Kannada Wedding Traditions

Marriage for Kannada is rather a very simple type of marriage. In Kannada marriage, various rituals are performed. ‘Naandi’ is performed at the separate houses of both the boy and the girl. It is performed so that everything in that marriage ceremony, as well as in the married life, goes on peacefully. Another important ritual that is performed is called ‘kashi yatri’. The groom pretends to be annoyed over the issue of not finding a suitable alliance for him. He announces this as he is to enter ‘brahmcharya’, which is where his maternal uncle presents before him the girl he has chosen for him. Sometimes, the uncle would offer the hand of his own daughter. Traditionally, ‘haldi’ ceremony is performed on the day before wedding. A paste of turmeric is applied on the body of the groom and the bride. All the items that are to be used in wedding are placed before the Lord Ganpati. ‘Uddin murth’, a type of grain, is grounded.

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On the day of wedding the ‘mandap’ is decorated where the ceremony is to be performed. After the procession of groom’s friends, relatives and family members arrived at the house of the bride, and the groom is taken to the mandap by the bride’s father. His feet are washed with water and milk. Then he is presented a ‘dhoti’ and ‘pitambhar’, and is supposed to wear these things. After he is ready, bride arrives in the mandap with a face covered by the fan made of peacock feathers. Nobody is allowed to see her face. A white piece of cloth is held between the girl and boy. They exchanged garlands and see each other face amidst the enchanting of mantras.

Then a small ceremony takes place where girl is handed over to the groom. The groom holds the bride’s hand with coconut and beetle leaves. Water is poured over their hands. Then ‘mangalsutra’ is tied around the neck of the girl. Another important ceremony called ‘saptapadi’ is held. Seven rounds are taken by the couple around the fire. Vows are taken by the couple. ‘Okhli’ is played after this ritual. The groom’s ring is dipped in the colored water and the bride and her brothers have to search for it. The grah parvesh usually refers to the entry of the bride in her new house. The girl enters the house after hitting a pot full of rice with her right foot. The name changing ceremony is performed where the name of the girl is changed by the groom to his. On the second day of her marriage, the bride’s family comes to take her and groom, along with themselves, to their house. The couple stays there for some days. Then the groom’s family comes to take them back. Five ‘sarees’ are given to the bride by the groom’s family. One simple saree is given for the ‘haldi’, and a nice saree is given for dare pooja, a Kanjivaram saree is given for the wedding, then a saree for other ‘pooja’, and one is given to be worn when the bride reaches the groom’s house. She has to sit on this saree, which is later given to him. In the evening, a big feast is held where all close relatives and friends are invited. Food served is generally specially made for the occasion. At the end of the ceremony, each guest is handed a packet of sweets with a coconut.

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