Orissa is located in eastern side of India on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. The residents are called Oriya, they are believed to be very down to earth & simple god fearing people. Simplicity in their culture reflects in their festivities and celebrations, and also their weddings. In a Oriya family, the wedding rituals are same like those followed in any other Hindu but with a few variations due to regional disparity.
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Like other Hindu communities, the Oriya Matrimony also last for many days, and the basic rituals are similar. In the eastern India, the groom’s mother does not attend the wedding. This custom is applicable on the elder females of the family also. The wedding styles also depend on the castes, where the Brahmin Oriya conducts the marriage during day time, while non-Brahmins perform the wedding rituals during the day evening or the night time. There are no complicated wedding rituals involved in the Oriya Matrimony, and the wedding is free of any types of hassles.
In Oriya Matrimony, the bride and groom sit next to each other in a setting called Mandap, and the wedding rituals are performed in front of sacred fire, which is believed to be the witness of the holy rituals. The priest chant mantras, and amidst the chanting of mantras, ululation of women, and the blowing of conch shells, the wedding is performed. Saptapadi or seven steps are taken by the bride and groom together, where they take rounds of the sacred fire and seven mounts of rice.
In Saptapadi rituals of matrimony, the bride and groom make wedding vows to each other. The wedding vows are the form of commitments &promises which the bride and groom make for their future life in Oriya Matrimony.
After Saptapadi in the Matrimonial, the haathaghanti is performed, where the bride and groom offer puffed rice to the holy fire. The bride and groom sit in front of each other and the bride’s father keeps the hands of his daughter over the hands of the groom called kanyadan. Then the bride’s father puts puffed rice on their hands and then gives his daughter to the groom with tears in his eyes in the matrimnial. This is a very emotional moment, where every member of the girl’s family is in tears. Kanyadan is believed to be the greatest Daan in the Hindu religion. The groom puts vermillion on the forehead of the bride, and the couple is declared as husband and wife for the whole life.
After the wedding ceremonies are performed according to the Oriya Matrimony, the bride bids leaves her home and enters the new life with her husband. At this point of time, there is a custom known as astha mangala in the matrimony. Here the newlywed couple is invited to the bride’s house for a delicious treat. All are served with typical Oriya home cooked food& delicacies, which is cooked by the female family members of the bride.