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First Night (Indian Marriage)

First Night (Indian Marriage)

"First night" refers to the wedding night when the marriage is consummated.

In parts of the country where Hindi is spoken, first night is referred to as Suhag Raat.

Indians consider first night to be an important ritual and is typically organised at the bride's house.

Some of the key elements of the Suhag Raat ritual include the elaborate decoration of the marital bed with tuberose and jasmine, The bride stepping into the bedroom with her head covered in a veil (ghunghat) and the groom is expected to remove the veil to see her face.

In some parts of the country, the bride and the groom are also expected to share the glass of milk with the husband taking the first sip.


Most Indian expect the bride and the groom to be virgins [5]and in order to find out if the marriage was consummated, the sheets on the bed are checked for blood stains the morning after the wedding day.

First Night in contemporary India

Contemporary India has undergone significant changes in terms of economic growth and exposure to the outside world.

More Indians than before are travelling outside the country and are exposed to the dating culture.

[1]The proliferation of dating apps also points to an expanding subset of the population want to find love on their own.

[2]Access to better education and healthcare has also contributed to a delay in the age at which men and women get married and greater say in partner choice.


This changing trend has resulted in couples bending the first night rituals to suit their needs.

Some of these changes include not consummating the relationship on the wedding night and instead choosing to do it at a future date when they are comfortable with each other, organising the wedding night at a hotel instead of the bride's home, doing away with the veil and instead wearing comfortable night dress or undergarments that suit the occasion.



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