South Indian weddings are some of India’s most festive and elaborately decorated events. Many traditional rituals and ceremonies take place during a South Indian wedding, each with its unique meaning and purpose.
While the exact details of these rituals may vary from region to region, several common traditions are observed throughout South India. One such tradition is the pre-wedding ritual known as the Kanyadaan, in which the bride’s father offers his daughter to the groom in marriage.
Another popular tradition is the exchange of garlands between the bride and groom, which symbolizes their union. These and many other South Indian wedding traditions mark some of the most memorable celebrations in India. Keep reading to learn more!
South Indian Wedding Traditions and Customs
Here are some popular South Indian wedding traditions that make them remarkably unique.
Telugu Wedding Traditions
The first few rituals of a Telugu wedding involve Nishchitartham, Pellikuthuru, and Snathakam. These include engagement and the Haldi-oil ceremony. The groom takes part in the Kashi Yatra, pretending to leave the wedding and agreeing to marry when convinced by the bride’s brother.
To signify the couple’s eternal bond, the paste of cumin and jaggery is rubbed on their hands in the Jeerakalla-Bellamu ritual. During Kanyadaan, the bride’s parents give her away, and the couple takes vows around the fire.
Christian Wedding Traditions
The South Indian Christian wedding traditions include a ring ceremony, bachelor’s and hen’s party for the groom and the bride. They have a Haldaat where Haldi and sandalwood paste is applied to the couple. The Holy wedding is performed at the Church as per the South Indian Catholic wedding traditions.
Reddy Wedding Traditions
The Reddy wedding starts with formally inviting God and the families with an invitation on yellow cloth and betel leaves. Before the wedding, Haldi rasam takes place to bring a glow to the couple’s faces. The grand day includes Vivaaham, where the bride reaches the Mandap carrying an oil lamp, turmeric, and rice.
This is followed by the auspicious Muhurtam, when the groom ties a Thaali (Mangalsutra) around the bride’s neck. For Sthaalipaakam, the groom puts on a silver toe ring as an acceptance of the bride.
Kannadiga Wedding Traditions
The wedding starts with matching horoscopes during the Nishchay Tamulam tradition to set the big date. A Naadi puja is done to pray for a peaceful wedding. On the wedding day, the groom takes part in Dev Karya by visiting nearby temples to seek blessings.
The bride and groom participate in Var Puja, Mandap puja, Jaimala, Saptapadi, Dahreherdu, Vidai, and Griha Pravesh. Their wedding is celebrated with a playful Okhli ceremony of games and customs.
Brahmin Wedding Traditions
A Brahmin wedding begins with Pandh Kaal Muhurtham, where the families bless the bride and the groom and worship God for a hassle-free wedding. This is followed by a fasting ritual called Vratham a day before the big day. Next comes, Jaanavasam, where the groom is welcomed with music, Aarthi, and fireworks.
As per the Nicchiyadhartham wedding tradition, the bride and the groom welcome blessings, fruits, gifts, and jewelry. Oonjal signifies the couple’s union when they sit on a swing and drink banana milk. Lastly, the bride’s father washes the groom’s feet as a part of the Kanyadaan ritual.
South Indian wedding traditions are a beautiful and joyous affair, with many traditions that date back centuries! If you’re lucky to be invited to one, make sure you know what to expect! And for those who aren’t familiar with these traditions, it’s a fascinating culture to learn about. From elegant sarees and jewelry to playful traditions, South Indian weddings are truly mesmerizing.