Baraat (Hindi: बरात, Urdu: برات) is a bridegroom’s wedding procession in North India and Pakistan. In North Indian communities, it is customary for the bridegroom to travel to the wedding venue (often the bride‘s house) on a mare, accompanied by his family members.
The baraat can become a large procession, with its own band, dancers, and budget. The groom and his horse are covered in finery and do not usually take part in the dancing and singing; that is left to the “baraatis” or people accompanying the procession. The groom usually carries a sword. The term baraati is also more generically used to describe any invitee from the groom’s side. Traditionally,baraatis are attended to as guests of the bride’s family.
The baraat, headed by a display of fireworks and accompanied by the rhythm of the dhol, reaches the meeting point, where the elders of both the families meet. In Hindu weddings, the groom is greeted with garlands and aarti. In traditional North Indian and Pakistani weddings, baraats are welcomed at the wedding venue with the sound of shehnais, which are considered auspicious at weddings by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs alike.