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South Asian Weddings

Hindu Sacred Fire?

Hey ladies--

What are you using for the sacred fire that you will walk around during your ceremony? A ghee fire (like an oil lamp, with a wick)? An alcohol burner? A candle?

Does it have to be on the floor, or up on a table? Will you throw rice into it? Put it on a metal tray?

I'm especially interested to hear from any of you who might be doing (or have already done) an interfaith wedding. We're including a few traditions from both Christianity and Hinduism, and we're thinking about using the unity candle for the seven steps as well... Neither I nor my fiance have been to many Indian weddings since most of his relatives live far away, and we're mostly reliant on youtube videos, vague memories, and our own instincts...

We're also not completely clear on our venue's rules about open flames/fire, but we are certain at this point that candles are ok.

Re: Hindu Sacred Fire?

  • For our venue, close container is ok. We can have a bigger open flame, but must pay a fee for a firefighter. He has to bethere and turn off the sprinkler system. And we must hire him for a minimum of 3-4 hours.
  • hmm... firefighter. that's one requirement i haven't encountered yet. do you know if he's required to have a firetruck on the premises as well? i will have at least two volunteer firefighters in attendance, but that's just by coincidence...
  • I don't think the firetruck has to be there.

    According to the venue, it's required by state law because the only firefighter can turn off the sprinkler system.  We are more apt to go with an enclosed large pillar candle but won't have that conversation with the Brahmin for a few more months.  

  • Do you think a pillar candle will be acceptable? I would really like to do this, but I wasn't sure if the more religious members of my fiance's family would scoff at it.
  • We did about five or so large pillar candels in glass containers and made a large circle with them for our walk around the fire.  It looked very nice but watch your dress (everyone was holding their breath the first time I went around but the glass container was taller than the candel and flame so I was fine).  :)
  • Our venue, and every venue we could find, would not allow an open fire.  We used a very large 3 wick candle in a hurricane.  We had a very adapted ceremony, so nothing was needed to be thrown into the fire.

    Please, please, please do not do an open fire inside any venue regardless of regulation.  I've seen the fire alarms go off in the middle of the ceremony- who wants that??
  • You should check with the venue as you might require a fire permit or even someone present with a fire extinguisher at the wedding (lol). If you don't need to throw anything into the fire (like puffed rice, ghee), then hurricane candles are a great option.
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