Oriya Hindu wedding


Oriya Hindu wedding

Oriya Hindu wedding or "bahaghara" (Oriya: ଓଡ଼ିଆ ବାହାଘର) is a wedding ceremony performed by Oriya Hindu people in the Indian state of Orissa. There are subtle differences in the rites observed by different castes. In the Oriya marriage rituals mother of the ridegroom does not take part in the ceremony. The Utkala Brahmins have their weddings only in the daytime, preferably mornings, while the other caste weddings are done during the evening or night.

Contents

Arranging the wedding

Pre-Wedding Rituals

Once the marriage alliance is fixed, the ceremony starts up with Nirbandha (Oriya: ନିର୍ବନ୍ଧ) or ଲଗ୍ନଧରା), the engagement ceremony. The fathers of the bride and groom make a vow to get their children wed to each other and the whole ritual happens in the bride's house with the absence of the bridegroom and bride.

Jwaiñ anukuḷa Ceremony

Jwaiñ anukuḷa ceremony marks the initiation of marriage rituals which happens in the bridegroom's house. This is followed by the distribution of Nimantraṇa patra (invitation cards). The first card is sent to the family divinity. The second invitation goes to the bride and groom's maternal uncle. Jwaiñ anukuḷa is the first ritual to be held. Invites are distributed among friends and relatives and the first card is placed before Lord Jagannath. The second card is sent to the maternal uncles of the bride and the groom.

Mangana

During 'mangana' people bless the bride and then apply turmeric paste on her body followed by the bride's ceremonial bath where turmeric paste (haḷadi baṭā) is put on her body by seven un-widowed women.

Jāiragaḍa anukuḷa

It is a ceremony, which marks the stoking of the fire. The bride is blessed with the smooth turmeric and bathed in the traditional ritual 'Mangana'. A paste made from turmeric and sandal is applied to the body of the bride by seven un-widowed women.

Diañ manguḷā puja

Diañ manguḷā puja is conducted at the gramadebati's temple. Dhobaṇi (wife of a barber) offers the bride's bangles, toe ring, sindura and sari to the Goddess. During the Diañ mangaḷā Puja prayers are offered to the deity of a temple. The bridal saree, toe rings and sindura (vermillion) are offered before the Lord by the barber and the blessings of the Gods invoked for a long and happy married life.

Barajatri & Baadua Pani Gadhua Custom

The groom along with his marriage procession arrives at the wedding venue with a procession. This is known as Barajatri. barajātri or Baraat is the ceremonial procession when the groom and his family members and friends arrive at the wedding mandap amid great pomp and magnificence. Upon arrival of the baraat the groom is greeted with aarti or tilak of which rice is an essential component. The bride is decorated with fine traditional jewelry. Oriya brides are seen generally dressed in red, orange or pink outfits for the wedding.

In the Baadua Pani Gadhua custom, the girl's side informs the bride that the baraat has come. Thereafter, arrangements are made for her holy bath. The bride is informed of the groom's arrival and then she takes another ceremonial bath called Baadua Pani Gadhua.

Main Wedding Rituals

Costumes of the couple

Bridegroom attire

The Oriya bridegroom (bara or Oriya: ବର) wears dhoti and kurta or sometimes drapes a white silk cloth around known as the "jorḍa (ଜୋଡ଼)". In the post-wedding reception, the groom wears formal attire, traditional Oriya clothing or western. Dhoti is worn, or rather draped around, the waist in a particular pattern. Generally a white or cream colored dhoti is worn. A scarf like cloth called "uttariya" (Oriya: ଜୋଡ଼) is put on left side of the shoulder. While the wedding rituals are on, the groom wears the "jorḍa (ଜୋଡ଼)", a white colored silk cloth draped around the bare body of the groom.

Bridal attire

The bride (kaniañ or Oriya: କନିଆଁ) in Orissa wears a Sari in preferably dark bright colors like red, orange or magenta. She is adorned with fine gold jewelry. The bride's mother, female relatives and her friends decorate the bride.

There are a variety of dresses and costumes, which are worn by the bride and groom on special events like a wedding. Bridal saris are usually made of silk, cotton, chiffon and so on.

Traditional Orissan saris used are:

  • Sambalpuri Saree of Sambalpur
  • Ikkat of Bargarh
  • Khandua pata (both Silk & Cotton) of Cuttack
  • Bomkai or Sonepuri Sari (Silk & Cotton) of Subarnapur
  • Brahmapuri pata of Bramhapur
  • Matha silk or Tussar Silk of Mayurbhanj
  • Bapta cloth (Silk & Cotton) of Koraput
  • Tanta Cotton of Baleswar

Bride's complexion is taken into consideration while choosing the saris.

Wedding Day Ceremonies

A number of rituals lace the wedding day whilst making it a day far apart from the other three sixty-four days.

