Kerala undoubtedly has the most breathtaking scenic beauty with beautiful backwaters and a gorgeous backdrop. And this beautiful state has unique wedding customs too. Here are all the pre-wedding rituals, wedding and post-wedding rituals that make the Kerala Hindu wedding a grand affair and one of a kind.
In this pre-wedding ritual, the Kundlis of the bride and groom are matched by an astrologer to see whether the match is viable or not. And, if the Kundlis are a match, then a Muhurath, which is an auspicious and holy date for the wedding to take place.
This pre-wedding ceremony of the Kerala Hindu wedding is the engagement. Here, both the families make an official announcement of the wedding in front of all the people.
3. Traditional Party
Before the wedding ceremony, the bride's family organises a party for the guests. The traditional party offers a delicious vegetarian meal for the guests to savour.
4. Madhuparkam Ritual
In this ritual, when the groom reaches the wedding venue, he and his family members are warmly welcomed and the bride's father washes the feet of the groom. The groom gives his in-laws a white saree that the bride is supposed to wear during the wedding ceremonies.
All the wedding ceremonies are performed in front of a Veli (holy fire). The couple goes around the Veli three times and then the groom ties a Taali (yellow necklace) around the bride's neck. After this, the actual Kanyadaanam ritual is done, where the bride's father hands over his daughter's hand in the hands on the groom. This signifies that he is handing over the responsibilities of his daughter over to him.
6. Sparsham Ritual
In this wedding ritual, the groom is made to sit on the floor in a way that he faces the bride and their foreheads touch. The priest chants and asks the bride to put rice in the Veli. After this, the groom puts the bride's foot on the Ammi (grinding stone) to signify that she is breaking ties with her family and stepping onto a new family.
In this wedding ritual, once all the other rituals are over with, all the guests sit down together to enjoy a grand feast of traditional dishes.
After all the wedding rituals, the couple ascends towards the groom's residence where the newlyweds are heartily welcomed by the groom's mother with lit oil lamps. This welcoming ceremony is known as Kudivep.
This is the post-wedding ritual where the bride officially enters her new home for the first time.
A) Bridal Attire
Most brides of a Kerala Hindu wedding, keep their bridal attire simple and elegant. The brides adorn a traditional saree and lots of gold jewellery. A Kerala Hindu wedding bride adorns traditional jewellery like the Kasumala, which is a long necklace made by carefully assembling gold coins together. The next piece of jewellery is the Palakka Mothiram which is a gold necklace typically green in colour and often displays designs like mangoes. Another jewellery ornament that a bride wears is the Oddiyanam. An Oddiyanam is a belt that is worn by the brides to keep the saree in place. Jhukis is yet another jewellery piece that is adorned by the brides and it usually displays temple jewellery. To top off the look, Elakkathali is worn by the bride, which is a gold choker.
B) Groom's Attire
The traditional wedding attire of a Kerala Hindu wedding's groom screams out appreciation for the colours white and gold. The grooms wear a white Mundu with a zari border, which is the dhoti/lungi along with a matching scarf which is the Melmundu. But, with changing times our Mallu boys are also shifting to other western outfits for their wedding dress. Men generally pair the Mundu with a Kurta or a white shirt. But, some grooms have even pulled off Sherwanis, formal suits and even Kurta Pyjamas.
C) Interesting Facts
- The wedding traditions are divided into Hindu, Nair, Christian and Muslim and, each tradition has some roots that are in sync with traditional Kerala.
- Kerala is known for the best mix of traditional and unconventional marriages.
- Monsoon weddings are very famous in this region since it is a favourable climate.
- Several people come from different cities, or countries to celebrate their weddings due to Kerala’s splendid natural beauty.
Every culture has its own unique customs that make it special in its own way. These are the rituals of a Kerala Hindu wedding that make it a simple affair and yet so beautiful and elegant. The bride has her own poise and the groom brings a sense of magnificence to the wedding.
Have you ever attended a Kerala Hindu wedding? Tell us about your experience in the comments below...