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The traditional Telugu wedding is celebrated by India’s Telugu people. The ceremony used to last for 14 days during the 19th century but in today’s modern times, it lasts for 5 or more days duration depending on the social as well as the financial status of the family.
Telugu marriage is completed by taking seven pledges which are made in the presence of a Pandit by the groom and bride around a sacred burning fire in between them in the center. Several rituals and gestures are performed during the ceremony which ensures the bond between the bride and the groom in the presence of the five elements of life. The Wedding ceremony takes place on a pavilion or Kalyana Mandapam which is decorated with beautiful flowers. The traditional musical instrument Shehnai or Nadaswaram is also accompanied in most of the Telugu weddings.
There are some weddings which are being done in the presence of God in the temple while many are done outside so that large numbers of people are able to attend the marriage. Food is offered to the guests who come to attend the functions which are the major part of the ceremonies on that auspicious day. All the rituals hold equal religious significance being held during the Telugu marriage ceremony. Each ceremony conducted during the wedding is very important and well-connected to all other ceremonies.
Rituals Performed in the Telugu Wedding
The rituals of Telugu marriage are observed by the people of Andhra Pradesh mostly, in any month except Bhadrapada, Shunya and Aashad months. The rituals are performed before, during and after the wedding as well.
In order to purify the groom and the bride and prepare them to sit for any ritual, they take a holy bath on the day of wedding.
In order to perform the aarti together with the family members at their houses, the groom and the bride are applied oil. They offer prayers to the God for their happy and prosperous life ahead.
Ganesh and Gowri Puja
The Ganesh puja is conducted before the ceremony of the wedding starts which is attended by the group at the place of marriage or Mandapam.
It is a very famous ritual in which the parent of the girl gives the responsibility of their daughter in the hands of the groom. The bride is made sit in the basket made of bamboo at the time of ceremony and she is brought to the Mandapam by her maternal father. Before the Kanyadaan ceremony gets over, they both are not allowed to face each other and so a curtain is used as a partition in between them. The parents of the bride wash the feet of the groom, thereafter assuming him to be God’s avatar.
Jeelakarra Bellamu and Madhuparkam
The Veda Shlokas are recited by the priests and the couple is given a paste of jaggery and cumin seed to smear on the hands of each other which is known as Jeelakarra-Bellamu. This ceremony symbolizes the inseparable and unbreakable relationship in between the couple.
The bride is dressed up in a cotton sari of white color and red border and the groom is dressed up in a white dhoti with a red border.
The bride is accompanied by ten women who are married and six of them carry the plates of the rice mixed with turmeric powder and the rest of them carry small lamps lit, in their plates.
Tying of the Mangalsutra
After removing the partition in between them, mangalsutra is tied up in the neck of the bride by the groom which represents mental, spiritual and the physical union in between both of them. Mangalsutra’s three knots are tied in the wedding of Telugu.
Garlands are exchanged between the couple in this ceremony. People come to bless the couple, sprinkling the rice mixture with the turmeric powder and flower petals.
The couple takes seven steps around the burning fire together in this ceremony chanting mantra along and for this ritual, the bride’s sari’s pallu is tied up with the dhoti of the groom while they walk together.
The bride’s feet are adorned by toe rings of silver by the groom in this ritual. She is also asked for the purpose to ward off any evil eye by wearing the strings of beads of black color at the time of the ceremony.