fourth and final step – signifying balance and completion in their marriage. When the couple makes their last round together, they rush back to their seats, racing to sit down first. As part of tradition, it is said that whoever takes their seat first will be the ruler of the household.