Kannada Marriages

Kannada marriages are relatively simple affairs. There is a number of interesting pre wedding rituals that are followed during a Kannada wedding ceremony. Nischay Tamulam is the fixing of the marriage alliance. The boy's parents go to the house of the girl and gift her clothes, fruits and coconut. The girls’ parents too visit the house of the boy and give him gifts. A priest matches the horoscopes and fixes an auspicious date for the occasion. The first religious rite that is celebrated prior to the wedding day is the nandi. This is when prayers are offered to God so that the marriage takes place without any hitches.

On the wedding day the bride is attired in Navari sari complete with green bangles and traditional gold jewelry. The bridegroom is dressed in angavastram, pheta and dhoti. He also carries a stick in his right hand. A ritual called havan is conducted at the houses of both the boy and the girl.

The wedding day celebrations start when the groom after taking blessings of the Gods and the elders in the family proceeds towards the house of the bride where the marriage would take place. When the party reaches the house of the bride they are welcomed by the married women of the girl's family. This is followed by the playful ritual called Kaashi Yatre when the groom pretends to be angry that nobody is searching a bride for him and he threatens to go to kashi. His maternal uncle than convinces him that there is a girl that they has selected for him. This ritual evokes much merriment and laughter.

On the day of the wedding there are significant rituals that are required to be observed. The mandap puja takes place when prayers are offered to make the mandap a sacred place for the marriage to be conducted. The bride's parents bring the groom to the mandap and a ceremony called var puja is conducted. The parents of the bride wash his feet and gift him silk clothes and pitambar. The bride is taken to the mandap by her uncles. One of the interesting customs is that no one is allowed to see the bride's face. Her sisters cover her face with peacock feathers. The bride and the groom are positioned on either side of a white sheet of cloth and they chant mantras. After this the cloth is removed and the couple exchange garlands.

There is next the custom of dhare herdu which is the giving away of the hand of the bride to the groom. After this the couple takes seven rounds of the sacred fire. The manglasutra is then tied by five married women as the groom holds it. There are certain post-wedding rituals too that are observed. Vidaai is when the girl leaves her home.

This is followed by Graha Pravesh, the welcoming of the bride in her new home. The bride enters the house by kicking a pot full of rice. There is then the name change ceremony where the bride is given a new name. Next day the bride's family comes to take away the couple to stay with them for a few days. Later again the groom's family goes and brings them home. With this the elaborate wedding celebrations come to an end and the happy newly weds get ready to begin their married life together.

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