In this article, we explore Kerala Nair Weddings Ceremonies and Rituals.
Truly god’s own country, Kerala Weddings have their charm. With the backdrops of gorgeous beaches, coconut and palm trees, and backwaters, Kerala has something special stored for everyone. Just like different backdrops, Kerala is also home to a variety of cultures and religions. Amongst different types of traditions, one wedding that speaks elegance and simplicity is the Nair wedding. These weddings do not exhibit lengthy rituals of the Tamil Iyer Matrimony or Bengali Matrimony or even the grandeur of Punjabi weddings. One can witness some customs inspired by other cultures. Be it Kerala Christian Matrimony or Kerala Nair Matrimony, the rituals are bound to touch your heart. Here we will walk you through the rituals right from Nischayam ceremony to the Griha Pravesh.
In this pre-wedding ritual, the Kundlis of the bride and groom are matched by the astrologer to see if the match is possible or not. If the Kundlis are a match, a Muhurtham or Muhurath (an auspicious date) is fixed as the wedding day.
Once the horoscope is fulfilling, the families fix an engagement date. The Nischayam ceremony is conducted to celebrate the joyous announcement of the marriage. Also, known as the ring ceremony or Mothiram Maatal, a traditional engagement ceremony marks the start of the bride and groom’s relationship on a beautiful note. Once the rings are exchanged, families also give and receive gifts including bridal ornaments.
Also known as the pre-nuptial blessing, this custom is essential to every Kerala matrimony and takes place a day before the wedding. The close relatives and family members of the bride and groom attend this ceremony. It is performed to receive blessings from dear and elder ones for a happy and prosperous wedding life. The bride wears a stunning silk saree while the groom is fashioned in traditional attire.
The bridal Mehendi ceremony is similar to other Mehendi ceremonies conducted across India. Contrary to the traditional Mehendi function, where Henna artists are called in to apply scintillating designs, at Kerala Nair wedding ceremonies, the bride’s aunts draw pretty patterns on her hands and feet. A henna tattoo artist may take up after the initial rituals are over.
One of the wedding rituals of the Nair wedding called Kudivep is often performed in the ancestral home of the Bride. Many families find it convenient in performing the wedding at their home and opt out of temples or convention centres making it convenient for both the families.
This is a beautiful custom which is performed by the bride and the groom before heading for the wedding venue. They seek blessings from the elders of the home and Dakshina is a symbol of the elders’ blessings.
Style and Attire
The bride wears the traditional Kerala Saree for the wedding. The Kerala saree is Kasavu Saree that is plain white with a golden border that enhances the beauty of the bride in every way. Of course, some people may also opt to wear pure silk Saree on the D-day as a personal choice.
Gold plays a very important role in Kerala weddings. The bride wears everything. This includes Mangtikka, beautiful necklaces, waistband, earrings, and armlet (Baajuband).
Men have to wear dhoti and kurta made of silk. They also wear a gold chain, gold bracelet, and gold finger rings.
The ritual starts by the bride’s family welcoming the groom’s family. The brother of the bride washes the feet of the groom and escorts him to the mandap. Once the groom is seated, a group of girls carry diyas as the blushing bride walks in with her friends and respective aunts towards the mandap. A traditional and melodious nadaswaram music plays to welcome the bride. Once the bride is seated comfortably next to the groom, the priest officially begins the wedding ceremony. The couple takes several rounds (pheras) around the holy fire followed by the groom’s father handing over the Thaali (Mangalsutra) to the groom which he ties around the bride’s neck. In traditional Kerala Nair Wedding, this ceremony is called “Thaalikettu”.
Pudamuri is a beautiful ceremony during which the groom gifts his new wife a beautiful silk saree with a blouse on a platter. This is a symbolic gesture that he will always take care of her and her needs and act as a provider throughout her life.
The newlywed couple now exchanges garlands that indicates that they have happily accepted each other and would love to live the rest of their life together.
The emotional moment between the father and the daughter is when he places her hands in the hands of the groom thus handing over his daughter to her husband. This is a teary-eyed moment as it is a promise that the groom will take of his daughter whom he raised with utmost compassion, love, and care. Finally, the other elders bless the newlyweds.
A typical Nair wedding sadhya will consist of 25 dishes served on a banana leaf. It includes rice, pickles, sweets, papad and much more.
The new bride embarks into a new journey in her new house on a chosen day decided by the Pandit. Before that, she shares an emotional moment with her parents and other elders as she is leaving her loved ones and home that was part of her childhood. As the bride reaches her new home, her mother-in-law is seen waiting for her with an “aarti ki thali” to get rid of any negative energy or evil eyes surrounding her. The mother-in-law gives her a lit lamp with which she takes her first step in her new home. She plays her right leg forward and walks into the home implying that she will maintain the happiness of the home. With Griha Pravesh ends the auspicious wedding ceremony.
Kerala Nair Weddings are short yet extravagant. While some rituals are not new to the Hindu tradition, some are unique and exciting. The beautiful rituals bind the souls of the bride and groom together with pure love, sincerity, happiness and many blessings. While it is a treat to watch these weddings, imagining them puts a smile on the face as well.
If you are looking for Kerala bride or groom, then you can find your ideal match at keralamarriage.com.