Kannada weddings are farther away from its south Indian counterparts, and much closer to it’s north bordering state of Maharashtra. A fun fact, Karnataka and Maharashtra happen to share an overlapping history which has made way for a lot of similarities in the way they dress, what they eat, their folklore, and even art forms like Lavani. Following the same chain of thought, Kannada weddings and Maharashtrian weddings share a lot of commonalities in terms of rituals, an adaptation of Hindu customs.
Kannada weddings are not as simple as other south Indian weddings and are more colourful. But standing true to their rich culture and history, the customs—which are very close to Hindu rituals—are followed just as they were designed. Sure, fancy peripheral celebrations like bachelor parties, and sangeet functions have made their way in but that has not compromised on their mandatory procedures.
Here are all the primary ceremonies observed in a Kannada matrimony:
- Nischay Tamulam
Just like Hindu beliefs, a Kannada matrimony is fixed only after the stars of the couple align in their horoscopes. Once that is worked out, an exchange of gift happens, and the priest generally decides the date of the wedding here.
This is a custom that is practiced by almost everyone across the country. Respective households pray to almighty lord to bless the forthcoming celebrations and pray for all things to go smoothly.
- Kaashi Yaatre
Very typical to south Indian culture, the groom in this ceremony pretends to take a stand against getting married and shows his willingness to give up on all thing’s material and head to Kashi. At this point, the bride’s maternal uncle intervenes and persuades the groom to accept his niece in a Kannada matrimony.
The groom, on the wedding day, takes the blessings of all the deities by visiting neighbourhood temples. A similar ritual is observed by most Hindu sections.
- Welcoming Groom’s Entourage
When the groom arrives at the venue where the Kannada matrimony is scheduled to happen with his entourage, they are welcomed by the bride’s family, and five married women take turns to perform aarti for the groom.
- Mandap Puja
Traditionally built in the house itself, mandap is where all the holy rituals happen. Before commencing the wedding, the priest performs a puja to purify the space.
- Var Puja
In Hindu traditions, the groom is given a high pedestal as he is regarded as a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. So, to worship a form of god, the groom’s feet are washed by the bride’s father, a puja is performed and then some clothes are handed over which he is expected to wear for the wedding ceremony.
Another Hindu tradition, also followed in Maharashtrian weddings, is exchange of garlands. But in a Kannada matrimony, the bride arrives with her face hidden behind a peacock feather, and then at the mandap, a cloth is put between the bride and the groom while the priest chants mantras. Once that is done, the cloth is removed and they both exchange garlands. Safe to say Kannada weddings are enjoying the best of both north and south Indian traditions in this ceremony.
Another ritual followed across the country, Saptapadi is when the bride and the groom’s drapes are tied in knot, signifying their bond which will last their lifetime. They then go around the sacred fire seven times. After this, the groom ties the mangalsutra around the bride’s neck with the help of five married women. They take blessings of all elders’ present, and this concludes the wedding ceremonies.
Unlike south Indian weddings, Kannada matrimony observes vidaai, the official send-off of the bride to the groom’s house, where she accompanies with her brother who is entrusted with the job of settling her down in her new house.
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