Punjabi weddings are full of traditions and rituals. There are lots of important events which take place at a wedding.
One of these less known customs is 'Sahe Chithi'. Want to know more about it? Keep on reading!
What is Sahe Chithi?
Before explaining it. Let’s understand the meaning of ‘Saha Chithi’. Saha is an authentic Punjabi word that means Vyah or marriage or wedding. Chithi is a letter. So, it is a wedding letter. It is also known as Saha Chithi.
Punjabi Sahe Chithi is an official invitation to invite the groom and his family to solemnize the wedding on the decided D-day by the bride's family. It includes all the details of the wedding and people who are going to be part of the wedding celebration. Sahe Chithi holds a very important part in Punjabi weddings.
Earlier, it was handwritten by 'Granthi Singh' of Gurdwara by sitting in a gathering (often in a Panchayat in a village). It is important to mention here that in the past, ੴ (Ik Onkar - A Sikh Gurbani Symbol) was also written on the paper with the help of turmeric and the rest of the details were written with the pen.
But now you can get pre-printed Sahe Chithi wording with blank spaces to be filled by the bride's family with names and other required details.
Saha Chithi is generally in red and golden color, usually in scroll form enclosed in a box. Have a Look!
What is the Purpose of Sahe Chithi?
Earlier, weddings were a lot simpler and could be arranged in days so the Sahe Chithi was to tell the groom's family to start preparations for the wedding. Now wedding preparations start a year before to ensure venues on certain dates but the purpose of Sahe Chithi is the same and an official announcement.
After sending Saahe Chithi, wedding preparations start in full swing on both sides. Relatives and guests start arriving and lots of other customs and rituals get inline.
When does Custom of Saha Chithi Take Place?
Usually, Sahe Chithi is sent to the groom's house a week or two before the D-day. Saha Chithi customs only include close family members and relatives. After that, every day of the week has a specific ritual to be celebrated till the day of the wedding.
Wanna know different Ceremonies! Read Below.
All of the invitations to relatives and friends are sent after 'Saahe Chithi'. It is a sort of the official beginning of all the wedding preparations.
What is the Procedure to Send Sahe Chithi?
Let's talk about how this ceremony is celebrated! The bride-to-be's family buys a pre-printed Saahe Chithi and fills all the details in it. Some drops of saffron water are splashed on it. A local barber or 'Nayi' is asked to take the invitation to the groom's family. He acts as a messenger between the bride and groom's family and for this, he gets gifts such as clothes and money.
In the past, the reason behind sending Barber was because it was considered inauspicious for girls' families to visit boys' families too often. It was also considered an honor to the barber community.
Although, this custom is not much in the limelight in Punjabi weddings. Today, a key member of the family or the middle person known as 'Vichola' performs this ritual by going to the groom's house with the invitation.
Certain items are sent along with Sahe Chithi such as Sweets, Gifts for Groom, Dry fruits, Shagun Gaana etc.