Nov 3 2016
Traditional Goan Hindu weddings are colourful events with many rituals.
The first step of a traditional arranged wedding is matching the horoscopes of both the bride and groom. If it matches then a ritual called Prasad-vinanti is followed. It is the ceremony of obtaining permission from the family deities of the bride and groom. After that, a date is fixed as per the couple's horoscope.
The Goan Hindus also have many pre-wedding ceremonies such as mehndi, sangeet and haldi.
On the wedding day, the couple is given a bath with oil and turmeric. Later the groom will proceed towards the bride's place or wedding venue. There the groom is received by the bride's side and he will be showered with gifts, including clothes and ornaments.
The bride will get ready in a silk saree which is accessorised with gold jewellery and flowers. She would then proceed to worship Goddess Parvathi for blessings. As the auspicious time for the wedding arrives the bride will be taken to the mandap by her mother.
The bride and groom are not allowed to see each other at this period and an antarpaat (a white cloth) is held up in front of the bride. She is then taken to the mandap and the cloth will be held between the bride and groom.
The priests will recite Mangalastakas (blessings) and the bride and groom will be given garlands in their hands. Once the recital ends the cloth will be removed and the bride and groom will garland each other.
This moment is very special and the people would shower the couple with Akshata (unbroken rice) amid the melodious recital of shehnais. There is also a rule that the rice which is showered should be unbroken as it represents the future life.
After that, a ritual called swarnabhisek is conducted where a gold coin is put in the water and this water is sprinkled on the couple. Followed by this the mangalsutra (the sacred necklace or thread which represents the marital status of a woman) is tied around the bride's neck.
Then the bride will be handed over to the groom by the bride's father amid the chanting of mantras. They then take seven rounds around the sacred fire. And the wedding rituals are concluded.