Kerala is a beautiful place where life of people is basically centered on the various activities, including fishing. Kerala has many rich resources blessed by nature. Rich vegetation and harvests of coconut and supari are the main features of the Kerala state. The system of marriage that existed in Kerala is vast and diverse. Marriage is Kerala is an event of fun and frolic like the rest of marriages. It is an occasion when prospective husband and wife take various wedding vows. Horoscopes are matched first and then the date is finalized with the astrologers. Before the wedding day, the groom must dine with the elders of his family and relatives. The girl also observes the same rituals in her house. Traditional Kerala wedding ceremonies take place during the day. Before the marriage, the groom pays a visit to temple and asks for the blessings of his elders. When groom reaches the bride’s house on the wedding day in a ‘dhoti’, his feet are washed by the bride’s father. He gives a white sari for the bride ,which she has to wear during the whole ceremony. After this, ‘lagan’ is performed in which girl and boy take three rounds around the fire. A ‘taal’ is put in yellow thread and tied around the neck of the bride by the father of the bride. The bride’s father places her hand in the hands of the groom. The girl is given to boy in this way.
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After this, the groom sits in front of the bride and tilts her head backward and touch it with his forehead. The girl’s hands are filled with puffed rice, and she offers it to the fire. She places her hands in the groom’s hands and chants mantras. Then he lifts her foot and touches it with the grinding stone to signify that all her past relations are broken now. He again lifts her feet and moves it forward seven times with his hands. This signifies her entry in a new house. Now, a lavish feast is arranged. Friends and relatives shower flowers on the couple and they are given gifts. Then the couple seeks the blessing of the elders and parents. After this, time comes for the departure of the bride to the groom’s house. Amongst the big gathering of friends and relatives, the girl leaves for her husband’s house where she is welcomed traditionally. She is asked to step in with her right foot first, holding a lamp. She is welcomed by the elders and parents of the groom. The ‘Grihapravesh’ ceremony is very auspicious. ‘Ganpati puja’ is performed to seek the blessing for the prosperous and healthy married life of the couple.
She has to boil the milk in the kitchen which signifies her involvement in the family. Among all Hindu communites, except Nambootiris, marriage with the first cousin is popular. A boy has a right to marry the daughter of his maternal or paternal uncle. Among Kerala, marriage to one’s cousin is not a taboo. Nambootiris women cannot remarry. In this community, there is no tying of any thread or giving away of dhoti. However, the other rituals like ‘kanyadanam’, panigrahanam and ‘sapta padi’ are similar to the rest of the community traditions.
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