Kanyadaan is the most important wedding ritual which is a token that seals the deal. This is the moment when the Brides parents finally give away their daughter to the groom and hope and wish that he and his family will take good care of her. The emotional fool in me sheds a tear every time I witness this ritual. It may be as far a relation as my neighbours friends daughter getting married or as close as my new new sister in law. The finality of this moment and the realisation that the daughter has been handed over to her new life, always gives me shiver down the spine.
Kanyadaan which has been derived from Kanya (Daughter) + Daan (Donation) is said to be the noblest of all donations. It does take a strong and a giving heart to give away the most priced possession of your life, your daughter, in the hands of a stranger and let her go on her life journey without holding your hands. Since, this is considered to be an auspicious milestone of the parents life, in many regions of India, the parents of the bride fast the whole day of wedding. They only have food after the Kanyadaan is over and they have been relieved of their biggest responsibility in life.
It definitely is a moment of accomplishment for the parents. The day a girl comes to life, her mother starts dreaming of the day she will be a bride. So what if it gives her a pang of pain thinking that her princess will no longer be only hers, but at the same time the desire to see her happy and settled in her married life is the secret dream of every parent.
In a kanyadaan, once the father of the bride gives the hand of his daughter in the grooms hand, their hands are tied together, or they hold each others hand. This is emblematic of the unison of two hearts and souls forever. The relatives give their blessings to the bride's parents by throwing flower petals, congratulating them for the big moment.