Hindus : In the case of the Savarna Hindus, i.e., high caste Hindus, religion plays an important part in the context of their family-life which is for them a round of rituals and ceremonies. Most of their customs and traditions consist of practices relating to various observances known as samskaras or sacraments. According to the Hindu dharmashastra, an individual has to pass through many samskaras which are really Sharira samskaras for these are intended to sanctify the body beginning from the moment the foetus is laid (garbhadana) to the death (antyeshti) of a person. The number of these samskaras differs according to different authorities and some say there are 16 which are compulsory and 24 which are optional (naimittika). These are usually conducted by Brahman priests. Lately even these 16 have been reduced to only three or four in practice. They are so observed in the case of birth, thread-girding, marriage, pregnancy and death. A samskara is usually preceded by a symbolic sacrifice, homa.

Garbhadhana had importance as an event publicly to be recognised when child marriages were in vogue. Now, this is quietly included in the marriage ceremony because consummation of marriage takes place almost immediately. The jatakarma and the panchavi and shashthi in connection with birth have already been described in the accounts of the various communities. Among the high caste Hindus the ceremonies of annaprashana, javal and thread-girding or upanayana are important ceremonies that are preserved. Death-rites of the various communities have also been described in the various caste accounts. Among the high castes, when a person is about to breathe his last, the nearest kin sits close to the dying person and comforts him, assuring him that his family would be properly cared for. A small piece of gold is laid in his mouth and a few drops of Ganga water are poured into it. When life is extinct, the body is removed from the bed and laid on the ground with the head to the north and washed with cowdung water; holy water is sprinkled on it and wreath of tulsi leaves is placed around the neck. The chief mourner takes a purificatory bath while the priest chants some mantras. The corpse is bathed and wrapped in a new dhoti or lugade according as the dead person is a man or woman. If the deceased is a female with her husband living, she is arranged in a yellow cloth, with some of the ornaments in her customary use, decked with flowers, rubbed with turmeric paste and kunku marks are put on her brow. These honours are not shown to a widow. All the relations present, men and women, bow to the dead. Then the corpse is taken in a procession to the cremation ground, the chief mourner leading with fire in an earthen pot in his hand. Mantragni is prepared, the corpse laid on the fire and ignited. After the skull is broken, the party returns home. Then the various shraddhas are performed.