Kannada is a Dravidian language spoken mostly by people of Karnataka in South India. It is also spoken in neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Maharashtra. It is the official languages in Karnataka state . The community belong to this language are known as Kannada people. Kannada marriages are similar to the traditional Hindu weddings with customs practices with rituals as per the region. Wedding is a family’s ceremony to enjoy the occasion with friends and relatives. Customs from the bride and groom’s perspective are performed before beginning of beautiful life ahead.
In Kannada weddings, the bride is welcomed by groom’s family with jewellery gift which belonged to ancestors of her husband. Wedding ceremony is arranged at the Mandap (marriage stage) where they vow to exchange the flower garlands. The groom tied the Mangalsutra (wedding necklace) on his bride’s neck and take Sapta Fera (seven rounds) circling the sacred fire. After the ceremonies the new couple takes blessing of elders, the priest declared them as husband and wife for lifetime.
Given below are the wedding rituals of a Kannada wedding.
Rituals before Wedding
Naandi ceremony- In Karnataka, the day before wedding begins with Naandi ritual. It is organised by both bride and groom in their respective homes to worship the God for marriage happen with uninterruptedly.
Kaashi Yatre- In this ritual the groom pretends of leaving his house for Kashi as he does not find a suitable bride. He is stopped by this maternal uncle and shows the bride selected for him.
Dev Karya ceremony- Here every item for wedding are placed in front of Lord Ganesha for his blessings, before the groom leaves for bride’s house. Then, both bride and groom are applied Haldi (turmeric paste) on their body.
Rituals on Wedding Day
Mandap Puja- The marriage day begins with ritual Puja on the “Mandap” and wedding hall are purified with traditional way.
Var Puja- Here the groom is welcomed by bride’s father washing his feet with water. This is the official greeting by the bride’s family.
Dhare Herdu ritual- The bride comes to the Mandap and exchange garlands with her groom on the chant of holy mantras of wedding. The bride’s parents give a coconut, betel and pouring holy water to give their daughter on the groom hand.
Mangalsutra ceremony- The groom ties the ‘Mangalsutra’ around his bride’s neck. Then the couple takes seven rounds around the sacred fire known as Saptapadi ceremony. Newly married couple takes blessing the parents and elders declared as Husband and wife.
Rituals after Wedding
Bridal Welcome- After the marriage, the new bride comes to her husband’s home and she is welcomed by her mother-in-law with traditional Aarti.
Griha Pravesh- Here a rice filled vessel is kept at the main entrance of home and the bride asked to knock vessel inside with her right foot. The, the bride makes first official entry to her new home.
Name change ceremony- The groom chooses a special name for his wife. Then he writes to inscribe it with a ring on rice plate.
On 2nd day after wedding, parents of bride visit to grooms’ house to take the couple to their home. The new married couple stays at the bride’s home. After few days the groom’s parents goes to the bride’s house to takes back the couple
Reception party- Groom’s family arranged a party in a banquet hall with lots of foods and music to make introduction of the bride to their friends, relatives and community.
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