Haldi Ceremony: The Colourful Indian Wedding Ritual

The Haldi ceremony is perhaps one of the most fun-filled and extravagant pre-wedding rituals popular in North Indian weddings. The whole process resembles a carnival-esque afternoon and can be the most amusing of all wedding rituals to an outsider. We’re here to give you a low-down on what, who, when and how of this exciting ritual! Read on..

1. What

The haldi ceremony derives from the special place ordained to haldi (or turmeric) in North Indian households. It’s significance is derived from the anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties it holds, which has also made it a common medicine among households. It is said to ward off evils, and symbolises the entire family’s blessings to the bride and groom.

Additionally, haldi is known for making the skin glow and preventing premature ageing. It is an excellent anti-tan treatment!
The haldi ceremony, thus, is a conveyor of not only good health to the bride and groom, but is meant to be an in-home beautification ritual. It was of especial prominence back in the day, when beauty rituals were not as common as they are today.
haldi ceremony

2. Who

The bride and groom, of course! Although the ceremony inadvertently leads to applying a paste, called ubtan, on the cousins, friends, relatives, and nieces and nephews, AKA the younger and adventure-seeking lot at the ceremony! 
haldi ceremony
haldi ceremony

3. When

The haldi ceremony is held the day before the wedding, and usually during the early hours of the day before D-day. Nowadays, though, people have made it a grander ceremony that lasts through the afternoon. A cool DJ, some outdoor space and some thandai, and you’re all set!

4. How

How to make the ubtan? Easy! Mix some rosewater, turmeric, sandalwood and curd, and your hassle-free ubtan is ready to use! Remember to use the freshest ingredients to avoid any last minute dermatological reactions, and to ensure the young couple gets that glow they were promised! 

How to Mix Vatna for a Maiyan Ceremony from PlanShaadi.com on Vimeo.

5. What To Wear?

  • Opt for light indian clothes that you are okay not wearing again.

  • Light jewellery (if you really want to)

  • No makeup (leave your skin natural and fresh so that the ubtan can give you the much-desired glow) 

haldi ceremony



  • Haldi Powder (Turmeric)

  • Flour

  • Water

  • Stool to sit on

  • Puja thali (Tray)

  • Sandalwood Powder

  • Mango leaves for applying ubtan

  • A mix of boiled rice and sugar

  • An auspicious red thread also called Gaaney

  • Some musturd oil to add to haldi and flour

  • Rangoli (can be ruled out)

Cover Picture Courtesy: Camera Crew


A traditional Haldi/Vatna ceremony is a must-have Hindu wedding ritual wherein in-home beautification of bride and groom is done.

haldi ceremony

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