In this guide, we will be talking about Kerala Hindu Ezhava wedding rituals.
The Hindu culture is a lovely home for a large number of communities that differs from one another based on traditions. You will also find a vast alteration observed in the wedding rituals and customs amongst Hindu weddings also. The wedding rituals mainly depend on the history associated with the community. As a matter of fact, it is one of the largest and the fastest-growing Hindu communities in Kerala is Ezhava. They are the descendants of the ancient Dravidian dynasty.
Unlike Tamil Brahmin weddings that follow 2-3 days or a week-long celebration of rituals, Kerala Ezhava marriages are usually short events. Amongst all Hindu community weddings in Kerala, Ezhava weddings are the shortest. It is usually a one-day affair without much noise and show-off.
Ezhava wedding rituals are comparatively much different from Nair wedding rituals. Here are the following rituals involved in a typical Kerala Hindu Ezhava Wedding.
The groom offers prayers to Lord Ganesha on the day of the wedding for a happy and prosperous marriage. Lord Ganesha, also the destroyer of the obstacles, is worshipped to get rid of any hindrances in the wedding.
The bride worships the Goddess of Power in her house. This is conducted to get rid of all evil and empower the bride with abilities to handle new responsibilities that she will be shouldering after she gets married.
After this, an auspicious time is calculated by the family astrologer for the wedding ceremony. Upon consultation and agreement by both the bride and groom’s family, a date is fixed. This ritual is known as Muhurtham.
Generally, the wedding takes place early in the morning. The time is a vital factor as far as the wedding is concerned. Hence, people seek advice from reliable and trustworthy astrologers.
The bride and the groom along with the family members assemble at the wedding venue. In earlier times, people conducted wedding ceremonies at their ancestral home. As times change, people opt for nearby temple, auditorium or convention centre. The wedding ceremony takes place in front of friends, family, and invitees.
While you can choose your wedding decors such as balloon wedding décor, flowers etc. the main part of the stage decoration includes Jagat Sree Narayana Gurudev’s photo/idol along with 3-5 Nilavilakku, Coconut, Flowers, 7 or 11 thalam, sofa etc.
As the wedding ceremony proceeds, the bride and the groom are not allowed to see each other. The bride is brought in a basket to the stage. The father of the bride gives her hand to the groom. After the marriage ceremony is over, the parents of the bride wash the feet of the groom.
The groom ties the Mangalsutra around the neck of the bride which is one of the main rituals of the wedding.
As the couple exchanges Varmala (garlands), the family members and invitees shower the couple with flowers symbolizing their blessings for the newlyweds.
The couple then circumambulate the fire seven times (Saat Phere) while simultaneously reciting seven vows (Saptapadi). This is a promise to one another that they will be with each other for the next seven lives. Holding the right hand of the bride, the groom leads the way while walking around the sacred fire. After that, he bends down to hold the index toe (of the right foot) of the bride with his right hand and takes small steps.
All these rituals and customs make Kerala Hindu Ezhava wedding a memorable and mesmerizing experience.