Kerala wedding rituals complete a wedding, and they stay in families for generations. Nair weddings are a perfect example of grace and sophistication. These weddings do not follow lengthy rituals as the Punjabi weddings have, but they truly touch hearts. From the Nischayam ceremony to Graha Pravesh, each custom holds great importance.
Let’s have a look at the rituals one by one for enlightenment.
The Nischayam Ceremony:
This ritual is the engagement ceremony, and it has been part of the Kerala Wedding Rituals for ages. After the horoscopes are studied, and the wedding date is finalized, this ceremony is done to celebrate the joyous announcement of the marriage. Gifts and jewelry from both the families are exchanged, and it marks the start of a beautiful journey of the bride and the groom.
Just like other mehndi ceremonies across India, Nair weddings also follow the same pattern. In this bride’s aunts, apply the henna on the bride’s hands and feet. All the other household ladies dance and celebrate the happy occasion. As per the Hindu customs, mehndi is considered pious for the married life of a woman and thus holds great importance in the wedding.
Dakshina means blessings from the elders. This pleasing custom is performed just before the bride and the groom leave for the main wedding. In this, they touch the feet of the elders and seek their blessings.
The wedding starts when the bride’s family welcomes the groom and his family. The brother of the bride washes the groom’s feet and escorts him to the mandap. This ritual is known as Madhuparkam and here, the groom also gives the saree to his in-laws which the bride is supposed to wear during the wedding ceremonies. The bride then walks in with her respective aunts towards the mandap while traditional and melodious nadaswaram plays in the background.
Once both the bride and groom as seated, the mantras are chanted by the priest. The couple takes rounds of the holy fire, and then the groom ties the Mangal sutra around the bride’s neck. These Kerala Wedding Rituals are known as “thalikettu’ in a traditional Nair wedding.
In this ritual, the father of the bride, hands over his daughter to the groom. He places her hand in her to be husband’s hand to depict that now she is part of your life, and together, you are one.
In this ritual, the groom gifts her new bride a saree on a platter. This marks the symbolic gesture depicting that he would take care of her and act as a provider forever.
After these rituals, a Kerela wedding does not have a tearful vidaai, but instead, they have a happy Griha Pravesh tradition. In this, the bride enters her new home with her husband at an auspicious time. She carries a traditional lamp in her hand, and it is known as Kudivep. This ritual is one of the most auspicious and pious rituals of a Kerala wedding ceremony.
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