Kerala Weddings also known as Nair Weddings are a perfect example of elegance infused with simplicity. These weddings do not exhibit the lengthy rituals of the Bengali wedding or the grandeur of the Punjabi weddings. One can even witness some customs inspired by other cultures. Be it Kerala Christian Matrimony or Kerala Nair Matrimony; the rituals will touch your heart. From Nischayam Ceremony to the Graha Pravesh, enlighten yourself with some jaw-dropping customs of the Kerala weddings!
The Nischayam Ceremony
Once the priest beckons the wedding after studying the horoscopes, families of the bride and groom fix a date for the auspicious ceremony. The Nischayam Ceremony is then performed to celebrate the joyous announcement of the marriage. Otherwise known as the ring ceremony, the pious Nischayam ceremony marks the start of the bride and groom’s relationship on a beautiful note. Once the rings are exchanged, families partake in giving and receiving gifts from each other!
This unique custom is essential to every Kerala matrimony and takes place just a day before the wedding. The near and dear ones of the bride and groom attend this ceremony. In essence, the ceremony is performed to receive blessings from the elders for a prosperous wedding life. The bride wears a ravishing silk saree, and the groom is fashioned in traditional attire.
The mehendi ceremony takes place at the bride’s residence. While the aunts of the bride apply henna on her hands, other ladies of the household dance and enjoy the joyful ceremony. The overall ambiance during the mehendi ceremony is fun, full of laughs and a blushing bride. Since the ancient era, mehendi is said to be pious for the married life of a woman as per the Hindu customs.
A paste of kumkum and haldi is prepared at both the houses and applied to the face of both the groom and the bride. The ceremony is performed in the morning during the wedding day. The Haldi Ceremony is considered pious in the Kerala matrimony.
Wedding rituals of the Nair Wedding ( also known as “Kudivep”) are often performed in the ancestral home of the Bride. Majority of families opt out of booking temples or convention centers or gardens for the convenience of both the families.
A beautiful custom where the bride and the groom touch the feet of their elders just before heading for the venue. The Dakshina is symbolized as ‘shower of blessings.’
The mandap of nair weddings are not just like any other mandap; certain rules have to be followed to decorate the mandap of a nair wedding. The sacred setting is essential as per the Hindu customs.
The wedding starts with the bride’s family welcoming the groom’s family. The brother of the bride washes the feet of the groom and ceremoniously escorts him to the mandap while a group of girl’s carry diyas in the background. The bride then walks in with her respective aunts towards the mandap while traditional and melodious nadaswaram plays in the background. Once, the bride and groom are seated comfortable side by side; the priest starts chanting his holy mantra and officially initiates the ceremony. The couple then takes several rounds around the pious and holy fire which is followed by the groom’s father handing over the mangal sutra to the groom which he ties around the bride’s neck. In traditional Nair wedding, this ceremony is known as “Thalikettu.”
Pudamuri is a beautiful ceremony during which the groom gift’s his new wife a stunning silk saree with a blouse on a decorated platter to signify that he would take care of her with utmost sincerity and promises her that he will provide for her throughout her life.
The newlywed couple now exchanges garlands which signifies that they have happily accepted each other and would love to live the rest of their life together. And the most heart-wrenching ceremony takes places; the father of the bride places her hands in the hands of the groom considering it a promise that the groom will take care of his daughter whom he raised with utmost love compassion, care, and love. Finally, the other elder of the house gives their blessings to the newlyweds.
Now comes the time to consume the scrumptious meals prepared in the Nair Weddings. Sandhya is an assortment of 25 different meals served on the traditional plantain rice. The 25 meal course involves rice, three types of curries, some tasty pickles and the delectable sweets. Several other native dishes are also served with the staple. Sadhya is a treat to the taste buds.
Now the new bride walks into her new house on the mahurat chosen by the priest on the wedding day! Before that, she shares an emotional moment with her parents and other elders because she is leaving her loved ones and the house where she spent a significant time of her childhood. Once the bride reaches her new home, her mother in law can be seen waiting for her with an “aarti ki thali” to shed any evil energy surrounding her. After that, the bride slowly puts her right leg forwards and walks into the home with a lamp in her hands to imply that she will maintain the calmness and the happiness of the house. Griha Pravesh ends the auspicious ceremony.
Nair Weddings are short yet extravagant. While some rituals are not new to the Hindu tradition, some rituals are just so unique and will blow your mind away. The beautiful rituals bind the souls of the bride and groom together with pure love, sincerity, happiness and loads of blessings. These weddings are a treat to anyone who witnesses it. Merely, imagining a nair wedding is a beautiful thought to have.
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