Having performed countless Punjabi Weddings, the Palla Ceremony is rarely explained for its deeper meaning. In the Sikh wedding ceremony the PALLA refers to a wedding scarf or shawl. The groom carries in the Palla for the sacred Sikh Marriage ceremony, and waits for a moment in the ceremony when the bride’s father connects the Palla between the bride and groom.
What is a Palla?
The Sikh wedding palla these days is between 2 meters, or about six feet in length, often made of silk of a bright red color.
What does the Palla Ceremony entail and signify?
At the appropriate time when the priest announces in the Anand Karaj wedding marriage ceremony, the bride’s father walks over to the couple and places the groom’s palla (ceremonial scarf) around the shoulder of the groom and then hands the other end of the scarf to the bride (his daughter). The ends of the palla are held in the respective laps of the bride and groom giving the right end for the groom to hold, and the left end for the bride. The Palla Ceremony signifies that the father is giving away his daughter to the groom. The palla acts as a tether between the bride and groom, signifying their physical union, and the goal for a spiritual union of their souls with each other.
While this symbolic ceremony takes place the Sikh Priest singers recite a Shabad hymn composed by Guru Arjan Dev symbolizing the connection of the bride and groom to each other, and to their higher parents the Spirit-God.
Ustat nindaa naanak jee mai habh vanjaa-ee chhorr-i-aa habh kijh ti-aagee
Praise and Slander, Oh Nanak,
I discard entirely, abandoning and forsaking all other entrapments.
Ha-bhae saak koo-rraa-vae di-thae to pallai taiddai laagee
Having seen that all other relationships can be negative and false,
I know I can grasp Your hem which is the absolute Truth || SGGS 963 ||
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