What is the ritual of Anand Karaj?

Every religion has its own customs regarding marriage, which they follow. The same is true in Sikhism. People of Sikh religion marry according to their customs. 7 rounds are very important in Hindu marriages. Marriage is considered incomplete without 7 rounds. Whereas the tradition of Sikhism is different. In Sikhism only 4 rounds are taken in marriage instead of 7. What is the reason behind this? Also what do these 4 rounds mean? Let us know about it.

In the marriage of Sikh community, marriage is considered complete only after taking 4 rounds. These rounds are also called 'Lava' in Punjabi. This ritual of marriage and rounds is called 'Anand Karaj'. Weddings in Sikhism take place during the day. Anand Karaj marriages are quite different. In this, things like lagna, muhurta, omen and bad omen do not matter. People of Sikhism who do Anand Karaj believe that every day is holy for them.

In Anand Karaj marriage, the groom is made to sit in front of the Guru Granth Sahib and then the bride sits on his left. Marriages are performed by any Amritdhari Sikh. He tells the bride and groom about the importance of marriage, the duties to be performed and how to live life according to Sikh principles. After this the Sikh couple bow before the Guru Granth Sahib.

According to tradition, the father of the bride places one end of the turban on the groom's shoulder and the other end in the bride's hand. After that the rounds begin. In the Sikh community, the bride and groom keep the Guru Granth Sahib in the middle and take four rounds around it. 
(1) In the first round, the couple is taught good deeds while chanting the name. 

(2) On the other hand, the way to attain the True Guru is shown in the second round. 

(3) In the third round, learning is given to speak the Bani of the Guru with the sangat. 

(4) Apart from this, in the fourth and last round, words are said to get peace of mind. Shlokas are also recited along with taking four lava of Guru Granth Sahib.

After the rounds are completed, the words of Ragi Anand Sahib are sung. Along with this, a hymn is also sung, after which the marriage is considered concluded. Lastly, the karaah prasad is distributed among the people present at the wedding.