Straightforwardness and simplicity are what sums up an Oriya wedding. You need to remember that if there’s anything that truly reflects and upholds the cultural essence and identity of a community, it’s a wedding. An Oriya wedding sticks true to this line. While marriage ceremonies are undoubtedly a joyous occasion, it’s an amazing fact Oriya weddings don’t have any opulence or extravaganza. There’s no fire-driven effort to go gala or spend lavishly.
In order to know the importance of the rituals in Oriya weddings, you need to know what they are and what they stand for. That’d provide all the answers.
- Pre-wedding rituals: It starts with Nirbandh, formally marking the couple’s engagement. The bride and groom’s father take an oath saying that they’ll wed their wards. The venue is the bride’s place. Interestingly, the couple themselves doesn’t participate in this ritual.
- Jayee Anukolo: It marks the wedding rituals’ initiation in Oriya weddings. This is followed by the systematic distribution of invitation cards or nimantran patras for the upcoming wedding. They send the first card to Lord Jagannath in Puri as he’s the family deity. The couple’s maternal uncle gets the second card.
- Mangan and Jairagogo Anukolo: The bride is blessed during mangan and turmeric paste is applied on her and seven other married women. Then she takes a ceremonial bath. It’s done for her beautification just before the D-day. The next ritual marks the fire’s stoking after the bride gets her ceremonial batch.
- Diya Mangula puja: It refers to the congregational offered at the Goddess temple. The family’s female barber offers wedding toe rings, bangles and sindoor of the bride to the devi to invoke prosperity and happiness for the lady in her conjugal life.
- Starting the wedding rituals: It starts with barajatri, which refers to the groom’s arrival at the wedding venue with his kinsmen. It entails mush gaiety and pomp. He’s welcomed by the bride’s mother with a rice tilak and aarti. The other members are warmly greeted as well and escorted with respect towards the venue.
- Baadu pani gaadhua: Just after the groom enters the venue, a member of the bride’s family informs her of the same. They take her away for her ceremonial bath prior to the beginning of the actual rituals.
- Kanyadaan: The main wedding rituals start with this ceremony where the bride’s father gives her hand to the groom with the promise that the husband will take good care of his beloved daughter. The ritual happens at the bibaha bedi, which is a structure decked with leaves and fresh flowers.
- Saptapadi: This is the ubiquitous ritual of Hindu marriages. It refers to the seven rounds around the holy fire by the bride and groom. Her Saree is tied to his dhoti and they worship seven heaps of rice that symbolize the seven hills.
- Haatha ghanti: It brings a formal end to the wedding rituals. The couple offers puffed rice and sacrifice or ahuti to the holy fire. The brother in law of groom, standing close to it offers the same to the bride. She then offers it jointly with her man amidst chanting shlokas and mantras.
With Sala bidha, you have fun ritual where the bride’s brother gives a punch to the groom on his back, reminding him of his responsibilities towards his sister. There are also post wedding rituals that underline the essence of Oriya Matrimony.
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