Fashion & Life Style

Kerala Matrimony Rituals That Make Them Special and Unique

Every Kerala wedding highlights the state’s rich culture, heritage and character. The wedding rituals let you explore and celebrate the dynamic emotion of God’s Own Country. The Kerala weddings are synonymous with subtlety, elegance and sheer grace. Kerala marriage ceremonies aren’t composed of elaborate rituals. However, they can still leave you melting with their essence.

Embrace the state’s vibrancy with some of Kerala’s best rituals and ceremonies.

Pre Wedding Kerala Rituals
The wedding rituals begin with Penukaanal. When the Kerala grooms come to see the bride at her house, both the bride and groom must form a liking for each other. Only when they approve of each other, do the following rituals take place. Ceremonies begin only when the two families of the bride and groom have fixed the marriage.

Muhurtham is a ritual where both families match the Kundalis or horoscope of the Kerala brides and grooms. Horoscope matching is an important element of Kerala weddings since it determines if the match is compatible or not. Once the Kundlis match, it is known as Muhurath. Muhurath refers to the auspicious wedding day when the marriage shall happen.

This Kerala pre-wedding custom implies engagement. This ritual includes Mothiram Mattal or ring exchanging tradition. During this ritual, both the families come forward to make an official wedding announcement of their respective son and daughter in front of their chosen family members, friends, etc. Nischayam is an integral part of Kerala weddings since both the families celebrate happiness by horoscope exchange of the brides and Kerala grooms.

This is the reason, why the custom is also termed Jaathakam Maaral (exchanging of approved horoscopes). The ceremony also includes exchanging gifts like bridal ornaments.

This bridal-centred ceremony is not only limited to Kerala but is celebrated with great pomp and glory across the country. Till recent years, Mehndi was not a part of Kerala weddings. But with the hype increasing over it all around India, different Kerala marriages started observing it as well. Mehndi ceremony includes talented Mehndi artists applying intricately-beautiful Mehndi designs on the bride’s palm.

Kerala Wedding Rituals
The Kerala matrimonial is distinguished for its simplicity and short rituals. However, the rituals might vary for Tamil Brahmin marriages. The Tamil wedding customs are also different from other Hindu communities like Chettiyars, Vishwakarma and Ezhava.

Hindu Kerala Weddings
Reception Ceremony for the Groom

Upon the arrival of the groom on the wedding day, the bride’s family royally welcomes his family and friends. The reception custom includes the bride’s brother washing the groom’s feet and welcoming him inside the wedding venue.

Thallikettu (Typing of the Wedding Knot)
Thali is the Tamil word for the pious wedding string. Tying of the wedding string around the bride’s neck is seen to be an important ceremony in Kerala Hindu weddings. The wedding string that is tied in Tamil weddings is a primal symbol of marital status. Additionally, the wedding string also signifies the enduring passion and care that the couple has for each other.

Tying of Thali
The Thali customary includes the groom’s father giving the Thali to the groom, for him to tie it around the bride’s neck. The groom ties the Thali at a decked-up pavilion inside the wedding venue in presence of both the families and friends. During the tying of the Thali, the present guests at the venue shower the couple with flower petals.

Garland Exchanging
Right after Thalikettu, the couple exchanges garlands. After garland exchanging, the groom’s father gives the bridal dress or Manthrakoti to the groom. The groom thereafter gifts the Manthrakoti to the bride.

The bride’s father places betel leaves on the right hand of the groom. The bride’s father thereafter places the bride’s hands on top of the groom. This entire custom is called Panigrahanam.

Kanyadaanam reflects the ‘giving of the bride to the groom’ The bride’s father places the hand of the bride on the groom’s hand. This is a symbolic representation of a father handing over his daughter’s responsibilities to the groom.

During this Kerala matrimony custom, the groom requires to sit in a posture that will face the bride and touches her forehead with his. The priest during this ritual chant religious scriptures. Thereafter the priest commands the bride to pour rice inside the Veli. The groom thereafter places his bride’s foot on a grinding stone or Ammi. This placing of the bride’s feet on the grinding stone is a symbolic representation of breaking bonds and relations with her family and becoming part of a new family.

Sadhya is the last of the Kerala matrimonial custom which lets the bride and groom enjoy. During this customary, elaborate meal served to the bride and groom along with their families, friends and other guests present at the wedding venue. The Sadhya usually comprises 25 different dishes all of which serve on plantain leaves. The dishes include a plethora of rice delicacies, curries, pickles and sweets.

Post-Kerala Wedding Rituals

After completing all the wedding rituals, the newly-wed couple starts their journey to the groom’s house where the groom’s family welcome the couple with all their heart. The groom’s mother welcomes her daughter-in-law with lit oil lamps. This welcoming tradition is called Kudivep.

After post wedding, the bride comes and enters her better halves’ house. The bride’s entry into his husband’s house knows as Grihapravesh. The newly-wed bride requires to enter her husband’s house with a conventional lamp. Grihapravesh is an integral ceremony of Tamil Hindu weddings.

What’s Does Kerala Brides Wear as their Wedding Attire?
Most Kerala brides prefer wearing subtle bridal attire that looks elegant. Kerala girls for marriage get dolled up in a traditional saree complemented with abundant jewellery. A typical Kerala bride will also accessorize with Kasumala, a long traditional neckpiece made with a careful assemblage of gold coins.

Another important piece of jewellery that they adorn themselves with is a Palakkad Mothiram. It is a green neckpiece that is gold-made and displays mango designs. Brides also deck themselves with Oddiyam or a belt. Oddiyanam keeps the bride’s saree in place and prevents it from getting all disorganized. Brides also wear a gold choker or Elakkathali.

What Does the Kerala Grooms Wear as their Wedding Outfit?
The Kerala traditional wedding has the groom dressed in white and gold. The Kerala groom will slip in a Zari-bordered white Mundu. The white Mundu is the dhoti or lungi which the grooms wear along with a matching scarf known as Melmundu. However, with the times changing in fashion, the men nowadays prefer to team up the traditional Mundu either with a white shirt or even a plain white Kurta.

A lot of grooms have even experienced the wedding look by choosing to wear Kurta Pyjamas, formal suits and royal Sherwanis.

Interesting Kerala Wedding Facts
• The Kerala wedding customs segregate into Muslim, Christian, Nair and Hindu. While the tradition might differ in each community, the roots remain in syn with the state’s culture.
• Kerala is popular for its mixed-bag of conventional and unconventional weddings.
• Thanks to its agreeable climate, Kerala monsoon weddings are famous.

Every Kerala wedding knows for its unique yet simple customs. Each customis celebrated uniquely with much happiness. The customs are elegantly pulled off and signify the state’s rich heritage. The state’s breathtaking scenic landscapes are what make weddings more special here.

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