Tulsi marriage marks the beginning of the Hindu wedding season and is celebrated on the last day of every Diwali. I am a resident of Vrindavan Society, Lalbaug where Tulsi marriage is celebrated in a beautiful manner. Every year, on the first day of Diwali, a little boy in traditional attire visits a housing association member’s flat to invite him to his wedding, along with his friends from the society. He invites everyone to say, “I want you to attend my wedding ceremony at the Society compound.” The festival has been celebrated by practicing a marriage ritual in the society opposite Jay Hind Talkies in Lalbaugh for almost 3 years.
According to members of the society, they start preparing for this day in advance of the month. On this day, parents come forward to register the name of their child who wants to marry Tulsi. There is a tradition of placing a poster of invitations on the premises of the society to invite people on the first day of every year. On the morning of the first day, the groom is invited along with his friends to the wedding of each member of the society at their house. Two days before the start of Diwali, lanters are lit on the society premises. Seating arrangements are also made for guests coming from outside.
The tradition of inviting 100 other families of the society started in 1990. Indeed, all the traditions and rituals of the generation that started this ritual have been passed on to the next generation, and I have ensured that they are followed. Adolescents also share enthusiasm with older men.
To mark the beginning of the Hindu wedding season, the marriage of Tulsi is celebrated. People decorate the area near the basil tree. While celebrating the festival, the human face/figure embellished with the bride is tied to the plant. And the one to whom she is married is considered as Lord Krishna. I have been watching this festival since childhood. Members of the society contribute contribute voluntarily and also look for sponsors for bearing the additional expenditure. People belonging to other community are encouraged to participate in this festival. Festivals like these need to be celebrated to keep our Maharashtrian tradition alive.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)