You are already
a member and logged in!
After reading many of the threads with South Indian and North Indian Wedding Rituals and tradition, I thought of posting about Kerala Hindu Nair Wedding customs. What I am writing here is about Nair Weddings in the Southern part of Kerala. There may be some minor differences in the customs in other parts of Kerala.
Customs before marriage :
Horoscope matching :
In Kerala Hindu marriages, horoscope matching is a must. This itself differs from astrologer to astrologer. Astrologers from different parts of Kerala differs in their opinion about some of the matches in the horoscope. But, the horoscope should be matched before going in for a meeting between the boy and the girl.
Pennu Kanal :
The next step is 'Pennu Kanal' or meeting of the prospective bride and the groom. This happens mostly in the girl's home even today. But there are many who opt to meet in a common place like a restaurant. If the ceremony is in the Bride's house, then the boy, his parents and any close relatives come and meet the bride. If both the boy and the girl likes each other and are willing to proceed with the marriage, then the rest is taken care of by the elders in the family.
Engagement Ceremony :
There will be an engagement ceremony in many families before marriage. This also differs from family to family. Some of them will conduct a ring exchange between the prospective bride and groom at the engagement ceremony. But in some other families, there will be a formal interchanging of letters between the families. For example, in Nair community marriages, the NSS Karayogam people from both the sides will assemble at the bride's house and the parents of both the bride and groom will exchange letters regarding the time and venue of the marriage in the presence of the Karayogam officials. A feast will be conducted there after.
Mehendi is a very old custom in Hindu marriages, especially Brahmin weddings in Kerala. In Nair families, this custom was not much prevalent until recently. But now most of the people do Mehendi in the evening before marriage. Bride's aunt should be the first one to put Mehendi in the girl's hands. Then all the close relatives will have their turns.
Wedding Day :
The Hindu Weddings in Kerala have very simple customs and rituals, except that of Brahmin's weddings. On the Wedding day, both the bride and the groom gives 'Dakshina' to the elders in the family. The marriage is performed in temples or marriage halls in Kerala. The Groom will be welcomed by the girl's brother into the Mandapam. Then the bride is welcomed and made to sit on the left hand side of the groom. Dakshina will be given to the parents from both sides by the bride and the groom.
Thalikettu is the most important part of a Nair wedding. Pooja of the 'Thali' will be done in the temple. The groom ties knot and the garlands are exchanged by the bride and groom. Groom gives the 'Manthrakodi' to the bride.
The girl's father does the 'Kanyadanam' to the groom. The newly wed couple should take a round of the Manadapam. This is the end of marriage ceremony.
The bride wears the 'Manthrakodi' before leaving for her new home. She is welcomed to her husband's home by her Mother-in law giving 'Nilavilakku'.
Adukkala Kanal :
'Adukkala Kanal' is a custom among Hindus. The Bride's mother and some relatives will go to the Groom's house with sweets and savourites. The custom is to see her daughter's new house and the environment. At some places, the groom's family will present the people from the bride's home who came to their home with some clothes. The newly wed couple would be bought to the bride's home after 2-3 days after marriage.
There may be difference in the above customs with changes in the area and the community. Different communities will have different rituals for marriage. The ritual described above is of Nair Marriage.