Kerala weddings are the weddings popular for being uncomplicated and simple when it comes to its rituals and ceremonies. Here are the rituals and ceremonies of a typical wedding that takes place in Kerala.
Engagement ceremony- Nishchyam:
The engagement usually takes place at the bride’s place. There are no guests invited, just the family and some close friends of the bride and the groom. On the engagement day, an astrologer is invited who picks an auspicious date for the wedding ceremony. Unlike other weddings, no gifts and food items are exchanged during the engagement ceremony. Post the ceremony, a grand Sadya (a grand meal on banana leaf) is served for the family and friends. It is a pre-wedding ritual.
This ceremony takes place separately in the bride and the groom’s place. Here, the elder members of the family are invited and are asked to give their blessing to the bride and the groom for a healthy and wealthy life. The elders pour raw rice over their head and the bride/groom touch the feet of the elders to seek their blessings. This usually takes place on the day of the wedding or one day prior.
A typical Kerala wedding witnesses this ritual where the father of the bride washes the feet of the groom and welcomes him to his family. In return, the groom offers a saree for the bride which she would wear on the wedding day.
The actual wedding rituals take place in front of a holy fire called veli. The couple takes three rounds around the fire called the pheras and the groom ties the ‘taali’ which is a yellow colour thread over the bride’s neck. Kanydaan is followed by Veli ceremony.
The groom sits in front of the bride and tilts his head in order to touch the bride’s forehead. After this, the bride throws a handful of puffed rice into the flame. The groom then lifts the bride’s foot and places it on a grinding stone called Ammi, indicating the breakage of old ties. Now the bride has officially entered the groom’s family.
It’s a grand feasting for the guests present at the wedding after the wedding is completed and the bride and groom are officially pronounced as husband and wife.
With modernity replacing a few rituals here and there, Kerala weddings have not yet been touched by it. The weddings even today do not have a pre-wedding shoot, or photographers or a cocktail party to end the wedding celebration. The bride still wears an authentic south Indian saree which is now a popular one among many celebrities like Rani Mukherji, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and others. They usually wear such sarees at red carpet events. The gold has always been an important part of the bride’s attire. Kerala weddings believe in simple and sophisticated weddings that take place in the most subtle possible way.
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