Haldi, also known as Uptaan, is one of the most ancient parts of the Indian wedding traditions. According to Indian rituals, the Haldi ceremony is celebrated the day before the actual wedding ceremony. American brides often have this ceremony a week before their wedding day.  On the day of the Haldi ceremony, the haldi paste (made from turmeric and water) is applied to both the bride and groom by their relatives and friends. Historically, this ceremony is celebrated separately in homes of bride and groom, but nowadays, it is often done together. 

Haldi copy

During the Haldi ceremony, the married female relatives of each household apply haldi on both bride and groom along with water. The haldi ceremony is said to remove any nervousness from the groom, as well as, bless the couple with fortune and prosperity. Turmeric, a natural exfoliate, so it is also applied to the bride’s face so she will have sparkling skin for her wedding day.  The bride's hands should be covered so the haldi doesn't interfere with her mehndi. Some people also add aata (flour) and rice to the Haldi, but that depends on which regional rituals you are usually follow. After the paste is allowed to dry the bride and groom shower (separately of course!) and emerge glowing and ready to be married.  During this time ladies will gather and sing folk songs around the dholki and food and drinks usually follow the bride and groom's re-entrance to the function.  The Haldi ceremony is a joyful occasion that can be enjoyed by all!