Religious Studies KS2: A Hindu wedding ceremony

14-year-old Simran tells us about some of the traditions and symbolism that make up a Hindu wedding ceremony.

They mark the bringing together of two families and two communities, and have a very large number of guests.

Simran shows us pictures of her auntie’s wedding in India, and we meet Nikki and Hemal, a young couple who are planning their Hindu wedding in the UK.

We see traditions such as henna hand painting, getting married under a canopy called a mandap, and the couple walking around a fire tied together.

The wedding day is about the excitement of dancing and having fun with family and friends, but also about expressing love and creating a new partnershi

This is from the series: My Life, My Religion - Hinduism

Teacher Notes

There are ten examples of different symbols and meanings featured in the clip.

There’s no exhaustive list of these: practice is very varied in both the UK and India.

Pupils could watch the clip with the list of ten meanings in front of them, and to try to notice, remember and understand what the symbols they see actually mean.

When they have finished, they could discuss, then write about the symbols they liked best: what symbols best express the meaning of two Hindu people getting married?

10 Symbols and meanings featured in the clip:

•Henna hand pattern painting: the darker the henna, the deeper the love.

• A canopy called a mandap: two people setting up their new home and life together.

Standing together: keeping the good energy in and the bad energy out.

• Hemal has his shoes stolen by the bride’s family, after the ceremony he’ll have to pay to get them back: a fun way to show the two families are linking up

• Hemal’s face is hidden so he doesn’t see the Nikki before the ceremony: it’s not all about looks

• Nikki wears traditional Indian dress: white symbolises purity and red is for fertility, for children.

• Hemal and Nikki are treated like a King and Queen for the day: it’s their once in a lifetime ‘big day’.

• Nikki and Hemal walk around the sacred fire four times: they are united together and protected

• Hemal draws a sindoor on Nikki’s head, and gives her a special necklace: two symbols that show a woman is married.

• Nuts or steps are shared together: Each nut represents a different quality that a couple need in their new life together.

• The couple taking seven steps round the fire, tied together: these steps symbolise the qualities with which each partner will try to treat the other.

Curriculum Notes

These clips will be relevant for teaching Religious Education at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and First and Second Level in Scotland.

More from the series: My Life, My Religion - Hinduism

Celebrating the festival of Holi
A Pilgrimage in Hinduism
The Cycle of Birth and Rebirth
Meeting two young British Hindus
Celebrating Raksha Bandan
Inside a Hindu Temple
Diwali - the festival of light