South Indian Traditional Wedding
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South Indian Weddings
By Sat Bhatti
A South Indian wedding comprises a number of customs and rituals, each of these symbolic of the noble and beautiful sentiments that form the basis of marriage. A typical South Indian wedding is a beautiful and grand affair. As one enters the wedding venue one would notice plantain trees tied to the gateposts, overhead festoons of innumerable mango leaves, South Indian music, rangoli designs and many such exquisite features that characterize a South Indian wedding.
On the eve of the wedding day the groom is escorted to the house of the bride by the parents of the latter. After reaching the venue prayers are offered to Ganapati to keep all obstacles or hindrances at bay. There are several Gods that are worshipped. They are known as the Nandi Devatas. To offer prayers to them a branch of the pipal tree is set up and married women wash the branch with milk. This is followed by gifting clothes to the bride and the groom. The wedding ceremonies start with the Vratham that is observed separately by the groom and the bride.
At the marriage venue the father of the groom and the bride formalize the marriage ceremony. The priest chants hymns and the names of the bride; the bridegroom and the three generation of their ancestors are cited. The couple is next lifted up on the shoulders of friends and family and in that position they exchange garlands amidst the cheering of the guests. The bride and the groom hold each other's hands and take seven steps around the holy fire solemnizing their marriage. This is an important part of the marriage ceremony and after they complete the seven rounds the marriage is considered to be finalized.
While circling the fire they feed the fire God with firewood, ghee and twigs of specified trees. Next is a custom wherein the bride has to keep her foot on a grindstone which symbolizes her separation from the earlier way of living. The family and friends of the couple then shower rice grains on them. The wedding day celebrations come to an end with a sumptuous feast for the guests wherein traditional South Indian meals are served to the guests. The bride next has to take leave of her home and proceed towards her in-laws house where she is given a rousing welcome. There she, with her newly married husband gets ready to begin their conjugal life with the blessings and the best wishes of every one.
A south Indian wedding is conducted in a relaxed atmosphere. There are games galore that are played by both the family members and friends of the bride and the groom. There is also much song and dance that is enjoyed thoroughly by everyone. Marriage according to the South Indian tradition is a sacred relationship. The traditional customs and rituals of a South Indian wedding have been preserved in their original splendor and glory, uncorrupted by the modern influences.
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Sat Bhatti of OccAsianZ
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Labels: Traditional Wedding Customs