Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What is Pakistani Mayoon Ceremony?

What exactly is the Pakistani Mayoon?

It is called Mayoon or Mayun or Ubtan or Manja (aka. Haldi (tumeric in English), Gaye Holud in Bangladesh, Pithi in AgaKhanis and Maya in the Sikh community). This is a pre-wedding custom where the bride enters into a state of seclusion seven to fifteen days before the wedding. She is made free of all the chores and errands during this time and is supposed to stay indoors, away from the public's view especially from guys. The bride and groom are not allowed to see each other after the Mayun.

The main purpose of this occasion is that the bride stops doing any housework and start beautifying herself for the wedding. The groom's mother brings ubtan (tumeric) for the bride which is applied to the bride's skin each day leading up to the wedding to brighten the complexion. Along with other natural homemade beauty treatments regular oiling of the hair is also done. A milad is also held before the mayoon with special emphasis on the wedding. The actual party is for ladies only where they can sing and dance while the married females apply ubtan (tumeric), do the oiling and tease the bride.

Generally the bride's family give bangles and sometimes clothes to her friends, depending on what the family can afford. The bride usually wears a simple yellow shalwar kameez or a pink one. Hyderabadi brides usually wear yellow khara dupattas and have elaborate ubtan trays brought up called suhaag puras.

Similar ceremony is held for the groom, where bride's mother, sisters, cousins and friends bring “ubtan” for groom and rub it on his skin.

Yellow is traditional for mayoon because is shows the least staining as the dulhan was being pampered with ubtan and oils, etc. The idea is to glow in your bridal red after so many days in yellow and out of sunshine.

Also, in early times it was believed that once the girl's wedding date gets fixed some kind of spirit / Jin, or whatever they believed in, wants to stop this wedding and kidnaps that "Quwari larki". Since that Jin is afraid of the colour yellow the elders of the family apply Ubtan (which is yellow) on the bride and the Larkey Waley get her a yellow suit and bangles to save the girl from the Jin.

From the day the girl is in that Mayoon phase, which we call "Mayoon mei bethna" she is not allowed to leave the house till her Mehndi/Baraat and she shouldnt clean that Ubtan or change her Mayoon clothes till then.

This is the traditional mayoon ceremony. Nowadays, both mehndi (henna night) and mayoon can be merged in one occasion.

Mayoon Color Ideas
Yellow Color is Key

Mayoon Special Part 1

Mayoon Special Part 2

Mayoon Special Part 3

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