Indian weddings traditionally involve several intricate ceremonies each with a purpose and a deep meaning. Weddings in Karnataka are fairly simple and entirely focus on Kannada rituals. Kannadigas prefer to follow their old traditions and rituals when it comes to the wedding. Kannada weddings are usually short, lasting for about one or two days and most of the rituals usually performed during the daytime. Here is the list of the top-notch essentials from such lovely traditional wedlock.
- Nischay Tamulam – Weddings are fixed only when the stars align to ensure compatibility and happy married life for the couple. To fix the marriage both the families exchange a plate filled with betel leaves and betel nuts. In Kannada wedding rituals, Nischay Tamulam is nothing but an engagement ceremony to officially announce the engagement.
- Naandi – It is primarily a pooja by the priest of both the family to ensure that the wedding happens without any problems. The beginning of the wedding ceremony is filing a traditional copper pot or kalash with the holy water. The pot tops with dried coconut. This ritual ensures that the couple gets a life of abundance, health, wisdom, and longevity. The first invitation card is to the family god/kul devam to bless the would-be couple.
- Dev Karya – Before leaving for the wedding, the groom visits all the temples in his neighbourhood to seek blessings from all the deities. All the things that are going to be used at the wedding are in front of Lord Ganesha to seek his blessings and also to sanctify the objects.
- Kashi Yatre – The groom pretends to be angry with everyone for not searching for a suitable bride for him. He threatens his family that he will leave for a pilgrimage to Kashi with a walking stick, a dhoti, a fan, and edibles like a coconut along with some rice. As the groom leaves for his pilgrimage, his maternal uncle stops him from going and puts forward the girl he chose for him. The groom changes his mind and agrees to stay. And marry his bride.
- Mandap Pooja – Before starting any rituals, the priest performs pooja to purify the mandap and its surroundings.
- Var Pooja – The groom, as per the Hindu traditions, is the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Following this assumption, he is worshipped by the bride’s family. The bride’s father cleanses the groom’s feet before he steps into the mandap and performs aarti to honour the groom. He gets a set of silk dhoti and scarf – pitambar which the groom wears during the entire wedding ceremony.
- Jaimala – The bride comes to the mandap with her face covered by a fan made of peacock feathers. Between the bride and groom, there is a cloth curtain which prevents them from seeing each other. The curtain goes away while the priests chant the opening mantras of the wedding ritual. Once the curtain is completely up, the bride and groom get a first glimpse of each other on the wedding day and exchange the floral garland thrice.
- Dhareherdu – The bride’s right hand is placed on the groom’s right hand. Above the joined hands, there is coconut and betel leaf. The bride’s parents give their blessings by pouring holy water on the would-be couple.
- Saptapadi – A nuptial knot ties up between the ends of the would-be couple’s attire. The couple then circumambulates the sacred fire seven times. The bride follows the groom while they utter their seven sacred vows.
- Okhli – Post-wedding both the families meet to play games and break the ice between the newly wedded. Kannadigas play a game called okhli. Here the groom’s ring is in a vessel containing milk or coloured water. The bride and her brother have to find the ring from the vessel. If the bride is successful in finding the ring, then it implies that she will be able to handle any challenge the marital life throws at her in subsequent times.
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