The rituals in Indian weddings vary region to region, culture to culture. Here are some unique traditions of Odia wedding.
Invitation to Lord Jagannatha –
For an Odia Lord Jagannatha is not only his Lord, but also his family member, the grand ancestor of the house. So the first wedding invitation is to be sent to Puri, Jagannatha temple.
Even if anyone can’t come, they would ask some relatives or some known priests in Puri to invite Jagannatha Swami, and bless them for the wedding.
After that only other invitation cards can be sent.
The priest would take a brass kumbha( urn) and put a betel leaf on that. Then ask the groom to put his right hand upwards on that. Then the bride would put her right hand on groom’s hand as shown in the picture. The priest then would bind an auspicious thread or kusha ( a sacred grass used in puja) and cite chants to specify that henceforth, the groom took the bride’s hand as his lifelong companion and would stand by her for every good and bad time.
Well after that comes the funny part. The hastaganthi can’t be opened by the priest. Only younger sister/ cousin of the bride can do that. In order to open it, she demands some precious gift from the groom.
In older times when there was no phone or any prewedding contact, this was hilarious to watch the Shali( that’s what the sister of wife is called) of the groom would demand anything she wants on the mandap itself. It would put the groom in really awkward position. Now a days the would be grooms are fixing this gift way before wedding after shortlisting demands of their Shali. 🙂
Dahi Pakhala –
Pakhala is a rooted custom of Odia culture. Marriages do have its part too. The bride and groom generally keep fasting until the marriage rituals are done. After the rituals, before they leave to the grooms, they get freshened up and the mother of the bride prepares Dahi pakhala( curd mixed water rice) with other delicacies for the groom to eat.
The bride then doesn’t eat, rather changes her saree and all. She would eat the same dahi pakhala after reaching her inlaw’s where the mother of the groom has prepared the same for her daughter in law.
This is kind of an alternative system to lighten the relations among the mothers of the couple with each other’s children. 🙂
In response to –
Which are the sweetest traditions in an Indian wedding?