Centuries ago invitations didn't exist and so relatives of the bride and groom would go around the village the night before with pots and candles on their head, singing and dancing as open invitation to attend the wedding. The candles were merely used for light.
These days the ceremony is held at the Brides home the night before the wedding. The celebration is a loud occasion full of dancing, singing, food and fireworks. The brides aunt will wear a decorated brass vessel called khadaa on her head. All the ladies will then visit other friends and families houses in the village whilst dancing and singing, carrying the khadaa. They are welcomed with sweets and drinks.
Carrying the khadaa whilst dancing at Jaago Celebrations
Traditional food that has been prepared and cooked earlier that day by all the female relatives is then served. Usually buffet style so all the guests can help themself. It is tradition to hold the celebrations at the brides home however with modern times some couples opt to have it at a reception hall to be able to fit all their guests. My Jaago celebrations were held at home so we sectioned off the street and erected a marquee to hold the buffet. Then our courtyard was turned into the dance area with the DJ. While our neighbour's courtyard was the men's dining area and kitchen. We are lucky that both our neighbours happen to also be relatives.
Mens Dining Area
The men will traditionally be seated in a separate dining area. Women are not permitted to drink alcohol so as not to offend, men will dine only amongst men. Only the women participate in the traditional dancing and singing. Once they have returned the real celebrations begin with the DJ playing music loudly. Everyone will join in the celebrations on the dance floor. The end of the night is usually ended with a bang, and fireworks are lit up.