India is the country of diversity. Every religion has own rituals and its significance. The wedding is most important part of Indian culture, but it takes place in a different way in every religion. Telugu wedding is one of the colorful weddings generally performed by people of Andhra Pradesh. The two souls unite by performing various religious rituals in presence of family. Let’s have a look few important rituals of Telugu wedding that make this event auspicious and bound family together.
When two families decide to get along by tying a knot of their respective children, a day is chosen by family for a wedding which is known as Muhurtam. While deciding Muhurtam the month of Ashadh, Bhadrapad, and Shunaya are avoided as these months are inauspicious for a wedding.
Pendlikoothuru is a ceremony takes place prior to wedding. During Pendlikoothuru, bride and groom are first smeared with oil and turmeric and then made to bath in their respective houses. The bride grooms herself with new cloth, beautiful flowers and bangles. The other married women gift a bride, betel leaves, sweets, flowers and bangles, bless and welcome her in a new married life and in a group of married women. Pendlikoothuru is actually a fun moment that bride and groom spend with family, relative and friends.
Snathkam is a ceremony in which groom wear silver thread on his body before wedding. Wearing this thread symbolizes that now a groom can perform all the religious ceremony and wedding. After finishing Snathkam, the groom says is going to Kashi discarding all the worldly pleasure. Then brother of a bride requests him to not to discard these pleasures and asks him to merry his sister and accepts her as an ‘ardhangini’.
Mangala snaanam and aarti
During this ceremony bride and groom takes auspicious bath in their respective houses and later they are anointed with oil and aarti is performed by family members.
Gauri pooja and Ganesh Pooja
During this ceremony bride worship goddess Durga and asks her to bless her with vitality, strength and fertility. Whereas, the groom worships Lord Ganesha, who ensures a success in every task.
The Kanyadan is the most important ritual in every wedding. The emotions of bride and her family are attached with this as this ritual depicts that parents of a bride are giving away their daughter to the groom, and now she becomes his life partner. During this ritual, maternal uncle of a bride brought her in a mandapam in a basket, and she carries betel leaves, betel nuts, coconut, sandalwood stick and pink pumpkin along with her. The curtain is placed between bride and groom until wedding chants and rituals finishes. Once a priest completes chants, the curtain is removed. At the end, bride’s parents wash the toes of a groom because now onwards their son-in-law is like a God for them who will look after their daughter.
After a priest completes incantation the bride and groom apply a paste of cumin and jaggary on each other that symbolizes their promise to stay together in every sorrow or happiness.
During Maduparkam ceremony, a bride wears a white cotton sari with purple border and groom wears a white dhoti with pink border. The white color symbolizes purity and chastity. The married women accompany the lady holding plates of rice blended with turmeric powder. The opposite girls hold plates with small lamps. The lit lamps characterize sweetness and lightweight, qualities that the bride brings together with her to this new part of life. Later, the curtain between the bride and groom is removed and groom ties mangalsutra around bride’s neck with three knots that represents a strong physical, mental and spiritual union between the two. After accomplishing of this ritual the groom holds bride’s hand and gazes on the polar, vasishtha and arundhati stars which signify their bound for a lifetime.
During Saptapadi couple exchange garlands with each other in presence of family, relatives, friends and guests who sprinkle flowers and rice on a couple as a blessing. Later, the bride’s sari and groom’s dhoti tied together so they can take seven steps together around the sacred fire. During this seven steps bride and groom give each other seven promises. One of these promises is to stay together in any candy or bitter moments. Subsequently, all the present member from bride’s family gift her saris, ornaments, or anything else that symbolizes their blessings.
Sthaalipaakam wherein the groom slips silver toe rings on the bride’s feet. To chase away the evil eye, she is asked to wear a string of black beads. A grand feast is obtainable on the occasion.
This is the ritual when bride leaves her home and escorted to groom’s house which also becomes her own house from now onwards. The family of a groom welcomes this new family member warmly.