A Kannadiga Traditional Wedding - Simple but Elegant
Kannada people call themselves Kannadigas and Kannadigaru. Kannada people mainly live in Karnataka, India, and in neighbor states. Kannada marriage or Kannadiga traditional marriage is taken place mainly in the state of Karnataka. The marriage is not so sparkling like some other Indian wedding. This ceremony usually happens in a simple way and it mainly focuses on the rituals. Wedding traditions are one of the most important parts of Kannada culture. The wedding parties are simple, but grand in nature. The wedding tradition includes a lot of rituals which are not seen in other Hindu communities in India. Kannada people are divided into different communities, like Gowdas, vaishaws, kunchitiga Vokkaliga and many more, thus there is a little variation in rituals followed by each community. There is always lots of fun attaining a Kannada wedding as the wedding is not only about the bride or bridegroom, but a ceremony where two families and their relatives come together, to enjoy and bless two souls for their new journey.
Like other Indian wedding ceremony, Kannada wedding ceremony extends for a week long including Kannada Pre-wedding rituals, Kannada wedding, Post Kannada rituals. All the rituals are performed with the traditional values and with the blessing of elder members of both families. Everyone prays for bride and groom that they can live happily forever and abide with prosperity in near future; in fact, some of the rituals which are mainly performed in the name of God to seek his blessing.
The Pre-wedding ritual begins with the Nischay Tamulam followed by the Naandi custom and then by Kashi-yatra tradition which finally ends with Dev Karya ceremony etc.
Nischay Tamulam: The Nischay Tamulam is a ceremony of marriage fixation. In this ceremony betel leaves and betel nuts is given to the father of bride by the groom’s family and they even gift sari, blouse, fruit, coconut and sweets to the bride. Likewise, the bride’s parents gift dhoti, coconut, and fruits to the bridegroom. A Brahmin chants mantras in front of havan kunda and matches the horoscope of bride and bridegroom. Then a suitable date and time of wedding is selected for the wedding ceremony.
Naandi Custom: This custom is acted upon by both the families. The custom is done to make sure that the marriage happens without any obstacle. The basic concept of this custom is to take the blessing of god for a trouble-free wedding ceremony.
Haldi Ceremony: The marriage day starts with the haldi ceremony, wherein turmeric paste is applied to both bride and bridegroom in their respective houses.
Kashi Yatra Tradition: It is one of the interesting rituals of Kannada wedding especially occurring in the groom’s house. In this custom, the groom acts to leave his house for Kashi to make prayer as he is not getting his suitable bride; then he is stopped by his maternal uncle who shows him that he has already selected bride for him and that he has to stay no longer alone. Kannada people are very close to the God and this ritual is mainly performed to make prayer to him for a lifelong suitable partner.
Dev Karya Ceremony: It is another prayer ceremony conducted before the wedding. All the items of marriage are placed in front of the Lord Ganesha and thereafter the groom and his whole family member make a prayer in front of the Lord to get his blessing. After the prayer, the groom leaves his house for marrying the bride.
Kannada wedding is full of tradition and rituals like any other Hindu marriage ceremony in India. The wedding day starts with the ritual of Mandap Puja.
Mandap Puja: This puja is performed to purify the mandap (stage) and the hall where the wedding is conducted.
Var Puja: After mandap puja, the father of bride worships the groom and washes his feet. It is followed with the entry of bride to the wedding mandap. Here, bride and bridegroom exchange garlands and priests chant holy mantras.
Dhare Herdu: Next ritual is Dhare Herdu, in where the parents of the bride give away their daughter to bridegroom for the lifetime. The hand of the bride is kept on the hand of the bridegroom in placing a coconut and beetle leaves. Then holy water is poured over the hands by parents. After that, room ties a special thread dipped in turmeric something like a mangalsutra around the neck of bride.
Saptapadi: In Saptapadi ceremony, bride and bridegroom take seven rounds around the sacred fire. It is also known as saat phera. With every round husband and wife make a promise to each other that they stay together side by side in all good and bad situations.
In Kannada marriage ceremony, a bride generally wears a Navari Sari with green glass bangles. She also wears traditional ornaments of gold. The bridegroom mainly wears dhoti, angavastram with pheta. He also wears a turban on his head. He holds a stick, which is purified in holy place, with his right hand.
Post Wedding Ceremony
This is the time to leave the house for the bride. She has to say a final goodbye to go to her new home, called Sasural or marital home. Like all other marriages, this situation is extremely an emotional moment.
Griha Pravesh: After marriage, bride comes to bridegroom’s home. A warm welcome is given to her by her in-laws. A vessel (Mangal Ghata) which is filled with rice is placed at the threshold of the house. Bride is asked to push the vessel into the house with right foot. After all these bride enters the home and this ceremony is named as Griha Pravesh. Sometimes young members of family ask for gift near the newlywed couple. It is just a matter of fun. The couple sometimes gives sweets or clothes or little amount to their younger.
Name Change Ceremony: After this, a name change ceremony generally happens in the house of bridegroom. Bridegroom decides a new name for his wife and he writes the name with a ring on a plate which contains rice.
Clothes gifting ceremony: Generally the groom’s family gifts five saris to the bride one for each occasion and four out of which is given before the marriage so that she can wear it accordingly. And then, when she enters the marital home, after griha pravesh, she seats on a new sari, which is the fifth one.
Final occasion of post wedding is Reception
Reception: The reception party is held in the evening in some banquet hall. Delicious foods are served there. Generally the groom’s family arranges this party to celebrate the reception.
India is a colorful country. Marriage ceremonies are celebrated here with lots of rituals, fun, pomp and gaiety and Kannada wedding ceremony is not the exception.