Oriya matrimonial is generally arranged by seniors in the family. These alliances are fixed in compliance with the traditions and values of the family. I many families, it is compulsory to match horoscopes before fixing any wedding alliance. It is believed that better match of horoscopes indicates a better married life for the couple. The Utkala Brahmin wedding is usually a daytime affair. The first invitation is offered to Lord Jagannath. After this invites are sent to friends and family to grace the wedding ceremonies. The invites are accompanied with betel respect. This is a sign of respect for those receiving the invites.
Oriya Brahmin Wedding Rituals
An Utkala Brahmin Oriya matrimonial event is a prolonged celebration, with numerous rituals and ceremonies. The celebrations start a day before the wedding day and continue even after the wedding. Each ritual has its own significance and importance to the Utkala Brahmin community.
This ceremony is held during the day and is performed one day before the D day. The Mangana ceremony is performed by seven un-widowed women. A paste is prepared with turmeric (haldi) and oil. It is then applied on the bride’s face, neck, arms and legs.
The same ceremony is performed at groom’s place, as well. The only difference is that haldi is applied to groom by his un-widowed sister-in-law. The Mangana ceremony is considered auspicious in Oriya matrimonial alliances as it helps to start a happy married life.
This ceremony is performed to mark the stoking of fire. It involves grinding uncooked pulses in a mortar and pestle. The prepared paste is sent for preparation of Dahi and Pitha.
Puja for Dian Mangula
This important ceremony is performed by both families at the temple of Gramadevati. As a customary ritual, all offering to the Goddess are made by the barber and his wife on behalf of families.
The barber’s wife (Baarikiyani) presents things like toe ring, bangles, sari, and sindur to the Goddess. The barber presents the vermilion to the deity to seek blessings for the couple’s happy wedded life. This Puja and offerings ceremony is followed by the Nandimukha ceremony to invoke the ancestors of the other family.
Barajatri-Baadua Pani Rasam
This is the most important and interesting part of an Oriya matrimonial event. The groom proceeds towards the venue and is accompanied by his friends and family. The wedding procession is conducted with great magnificence and pomp. This is the Barajatri custom (baraat).
When the procession arrives at the venue, the groom is welcomed by Tilak or Aarti. His feet are washed with coconut water. Then, he is offered curds with ghee and honey and brought to mandap.
The bride is informed about the arrival of the Baraat. After being informed, the bride is taken for a ceremonial bath. This custom is called Baadua Pani Gadhua Rasam.
After the groom has settled in mandap, the bride arrives to the mandap. The arrival of bride is followed by other Oriya matrimonial customs and rituals, including Jaimala (exchange of garlands between the bride and groom), Kanyadan (the bride’s father hands over the girl’s responsibility to groom) and Hathi Ganthi Phita (tying the holy knot while the bride’s palm is on the groom’s palm). These ceremonies are followed by Bidaai where bride leaves her maternal house to lead a happy married life with groom and his family.