Day two was a busy one! I met up with Shalin and his family around 8am to photograph his Ghari Puja and Pithi ceremony. This took place at the home of one of Shalin’s friends, just a few miles from the hotel that Jason and I were staying at and the Cultural Center of India.
Blessings and gift offerings took place outside as well.
Not wanting to mess up his ceremonial clothing, Shalin decided to change his clothes before having the turmeric paste applied. Don’t forget to get behind the ears!
The priest ties a red bracelet around Hema’s wrist which cannot be removed until she and Shalin are married. Shalin wears a similar bracelet.
Kristin took this beautiful and sweet photo of Hema and her sister. The bond of this family is immeasurable.
When the ceremonies concluded, a vegetarian lunch was served at the Cultural Center. Afterwards, everyone had a little time to relax before getting ready for the Garba and Raas celebrations. Jason and I met up with Shalin and Hema at the Marriott where Shalin was staying for a few portraits beforehand.
The Garba-Raas began around 7pm. This a very festive time, full of toasts, dancing and high energy music. Lots of smiles, lots of laughs. Both Garba and Raas are traditional folk dances, Garba being a circular dance and Raas a line dance with sticks. Much of the decor was provided by Partyland Flowers and Event Decor.
Shalin’s father dancing!
Hema had told me that she had never seen her father (second from left) dance in her whole life until the night of the Garba. I just had to include this photo of Shalin and Hema dancing with their dads.
Day THREE will continue with Shalin and Hema’s wedding ceremony!