Andhra Wedding Rituals

Weddings in India are full of life and colors. They are made up of various traditions and customs. The Andhra weddings are also one of the most traditionally well-performed marriages across the county. These weddings are an elaborate affair and no expense is too much for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

 

Some of the wedding rituals of Andhra style weddings are same as Tamil rituals. Except for the food, they don’t like any modification and alterations in their wedding rituals. The rich and diverse cultural heritage of this state is reflected in the wedding ceremonies conducted there. 

 

Whilst these rituals may vary from community to community there are some common wedding rituals which are religiously practiced in every wedding ceremony. Here, we refer to some of the beautiful ceremonies which are followed in the wedding.

 

Andhra pre-wedding rituals: 

 

1. Nischyadaartham

Matching the girl’s and boy’s horoscope is very important in Andhra wedding customs. After the fixing of the marriage, the ceremony of Nischyadaartham is performed on a selected day. This ceremony is an engagement ceremony which is followed by pooja of lord Ganesh; exchange of jewelry, gifts, clothes, fruits and sweets is done among the families of bride and groom. All the rituals of engagement are traditionally performed by both families. The bride and groom also exchange the rings during this ceremony. After this, the “Lagna Patrika” is read describing the date, time, day and place of the wedding along with the bride and groom family details. This is then signed by the members of both the family.

 

2. Pendikoothuru ritual

Similar to the north Indian wedding tradition of haldi ceremony, this ritual also involves the mixture of oil and turmeric paste which is applied to the girl and the boy before marriage. After the application of haldi both the bride and groom take shower and wear new clothes.

 

3. Snathakam

This ritual is performed at the house of the groom. According to this ritual, the groom is made to wear a holy thread which is silver in color. This is done to ensure that he has ended his ‘Brahmacharya Vratha’ and is ready to start his new journey of ‘Grihastha’ after marriage. The groom takes the permission from his guru in this Vedic ritual.

 

4.  Kashi Yatra

This tradition is similar to the Kashi yatra ritual which is performed in the Tamil weddings.  The groom wears new slippers, carries an umbrella, a bamboo fan, a walking stick and a ‘grantha’. He pretends to be ready to go to Kashi for gaining further knowledge. Then, the bride’s brother stops him by requesting him to not go to Kashi for learning and offers him to marry his sister to enter in the new journey of ‘Grihastha’. After this, the groom accepts the proposal and return back to ‘mandapam’.

 

5. Mangal Snaam

This wedding ceremony is performed generally on the wedding day where the bride and groom take a sacred bath before performing all the other customs before the marriage.

 

6. Aarti

After the Mangal Snanam, the boy and the girl apply oil on their body at their individual homes. The family members of the bride and groom then perform a sacred aarti for the prosperous and happy married life of the couple.

 

7. Gauri puja

At the house of the bride this wedding ceremony is performed. Here the bride prays to goddess Gauri and asks for her blessings for a happy and successful marriage.

 

8. Ganesh puja

Before the arrival of bride to the mandap, the groom performs the Ganesh puja at the mandap. The prayer is done with an aim to seek the blessings of lord Ganesh for their new married life. This puja or ceremony is performed for good luck to be bestowed on the married couple and their families. 

 

9. Bride’s entry

The bride is escorted to the mandap by her maternal uncle and aunt. As the priests chant the holy Vedic mantras, a curtain is placed between the bride and the groom. In some families, the bride is carried in a decorated bamboo basket to the mandap by her maternal uncle.

 

10. Jeerakalla-Bellamu

In this wedding custom, the bride and the groom apply a thick paste of jaggery and jeera on each other’s hand. The paste is applied under the curtain. This is a sign of their unbreakable and inseparable bond.

 

11. Madhuparkam

In this wedding custom the clothes of bride and groom are fixed. The groom wears a white dhoti of cotton which has a red border and the bride wears a beautiful cotton sari with red background. The color of their wedding dress symbolizes purity and strength. This is the conventional attire of the Andhra bride and groom at the time of wedding.

 

12. Mangalsutra ritual

The curtain between the bride and groom is removed in this wedding custom. A mangalsutra is tied by the groom around the neck of his bride with three knots. The three knots signify their physical, mental and spiritual union to one another.

 

13. Kanyadan

This wedding custom is done by the parents of bride. This customs starts with the washing of groom’s feet after which they give the hand of their daughter in the groom’s hand. The groom thereby promises them to respect, love and protect their daughter for life.

 

14. Akshata and Saptapadi

In this ritual of the Andhra marriage, a garland of flowers is exchanged between the bride and the groom. In the Satapadi custom, the bride and groom take the seven rounds around the agni along with the wedding vows. After completing the seven rounds the groom puts silver toe rings in the toes of his wife.

 

Andhra Post-wedding rituals and traditions

 

Griha-pravesh

After the marriage, the newly wedded bride goes to her new home with her husband. As soon as they reach the groom’s house, the groom’s mother welcomes the newlywed couple on the main door with a small aarti.

Title picture is courtesy https://celebritieswedding.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/6-telugu-groom-etiquette-lessons-we-learnt-from-allu-arjun/ 

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