Weddings are a wonderful affair that brings people together and rekindle the forgotten memories and emotions in us. It’s been so long since we attended a proper traditional Telugu wedding. Our culture says that weddings are supposed to be a family reunion and not an individual affair. It not only brings two should together but also forms a strong between two families. In the olden days, a Telugu wedding is a 16-day affair which is recently reduced to even one day.
A wedding is an affair that is celebrated and cherished our whole life. But how many of us actually know the reason behind the rituals performed during a wedding? All the rituals held in a traditional Telugu wedding has a religious and cultural significance. An oath taken for a lifetime involves a lot of rituals and we ought to know the reasons behind them.
This is the first ritual in a marriage. Both the families perform rituals making the wedding official. People may see it just as the mere exchange of rings, but it’s more of taking an oath for your lifetime. An auspicious date and time (Muhoortham) will be set for the wedding that day. The time will be set based on the horoscopes of the Bride and the Groom.
2. Kaasi yatra:
This is the ritual mostly followed by the Brahmin community. In this, the Groom refuses to marry and decides to leave ‘Gruhastashram’ and go to Kaasi to take ‘Sanyasashram’. Usually, the brothers of the Bride convince him by saying that the girl is worth the stay and share his life. Eventually, they convince him to take her hand. It is a fun ritual where they tease the groom and is fun filled.
3. Mangala snanam:
This is the ritual where they are prepared for the wedding day. They smear turmeric on both of them representing the cleansing of both body and mind. They are hence prepared for the wedding day both physically and spiritually. Then the family members perform Aarathi together praying that both of them should be granted the wisdom to lead their lives together.
4. Gowri puja:
This is the ritual performed by the bride. It is significant to the presence of divinity throughout the wedding. This is to seek her blessings and strength for a happy and prosperous life. A ritual called Pravara is performed where the bride’s gothram is changed to the groom’s gothram, signifying that she now has officially become the part of the Groom’s family.
The bride enters the Mandapam in a basket symbolising her as their most precious treasure. The bride’s father then performs ‘Kanyadanam’, the ritual of passing her on to her husband. Bride’s father drops her hands into the hands of the Groom, and the groom takes the oath of protecting her from there on. He promises that she’ll be by her side and offer support through thick and thin.
The groom holds her hands and accepts her into his life. he takes her hands into his, denoting that only death shall part them.
7. Jeelakarra Bellam:
Traditionally the bride and the groom are not allowed to look at each other until this moment. After placing Jeelakarrabellam on each other’s head they see each other for the first time. This indicates the inseparable and unbreakable. This is the most crucial part as it occurs right on the moment of sumuhoortham.
8. Mangalasutra dhaarana:
In this ritual, three knots are tied with maangalyam around the bride’s neck. Three knots can never be untied. This denotes that the bond between them is so strong that they can never be separated.
Rice mixed with turmeric and flower petals is placed on each other’s head. Rice shows the over flowing prosperity. So it is used as an indication of the wealth and the prosperousness of their married life, symbolising the abundance.
The oaths are taken around the fire by both of them. They take seven steps around the fire, each one symbolising each promise they make to each other.
The following seven vows of marriage occur in this ritual:
The first step to sharing the responsibility of providing for our household!
The second step to strengthen our mind, body and soul to accomplish life’s needs!
The third step to accomplish wealth and prosperity through righteous means!
The fourth step to acquire happiness through mutual love, respect and trust!
The fifth step to raise strong, virtuous and courageous children!
The sixth step towards spiritual values and longevity!
The seventh step to stay best friends in this lifelong wedlock!
In this, the groom adorns the bride’s feet with a silver ring. This shows that a man bends over in front of the woman to make her his wife. Later the bride is made to cook a meal in the ritual Agnihotram, denoting her taking over the responsibilities of his household.
12. Arundhati nakshatram and Appagintalu:
They both watch this star in the sky as Arundhathi and Vashishtha are known as the ideal couple in our puranas. Later the bride officially leaves her house for her husband’s. At this, the wedding is said to be finished.
This is once in a lifetime experience and this article is to wish all those lovely couples getting married this season. Have a very contented married life.
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