Kannada Wedding Rituals

Kannada Wedding Rituals April 1, 2006

Here is a write up on the Kannada weddings:

Pre-wedding Rituals

Kannada Wedding Naandi is performed separately at bride as well as groom’s house. This is to ensure that the marriage takes place despite any circumstances.

Kaashi Yatre
A very old ritual Kashi Yatre, here the groom pretends to be very angry as nobody is searching for a bride for him. He announces Brahmacharya. This is when his maternal uncle convinces him and puts forth him the girl that he has chosen for him or would offer his daughter’s hand for marriage.

Dev Karya
Traditionally this ritual was performed on the day of arrival of the groom’s family to the village. All the goods that were to be exchanged or used in the marriage were placed in front of Lord Ganesha to seek blessings from the Lord. On the same day haldi is applied to the bride as well as the groom in their respective houses. Another ritual is where the Uddin Murth a type of grain is ground. This is considered to be sacred.

Wedding Rituals

The Pujas
On the day of marriage the first ritual that is performed is the Mandap Puja. This is to make the mandap or the hall in which the marriage is to take place, appropriate for an event as sacred as a marriage. The bride’s father brings the groom to the mandap and is worshipped in a ceremony called the Var Puja. The bride’s parents honour him by washing his feet and offer him a silk dhoti and pitambar, which are to be worn by him. When she is brought in the mandap no one is supposed to see her face, so her sister shields her face with a fan of peacock feathers.The bride and groom stand on the either side of a white cloth, which separates them. The bride and the groom garland each other amidst the chanting of mantras. The groom’s sister holds a kalash of holy water that contents a coconut, beetle leaves and Kombu Gindi.

Dhare Herdu
Dhare Herdu symbolises handing over of their daughter to the groom. The groom holds the bride’s hand with a coconut and beetle leaves, while her parents sprinkle the holy water on their hands. After that the mangalsutra is tied around the girl’s neck.

Saptapadi the ceremony of the couple taking seven rounds of the havan or the holy fire. In most marriages a game called Okhli is generally played, the groom’s wedding ring is dipped in a vessel containing coloured water. The bride and her brother are expected to search for the ring thrice.

Post-wedding Rituals

Graha Pravesh
The wedding ritual of entry of the bride into her new home is called Graha Pravesh. The bride kicks a kalash full of rice with her right foot kept at the threshold of the house. Then comes the name change ceremony. Here the groom decides a name for his bride he inscribes with a ring on a plate containing rice. On the second day the bride’s family comes to take the newly wedded bride and the groom to their house. The couple stays at the bride’s place for a few days. Later the groom’s family goes over to his in-laws place to fetch the bride and the groom.

The grooms family gives the bride five sarees each meant for an occasion. A nice saree meant for the Dare Puja, a Kanjivaram saree for the wedding, a simple saree for haldi, a saree for the puja and a saree for the girl to sit on when she comes to the groom’s house after graha pravesh are must. The bride is made to sit on a saree after coming to her new house, this saree is later given to her. The groom on the other hand wears a silk dhoti and a pitambar, which is a cloth meant to cover the upper part of his body and has a zari border. The reception is fixed in the evenings. The food is simply delicious and one shouldn’t miss this part. The ceremony ends with each guest from the groom’s side being handed out a coconut and sweets wrapped in a packet.

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