Kanyadāna

The wedding ritual begins with the Kanyādana ceremony which is held on the bibaha bedi ( This structure is decorated with lots of flowers and leaves. This is the traditional ritual of handing over the daughter to the groom. The customary fire is lit and the priests chant the mantras. Seven heaps of rice grain symbolizing the seven hills and the saptakulaparwata are worshipped during the saptapadi rite. The couple takes seven rounds around the fire symbolizing the sacred fire as the witness for the marriage. In this custom, the bride's father gives his dear daughter's hand to the groom with the promise that he will take care of her.

Hāta ganṭhi

During hāta ganṭhi, the bridegroom takes seven rounds around the holy fire of homa, to the chant of mantras and slokas. A garland made of mango leaves which is considered as a holy symbol is bound by keeping the bride's hand along with bride groom's hand. 'Laja' or 'Khai' (ଖଇ)(puffed rice), a symbol of prosperity is offered to the fire which is called "khaiporḍā" (burning khai) onsidering the bride as an avatar of Laxmi who brings wealth and prosperity to the new home. 'Khai' is tossed onto the path of the new wed while they enter the home, the new bride tilts a vessel filled with rice with her right feet making the rice spills over the ground to make a way to her new home.[1]

The bride's brother stands behind the couple while the couple faces each other. The bride placed her hands on the grooms and her brother puts the puffed rice into them. Together they offer this Laja as 'ahuti' or sacrifice to the God of fire amidst the chanting of mantras. There is also a custom of bride's brother gives a punch on the back of the bridegroom which is called "Saḷā bidhā" (ଶଳା ବିଧା, Saḷā means wife's brother and bidhā means punch)

Kaurḍi kheḷa

Kaurḍi kheḷa (Literally Kaudi-playing, କଉଡ଼ି ଖେଳ) is a custom of playing Kaurḍi/ Kauri, a white colored shining shell which is played by the newlywed couple after the marriage ceremony. Kaurḍi/kauri is believed to be bringing wealth, harmony and prosperity to the family.[2] The bridegroom first holds a Kauḍi in his fist and the bride tries to break the fist and get it by two of her hands. In the next round the bride make a tight fist with both of her hands with the Kaurḍi inside and the bridegroom tries to open her hand with only one hand. Rounds of such games go on, the sisters and other younger members of the bride's family carry this custom where one elder lasy from the bride's family work as a judge.

Sāsu dahi pakhāḷa khiā

Sāsu dahi pakhāḷa khiā (ଶାଶୁ ଦହି ପଖାଳ ଖିଆ) is a custom of the bride's mother feeding food to her new son-in-law. After the Kauḍi kheḷa is over the bride's mother makes the bridegroom sits on her lap feeds him with curd-Pakhāḷa with baigaṇa poḍā. (Spiced eggplant mesh).

Bāhunā

Bāhunā (ବାହୁନା) is a tradition of mourning with rhythmic songs which includes the story of how the bride's mother has taken pains of giving birth to her, nortured her with care and finally her departure from her own home to make a new house. Elderly women of the house (grandma, father's sisters, mother's sisters) also join mourning with the bride's mother. These songs are called Bahunā gita (ବାହୁନା ଗୀତ), composed by anonymous poets and been used as a literary tradition for years.[1]

Post-Wedding Rituals

Gruhaprabesa Tradition

Lajā homa is the conclusion of the wedding. The newly wed couple arrives at the new home where the groom's family gives her a ceremonial welcome called Gruhaprabesa. The bride, along with her husband, leaves for her new home, where the groom's family gives them a warm welcome. This is known as Gruhaprabesa.

Chauṭhi/Bāsara rāti

On forth day after marriage bride and bride groom meet each other. This day is called 'Chauṭhi' (means the forth day) and the night is called "Bāsara rāti" (ବାସର ରାତି) or "Chauṭhi rati" (ଚଉଠି ରାତି). During the day, esp. in the evening puja and homa are practiced which includes burning a coconut to make it roasted inside. A room alongwith bed is decorated with bright fragrant flowers like "Rajanigandha" (Polianthes tuberosa). This is the night of consummation. The bride glows a bāsara dipa alongside the bed as a symbol of long lasting glowing relationship. The couples offered to eat the roasted coconut (charu) from the homa during the night. There is also a tradition of the bride carrying a glass of kesara dudha (saffron milk) to the bridegroom.

Asṭa mangaḷā Custom

The bride and the bridegroom are invited to the bride's house on the eighth day after the wedding known as Asṭa mangaḷā. Traditional Oriya food is prepared and served for the newly married couple.

The bride receives saries and jewellery from the bridegroom. Sankha (conch shell) is blown along with a specific sound called huḷu-huḷi by placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth with repeated opening and closing of mouth.[1]

Note

References



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