Barat Defined: The Bride Groom's Wedding Party

Meeting the Bride's Family

Barat - Bride Groom's Wedding Guests
Barat - Bride Groom's Wedding Guests. Photo © [Hari]

Definition:

Barat (bharat) is Punjabi word whose meaning refers to the people of Sikh bride groom's wedding party, and the customs and traditions involved when formally meeting the bride's family just prior to the wedding ceremony.

Barati is a related term meaning wedding guest.

In Sikhism, the barat wedding party is usually made up of the groom's relatives. The barat may be just a few representatives of the groom's family, or a very large number, depending on circumstances such as the size of the wedding, or location of the grooms relatives in regards to where the wedding takes place.

For instance if the bridegroom is wed in a country other than that of his origin, its possible that his entire family may not be able to be present. 

Traditionally, the barat wedding party would be composed of the groom's family who traveled to the home of the bride for the wedding. After the wedding the bride generally returned home with the groom who lived with his parent's brothers and other paternal relatives, such as uncles who were brother's of the groom's father and their father etc.

In modern times, prior to the wedding, the barat may either travel to the bride's home, or simply convene outside of the gurdwara wedding hall, where bride and groom's families greet each other before the Anand Karaj wedding ceremony begins. Factors might include travel distance involved, and whether the wedding ceremony is simple, elaborate, or lavish.

Pronunciation and Spelling:

Pronunciation: Barat is pronounced so that it sounds like Braat.

Syllables are broken in to two parts: Ba-raat. The first a in is a short vowel pronounced as in the word "but". The second a is a long vowel shown as aa sounds like rot. If mispronounced, the word has an entirely different meaning having to do with connubial relations. Emphasis must be placed on second syllable in order to be understood correctly and avoid embarrassment..

Alternate Spellings:  Barat may also be spelled as Baraat or braat.

Common Misspellings: Bharat is a common misspelling.

Examples From Scripture:

Tan rainee man pun rap kar ho paacho tat baraatee ||
I make my body the dyers vat and within it I dye my soul, the five elements are my wedding guests.

Raam raae sio bhavar lai nou aatam teh rang raatee ||
I take my wedding vows with my sovereign Lord, and my soul is imbued with His love. SGGS||482

Up Next:

Anand Karaj Sikhism Wedding Ceremony Guide

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All About Sikhism Wedding Ceremony and Marriage Customs

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