Typically held in the days or weeks before the wedding ceremony, the sangeet (sometimes called a “ladies’ sangeet”) is a night of singing, dancing, and merriment. This event was traditionally meant for women only, and was hosted by a bride’s family and friends to send her off to her wedding. The sangeet is the traditional Hindu wedding equivalent of a bridal shower, though gifts for the bride and groom are not mandatory.

In modern times, the sangeet is a co-ed pre-wedding event usually held the night before the wedding ceremony. This event will typically involve performances by guests for the bride and groom; in some cases the bride and groom will even perform themselves! Do you have a special talent, like guitar playing, singing, or dancing? If so, don’t be surprised if the couple being honored asks you to put together a brief performance for their sangeet.

Sometimes the sangeet is combined with the mehndi party (two birds, one stone), but it is also common to see these as two standalone events. If the sangeet and mehndi are combined, don’t be surprised to see women playing the dhol and singing folk songs which poke fun at the bride’s future in-laws and give her advice for how to be a successful wife and daughter-in-law.