Indian wedding

The wedding procession for the groom proceeds through Penn Square Saturday afternoon. The groom, Sanjay Ramchandani, is at the center of the photo wearing the red turban.

That may or may not have been your doctor riding a horse through the streets of downtown Lancaster Saturday afternoon.

The heart of Lancaster City was taken over by a baraat, a groom's wedding procession accompanied by the sound of thunderous drums, or dhol, dancing and cheering that is a custom of North India and Pakistan.

The groom, Sanjay Ramchandani, is an obstetrician and gynecologist most days, but today, he was atop a white horse celebrating his final moments of bachelorhood.

As part of a three-day wedding celebration, the baraat was capped off with the bride's parents welcoming him inside the Lancaster Marriott Hotel. Next would be the wedding ceremony, followed by a reception in the evening.

Latha Kaliats, a family friend of the bride and groom, said Indian weddings are always large in scale and even larger in energy, invoking a party-like atmosphere.

With police shutting down a portion of South Queen Street and rerouting those on East King Street for the procession, droves of bystanders came to watch and some even climbed on the Soldiers and Sailors monument to shoot pictures of the scene.

"We ran out," said Wayne Lucas, owner of Strawberry and Co. who was attending to a customer when he heard the booming dhol. "I heard the beautiful music … it made you want to dance."

According to Kaliats, the magnitude of the event behooves its importance.

"Marriage is a very serious, serious affair," Kaliats said, adorned with the elaborate silk garb that was common within the celebration. "Marriage is not just between two people. It is two families coming together."

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