Gai Halud

A quick portait at sunset.

This was the first of four days of wedding celebrations in Odisha, India. The Gai Halud is a series of feast and ceremonies that precedes a Bengali Wedding and takes place at the bride’s family home.

I believe the conch shell falls into the aerophone category.

I believe the conch shell falls into the aerophone category.

Sandalwood paste is used to paint decorations on the bride's face.

Sandalwood paste is used to paint decorations on the bride’s face.

Sandalwood paste is used to paint decorations on the bride's face.

Sandalwood paste is used to paint decorations on the bride’s face.

A sample of everything from the feast

A sample of everything from the feast

A finished mehndi pattern

A finished mehndi pattern

A quick portait at sunset.

A quick portait at sunset.

The end of the Holud Kota.

The end of the Holud Kota.

The bride and friends on the dance floor.

The bride and friends on the dance floor.

The entryway to the bride's family house, decorated with flowers

The entryway to the bride’s family house, decorated with flowers

More flowers and garlands on the stairs.

More flowers and garlands on the stairs.

A great collection of shoes outside.

A great collection of shoes outside.

Alta dye being applied to the bride's feet.

Alta dye being applied to the bride’s feet.

Alta dye being applied to the bride's feet.

Alta dye being applied to the bride’s feet.

Alta dye being applied to the bride's feet.

Alta dye being applied to the bride’s feet.

Alta dye being applied to the bride's feet.

Alta dye being applied to the bride’s feet.

A conch shell is blown to annouce the groom's family is arriving

A conch shell is blown to annouce the groom’s family is arriving

More gifts

More gifts

Turmeric paste being prepared

Turmeric paste being prepared

Aunts and cousins surround the bride

Aunts and cousins surround the bride

Everyone took turns applying some turmeric paste to the bride's face.

Everyone took turns applying some turmeric paste to the bride’s face.

Everyone took turns applying some turmeric paste to the bride's face.

Everyone took turns applying some turmeric paste to the bride’s face.

At this point the turmeric ceremony devolved into some kind of free for all food fight.

At this point the turmeric ceremony devolved into some kind of free for all food fight.

Debts were settled.

Debts were settled.

This friend of the family also got pasted.

This friend of the family also got pasted.

A closer look at the turmeric paste.

A closer look at the turmeric paste.

Portrait after the ceremony.

Portrait after the ceremony.

Friends who came a long way.

Friends who came a long way.

The bride with her parents.

The bride with her parents.

Gold jewelry.

Gold jewelry.

This fish was part of the feast for the friends and family at the Gai Halud.

This fish was part of the feast for the friends and family at the Gai Halud.

The preparation for the feast took place in the family courtyard.

The preparation for the feast took place in the family courtyard.

A full plate.

A full plate.

Fanta on a platter.

Fanta on a platter.

Sandalwood paste is used to paint decorations on the bride's face.

Sandalwood paste is used to paint decorations on the bride’s face.

I loved how she used the palm of her hand as a palette.

I loved how she used the palm of her hand as a palette.

The bride's mother feeds her bites of the feast.

The bride’s mother feeds her bites of the feast.

The bride's mother feeds her bites of the feast.

The bride’s mother feeds her bites of the feast.

A sample of everything from the feast.

A sample of everything from the feast.

A portrait to show off the sandalwood paste.

A portrait to show off the sandalwood paste.

The bride's father with his family.

The bride’s father with his family.

The mehndi artist applies henna to the guests.

The mehndi artist applies henna to the guests.

A mehndi artist applies henna to the guests.

A mehndi artist applies henna to the guests.

Finished mehndi art

Finished mehndi art

The sun sets over the neighborhood in Cuttack.

The sun sets over the neighborhood in Cuttack.

It was a long day of celebrating. Some naps were taken.

It was a long day of celebrating. Some naps were taken.

These guys went straight to their phones after their nap.

These guys went straight to their phones after their nap.

Decorating the mortar for the Holud Kota, another pre wedding ceremony to involve the married women of the house.

Decorating the mortar for the Holud Kota, another pre wedding ceremony to involve the married women of the house.

Preparing the mortar for the Holud Kota.

Preparing the mortar for the Holud Kota.

Everyone helped to turn the mortar stone.

Everyone helped to turn the mortar stone.

Passions ran high.

Passions ran high.

On the roof, a playlist for dancing is being made.

On the roof, a playlist for dancing is being made.

The canopy over the dance floor.

The canopy over the dance floor.

The older family and guests watch the dancing.

The older family and guests watch the dancing.

The Bride's Father

The Bride’s Father

The bride's father being entreated to join the dancing.

The bride’s father being entreated to join the dancing.

It took a lot of persistance but he eventually joined.

It took a lot of persistance but he eventually joined.

Evennig lights decorating the house.

Evennig lights decorating the house.

The bride's father waves us goodbye at the end of the night.

The bride’s father waves us goodbye at the end of the night.