10 Telugu Wedding Rituals You Must Know

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Telugu traditional matrimony weddings are noted for their ornate ceremonies and customs and are rooted in a rich cultural background. These unions of two families are marked by weddings that celebrate love and devotion.

Telugu weddings used to run anywhere from 16 to 19 days. The average wedding now lasts just 3-5 days due to modern trends. Telugu wedding customs are lively, intricate, and colorful celebrations rich in history and symbolism.

In today’s article, we are going to tell you about 10 Telugu wedding rituals that are considered an essence of any Telugu Wedding. Let’s dive in and look at them one by one.

10 Telugu Wedding Rituals

Ganesh and Gowri Pooja

The groom participates in the Ganesh Pooja, which is the first pooja to occur at the mandap. The purpose of this pooja is to wish the newlyweds a happy and fruitful life and for the wedding procession to proceed without any hiccups.

At the bride’s home, the Gowri Puja is performed. The bride prays to the goddess Gauri, who represents motherhood and fertility. She asks for the goddess and her husband, Lord Shiva, to have a perfect relationship.

Mangala Sanam

‘Mangala’ signifies holy and ‘Snanam’ implies bath. We are all familiar with the Mangala Snanam ritual. The ceremony is held in the early hours of the main wedding day. In this, at a predetermined auspicious hour, the bride and husband are taken for ceremonial baths.

Mangala Snanam

Following the Mangala Sanam, a “Mangala Aarti” is performed in which a little lamp is lit and turmeric, vermilion, and sandalwood are placed on a Thali (plate). The Thali is encircled in front of the bride and groom to ward off any negative karma and ask the Almighty for his blessings.

Bride’s Entry

The bride entry is when the bride and her family enter the wedding location together after the poojas are over. In some customs, the bride is carried to the mandap while seated on a straw basket by her maternal uncle or uncles.

Muthyala Pandiri

The groom and his family are welcomed to the Mandap by the bride’s brother, who also washes their feet at the entry. In the Jeelakara Bellam rite, a curtain is erected between the bride and groom because it is forbidden for them to gaze at each other.

Pellikuturu & Pellikoduku

A day or two before the wedding, the bride and groom’s homes host the Pellikuturu and Pellikoduku ceremonies, respectively. The bride and husband are covered in naluga, a paste made of wheat and turmeric that is created with scented oils for this rite. 

After that, they receive a holy bath in water mixed with turmeric to purify their bodies and minds in preparation for the wedding’s sacred ritual. The wedding and wedding reception ceremonies are held separately at the bride and groom’s respective homes.

Kanyadanam

The ceremony known as kanyadanam is where the bride’s parents formally send their daughter to the groom. The bride’s parents wash the groom’s feet while they are still separated by the terasala. This rite serves as a symbol. The bride is a representation of the Goddess Laxmi, and the groom is Lord Vishu, who will shortly wed her. 

Kanyadanam Set

The bride’s parents give their daughter away by placing her hand in the groom’s. According to Hinduism, “Kanyadaan” is the most virtuous deed a father can do. The groom is then instructed to hold the bride’s hand. This is known as “panigrahanam” and is a vow to the bride’s parents that he will look after her and be her friend through her highs and lows in life.

Mangalsutra Dharanam

Hindu marriages place a great deal of significance on the mangalsutra. A holy yellow thread called a mangalsutra is covered in turmeric. Two gold “Sutralu” pendants that are knotted by the groom in three knots around the bride’s neck when he performs the “sannai mellam” are attached.

Each of the three knots—one for Manasa (thoughts), Vacha (speech), and Karmana (action)—is tied by the groom.  This specific rite also denotes the physical, mental, and spiritual union of the two souls. On the sixteenth day following the wedding, the yellow thread is switched out for a gold chain.

Saptapadi

In the culture of the northern states, this is equivalent to the Saath Phere. The seven steps each represent something different. The homam/holy fire is circled in seven steps. The groom leads the first three rounds, followed by the bride in the following four. The seven steps stand for the marriage’s seven vows.

Talambralu

This serves as a nice interval between two main events. The bride and groom exchange turmeric rice as part of this tradition. The first three times are crucial, after which it becomes a game.

The pair appropriately showers each other with “Talambralu ” for the first three times, and after that, it turns into a contest to see who can pour more. These days, rice is also blended with rose petals, pearls, and vibrant thermocol balls, and used to shower people.

The ring game

Another icebreaker, not just for the couple but also for the family, is provided by this. A gold ring is thrown into a kettle of turmeric water for this game. To locate the ring, the bride and groom extended their right arms. The winner is the first person to find the ring twice out of three. 

vizagpellipoolajada Ungaral Bindi

One gold and one silver ring can be added to the game to add intrigue, and the winner is the player who discovers the gold ring twice. The game shows who will have the upper hand in the marriage—the bride or the groom—and promotes healthy competitiveness.

Jeelakkarra Bellam

This is a major Hindu Telugu wedding event. The words “Jeelakara” and “Bellam” both refer to cumin. Giving the couple’s hands a paste made of cumin and jaggery to start the procedure. The pair applies this paste to each other’s heads during an auspicious period, or Sumuhurtham, while raising their hands above the curtain. The moment the curtain between them is drawn is the moment the pair becomes legally married.

This ritual’s significance lies in the promise that the participants will be as inseparable in body, mind, and soul as pounded cumin and jaggery. The bride and groom are covered in akshintalu (turmeric rice), which is sprinkled by elders and other family members and guests.

Conclusion

As part of the wedding feast, a variety of traditional Telugu dishes are offered, making Telugu weddings famous for its delectable cuisine. These ceremonies and practices not only perpetuate cultural traditions but also foster a strong sense of harmony and solidarity among the participating families. Traditional Telugu weddings are a visual feast and a symbol of the Telugu community’s rich past.

FAQ

What does the “Nalugu” ceremony signify in a Telugu wedding?

The “Nalugu” ceremony takes place a day before the wedding and involves applying a mixture of turmeric and oil to the bride and groom’s bodies. This ritual is believed to cleanse and purify them, both physically and spiritually, before their wedding. It is also thought to bring a natural glow to their skin, enhancing their beauty and radiance on the special day.

Why do Telugu weddings have the tradition of the “Sthaalipaakam” ritual?

“Sthaalipaakam” is a heartwarming ritual where the groom presents the bride with a toe ring. This ritual signifies the groom’s acceptance of the bride as his life partner and the binding of their love and commitment. The toe ring is a symbol of marital status, and by gifting it, the groom promises to love, protect, and care for the bride throughout their married life.

Why do Telugu weddings include the “Kashi Yatra” custom?

“Kashi Yatra” is a symbolic and dramatic ritual where the groom pretends to leave for the city of Kashi (Varanasi) to lead a life of renunciation. The bride’s brother then convinces him to choose the path of marriage and return to family life. This ritual is a reminder that marriage is a sacred and fulfilling journey that completes a person’s life, emphasizing the importance of family bonds and responsibilities.

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