Telugu Marriage

A typical Telugu marriage is an elaborate affair and comprises a number of ceremonies and rituals that extend to several days. For the Telugu people marriage is a step towards spiritual growth and is therefore accorded much sanctity and importance.

One of the most important pre-wedding rituals is the Muhurtam. During this event the auspicious date for the wedding is fixed. Prior to this ritual there is the ceremony of Snathakam that is observed at the house of the bridegroom. It is a sacred thread ceremony that involves the groom tying a silver thread on his body. Mangala Snaanam is the ceremonial bath taken by the groom and the bride and it is conducted on the day of the wedding. This bath is supposed to purify them for the sacred rites of the wedding.

This event is followed by aarti wherein prayers are offered for the bride and the groom. Ganesh pooja is performed by the bridegroom in the marriage hall prior to the start of the wedding rituals. This prayer is supposed to remove all obstacles. Pendlikoothuru is a ceremony wherein the groom and the bride are anointed with turmeric and oil before marriage. After bathing the couple wears new clothes.

On the wedding day there are a number of colorful and joyous rituals that are observed. The groom is welcomed into the bride's house which is the wedding venue, with much fanfare. The bride and the groom take seven steps around the sacred fire to solemnize the marriage. There is the ceremony of the tying of the mangalsutra which symbolizes spiritual, mental and physical union of the groom and the bride.

This is followed by the exchange of garlands between the couple. There is a sweet ceremony called Sthaalipaakam when the groom slips toe rings on the feet of the girl. Among the post wedding rituals is the Grihapravesh which is the ceremonial welcome that is given to the bride when she reaches the house of the groom.

On the day of the marriage the bride is carried in a basket to the mandap by her maternal uncles. The girl has to carry betel leaves, a coconut, betel nuts, a red pumpkin and a sandalwood stick. An interesting custom that is prevalent at the time of the marriage is that the bride and the groom are not allowed to see each other during the course of the event. A curtain is kept between them and they cannot see each other.

There is also a custom wherein the parents of the bride wash the feet of the groom with water. This is so because in Hindu marriages the groom is equaled to that of being a God and handing over one's daughter to the groom is considered to be a gift to Lord Vishnu himself.

The bride usually wears a bright colored sari and gold jewelry. The groom on the other hand is decked in a shirt and south Indian dhoti. Music is considered an integral part of the wedding. Throughout the marriage ceremony carnatic music is played. Also, appropriate wedding songs are played at specific events. The marriage is thus solemnized amidst a riot of noise and color. All the family members and friends of the bride and the groom participate eagerly in the festivities and make it a truly memorable occasion to be cherished forever.

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