We have studied 4 important Sikh ceremonies:
Ø The Naming Ceremony (for newborn babies)
- The Sikh naming or christening ceremony is well established and it takes place in a Gurdwara8 in the presence of relatives and friends. The family offers donations, Karah Parshad and a Rumala which is a covering for Guru Granth Sahib, made of high quality silk, cotton or embroidered cloth. Prayers are offered asking for a special blessing of good health, long life and the Sikh way of life, Gursikhi for the child.
- After reciting Ardas, Guru Granth Sahib is opened at random. The first letter of the first word of the hymn on the page is selected as the first letter of the child's name. The given name is common for either sex. The word Kaur meaning 'princess' is added after a girl's name, and the name Singh meaning 'lion' after a boy's. For example, if the first letter is "P", the male child may be given a name like Partap Singh, Pritam Singh or Puran Singh or any other such name beginning with the letter "P". If the newly-born is a girl the name would like wise be, Partap Kaur, Pritam Kaur or Puran Kaur.
- When the name is selected by the family, the congregation gives approval by a holy cheer or Jaikara: 'Bolay So Nihal! Sat Siri Akal!' The ceremony ends with the distribution of Karah Prasad, and the placing of the Rumala over Guru Granth Sahib. Sometimes, sweets or Langar, free food from the Guru's kitchen, is served but this is not a part of the ceremony.
Ø The Wedding Ceremony
- The Sikh marriage is not merely a physical and legal contract but is a holy union between two souls where physically they appear as two individual bodies but in fact are united as one. The Sikh marriage ceremony is also known as Anand Karaj meaning 'blissful union'. Anand Karaj consists of the couple revolving around Siri Guru Granth Sahib four times as the Lavan (Marriage hymns) are being recited. Revolving is the sign of making commitment with the Guru as a witness. In addition, revolving signifies that Guru is the center of the couple’s life and springs life and the understanding of the journey of the soul crossing this world to be One with God. In the marriage ceremony, Siri Guru Granth Sahib represents the core while the congregation (Sadh Sangat) represents the support.
According to Sikhism, when a girl attains maturity, it is incumbent upon her parents to look for a suitable match for her. It is neither desirable nor proper to marry a girl at tender age. The daughter of a Sikh should be given in marriage to a Sikh. If a man is a believer in Sikhism, is humble by nature, and earns his bread by honest means, with him matrimony may be contracted without a question and without consideration for wealth and riches. Sikh marriages are usually arranged. The people from other…