One of the most talked about pre-wedding events, the Sangeet, is a celebration of coming together of the two families in the union of their children. The ceremony offers respite from all the hectic seriousness of the wedding preparations. Women of the family get together several days before the wedding day with dolaks and spoons, surround the bride and sing traditional wedding songs. Subjects of the song range from about daily life of women to teasing the bride about her upcoming wedding and her groom. Some referred to the dreams and hopes of the bride who is parting from her family while some tell of the pain parents go through while sending their daughter off to her in-laws. The groom is referred to as Banna in these songs whereas the groom is known as Banni or Banno. Popular traditional songs include ‘Mehendini Mehendi’, ‘Lathe di Chadar’, ‘Laung Gawacha’ and ‘Kala Doriyaan’. There would be dancing as well, with the women of the household dancing away along with the bride participating with gusto. Previously, it used to last for a few days, but nowadays its mostly one day, and sometimes one evening.
Although the Sangeet ceremony is observed by most north Indian communities, it is most popular among Punjabis and Gujaratis. The traditional Punjabi sangeet generally includes performances of Bhangra and singing of Gidda songs. The Gujarati Sangeet ceremony is often accompanied by performances of garba, the traditional dance of Gujarat that involves women in brightly colored ghaghra cholis, clapping their hands keeping in tune with the music and moving in circles.