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5 Malabar Wedding Ceremonies with all the traditions and rituals that give us the right dose of culture in life

Malabar weddings are known for some unique characteristics from simplicity to scrumptious traditional cuisine. Find out more about the traditions in detail.

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Have you ever got a chance to attend a Malabar wedding? If not, this post will make you want to attend one. Malabar is the northern part of Kerala which was a trading hub for Arabs and other middle-eastern population during the medieval periods. Due to this a lot of Arabian and a North Indian Muslim influence can be seen in their weddings. Let’s see in detail what makes weddings in the coastal belts of Kannur so unique?

Malabar Wedding Traditions and Rituals

1. Valayidal

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To begin the festivities, a Valayidal function is hosted at the bride’s house and she is gifted a piece of gold jewellery by the family of the groom. Traditionally, one or two gold bangles were gifted but in the modern era, necklaces and other jewellery pieces are well accepted. Following this ritual, the wedding date is fixed with the help of a religious leader.

2. Mylanchi Raavu

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It is an elaborate pre-wedding ceremony in North Kerala and is very similar to a typical Mehndi function in North India. The day before the Malabar wedding, a Mylanchi expert most commonly known as a Mehndi artist decorates the hands and feet of the bride with elaborate Mehndi designs. Friends and family of the bride sing songs and bless her. Sometimes a traditional dance called Oppana is also performed by them.

3. Nikaah

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Held either at a mosque or the residence of the bride, Nikaah is the main ceremony of the wedding. It is an official contract between the fathers of the bride and the groom. Both of them exchange vows in front of the Imaam who then reads verses from the holy book Quran. Mehr is then given to the bride by the groom. Following which, the marriage register is signed by the bride, groom, and their fathers.

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The event is then followed by a grand feast. The food served at a Malabar wedding is, in fact, one of the main highlights of the occasion. It is truly palatable having strong Persian and North Indian influence. Although the overall menu can vary from a wedding to wedding, one thing you can be assured of at any Malabari wedding is chicken biryani at the least!

Also, it is during the feast that the newly-married couple is allowed to see each other through a mirror.

4. Rukhsat

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Photo Courtesy: Lumiere Wedding Company

Again, just like the Bidai ceremony in North India, Rukhsat is the ceremony that traditionally takes place on the next day of the wedding when the bride bids farewell to her parental house.  

5. Valima

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Photo Courtesy: Lumiere Wedding Company

It is a reception hosted by the family of the groom after the wedding to welcome the newly-married couple.

Unique Customs of Malabar Weddings

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In some small areas of the Malabar coast, matrilineal tradition is followed where instead of the bride staying at the groom’s house; the groom stays at the bride’s house post-marriage.

What We Love About Malabar Weddings?

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Photo Courtesy: Lumiere Wedding Company

Unlike in North India, weddings in this region are not OTT extravagant. The ceremonies are simpler and you will not find DJ’s and wedding bands during Malabar weddings. It is mostly friends and family of the couple that performs a traditional dance and sings songs. Also, the maximum expenditure is focused on gold jewellery. Spending extravagantly on things like clothes, shoes, and other accessories is avoided. Wise, isn’t it?

Malabar is majorly dominated by the Muslim population, and the weddings in this region are usually a blend of North India, Arab, and Kerala Nair cultures.

How do you feel about Malabar weddings? If invited to one, would you like to be a part of these beautiful ceremonies? Let us know your thoughts through comments.