There are lots of customs and traditions that Telugu matrimony includes to honor the Gods and bless the newlyweds during their wedding. A host of pre-wedding customs is undertaken that are participated in by both the bride and groom’s families and a long list of guests. Take a look at some of the interesting ceremonies that take place before the kanyadanam in the course of a Telugu wedding.
1. The Engagement or Nischitaartham
Nowadays the Nischitaartham is held quite a few months before the wedding. Once the arranged match is decided, the date of the marriage is set so that the couple can get to know each other in the time being as a courtship period. This pre-nuptial ritual is where the couple officially makes a commitment to each other in the presence of their families. In South India, this ceremony commences with a Ganapati Puja to seek the blessings of the Gods. Pledges are taken by the fathers of the bride and groom-to-be in a proposal for alliance.
2. The Thread Ceremony or Snathakam
Right before the muhurtham this custom ensures that the eligible male wears a silver holy thread across his torso. It takes place at a temple or the groom’s home and is attended by all of his relatives.
3. Fixing the Marriage Date or the Muhurtham
When both families agree, the union goes forward with the date of the wedding being fixed. The Muhurtham is held to mutually agree on a date that is auspicious. Telugu marriages avoid the period of Aashad and Bhadrapada as well as Shunya according to the Hindu calendar.
4. The Haldi
The ritual involves the application of scented oils and haldi to the couple. This ceremony takes place separately at each of their homes where they are anointed with turmeric by all their relatives. There is then a bath after which, new clothes are worn by both of them. The bride-to-be generally dons a gold bordered saree with gajra (flowers) in her hair and a bindi.
5. A Puja Aarti
Once the turmeric ceremony is over, the couple’s families perform aarti at their respective homes. They ask for blessings of deities and pray for the happiness of the couple.
6. Ganesh Puja by the Groom and Gauri Pujan by the Bride
The groom executes the puja in honor of Lord Ganesha right before the marriage in the mandap. At another part of the wedding hall, the bride undertakes Gauri Pujan to seek blessings of the deity.
7. The Custom of Jyothulu and Talambralu
This is when all of the bride’s family brings together ten married women to walk with the bride. While six of them carry puja thalis with the auspicious mix of rice, haldi and kumkum; others carry plates with small diyas crafted from a rice flour mixture that also includes sugar and milk. This is all symbolic for it stands for blessing the bride with lots of food and light in her married life.
All these ceremonies are joyously performed by both families to ensure an auspicious start to the married life of the newlyweds.