Haldi has been called the “Colorful Indian Wedding ritual.” A more detailed definition is: “The Haldi ceremony is a ritual holy bath also known as PITHI ceremony, which is one of the pre-wedding ceremonies in India. Tumeric (haldi), oil, and water are applied to both the bride and groom by married women on the morning of the wedding. It is known to have properties that leave the skin fair and glowing. Haldi in some Indian communities is considered auspicious (conducive to success) and also signifies protection. It is said to purify and cleanse the body and after the ceremony the paste is rinsed off to remove dead cells and detoxify the skin. It is also said to alleviate nervousness and boost the immune system and soothe an upset stomach.”

As you can see, turmeric may have “healing properties” for the body, which would be a beneficial and harmless cultural tradition. But there are concerns when it comes to what is involved in haldi being “conducive to success” and “signifying protection.” In what way does this ritual lead to success and what does it protect the bride and groom from? We need to talk about this for from all that I have read the “success” and “protection” is connected with the Hindu religion. I believe one can partake of certain “cultural traditions” as long as they do not relate to a “religious belief” that is contrary to the Christian faith. I will mention 4 supposed “spiritual benefits” that one can expect, as taught in the Hindu religion.

SHOWERS OF BLESSING. As a Christian, we know that all of our blessings come from the God of the Bible. We read in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has BLESSED US WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST.” God is the SOURCE of our blessings and the Lord Jesus Christ is the CHANNEL of those blessings. We never read in the Bible of having to go through any ritual to acquire blessings in our marriage. Instead, if the husband and wife make Christ the Center of their marriage (by seeking His guidance and obeying His Word), the marriage will be blessed.

PROTECTION FROM EVIL SPIRITS. Again, we read of no ritual in the Bible that is required to keep us safe from evil spirits. I’m not sure what the evil spirits are according to Hinduism, but the Bible promises the believer in Christ protection from the Devil if we simply walk by faith according to the teachings of holy Scripture. Peter wrote in 1st Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” James 4:7 confirms this by saying, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” See also Ephesians 6:10-18 which teaches the believer about our conflict with the devil and his angels and how God has provided us with “the armor of God” to combat them.

PURIFICATION OF MIND, BODY AND SOUL. We already said that haldi has physical benefits for the BODY, but a “physical agent” cannot purify the “mind & soul.” It is God’s Word alone that can bring “spiritual cleansing” to the mind and soul. In John 15:3 Jesus told His disciples, “You are already CLEAN BECAUSE OF THE WORD which I have spoken unto you.” This “purification” began when they were saved through believing the gospel. Peter said in 1st Peter 1:22, “Since you have PURIFIED YOUR SOULS IN OBEYING THE TRUTH through the Spirit.” The Word continues to purify the mind and soul as we continue to read and meditate upon it. “How shall a young man CLEANSE HIS WAY? By taking heed according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9). Believers are looked upon in Scripture as the “Bride of Christ” and in His love for us He uses the Word of God to cleanse us. We see this beautiful truth in Ephesians 5:25-26, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and CLEANSE HER WITH THE WASHING OF WATER BY THE WORD.”

ADDS PEACE AND PROSPERITY. We have “peace WITH God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Christ has “made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20) and each believer has this peace for time and eternity the moment they believe on Him as their Savior. We also are promised the “peace OF God” as we cast our burdens on God in prayer. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by PRAYER and SUPPLICATION, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God; and the PEACE OF GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Spiritual prosperity is also ours the moment we believe in Jesus Christ. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become RICH” (2nd Corinthians 8:9). Of course, God may also be pleased to bless us with “physical prosperity” as well. The Apostle John prayed for this in 3rd John 2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” Again, God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give us “peace and prosperity,” NOT the ritual of haldi.

If this ritual was done simply for the benefits to the body, it would be quite innocent. But if it was done to achieve the “spiritual benefits” that are taught in Hinduism, it would be wrong. Even if you don’t believe in those benefits, if it is practiced by those officiating or attending your wedding you would be condoning their practices by linking yourself to a false religion that is clearly contrary to the faith of Christianity. See 1st Corinthians 10:14-31.  (DO)  (543.5)