Kannada wedding are the weddings, which are conducted in the state of Karnataka. Kannada wedding ceremonies are simpler compared to other parts of India. In performance, kannada marriage resembles the traditional Hindu marriage. However custom and tradition observed to differ according to the region practiced. As a matter of fact there is not much difference and rituals are simple. This provides ample opportunity to the families to enjoy occasion. Like any other Indian wedding, it starts when both the prospective bride and groom’s parents approve and sanction the pairing of this couple.
After the approval from parents, a pre-wedding ritual called Nischay Tamulam or Fixing of the Alliance is performed. This ceremony is performed by using a plate with supari and betel leaves. The groom’s parents visit the home of the bride and offer her a sari, blouse piece, fruits and coconut, and girl’s parents give Dhoti, fruits, and coconut to the groom –to- be. A priest then compares the horoscopes of the girl and boy to ensure their compatibility with each other. He thus decides the date and time of the wedding.
It is performed by both, the bride and the groom in their houses. This ritual performed to ensure that the marriage takes place without any hindrances and goes on peacefully even if there is a death or birth on either side. The first wedding card is placed before the Lord along with coconut, aarti and a kalash.
A havan which is a sacred ritual of purification, takes place in the houses of both the bride and the groom on the wedding day. In this ritual, a sacrifice is offered to Agni, the god of fire in the form of sacrificial fire which is lit, fruits, wooden items, and honey are put into this fire to ward off any evil spirits that may be present around will be burned away in this sacred fire and will bring happiness, health, prosperity, and luck.
After bowing to the elders, Gods, Goddesses in the house and taking their blessings, the groom with his wedding party proceeds towards the wedding venue.
Groom and his wedding party are welcomed to the wedding place. The married women, or sumangalis, from the bride’s side perform an arti and sing songs to praise the deity or deities. Then the sumangalis take the groom to the marriage place.
It is a ritual with a playful intent in which the groom makes everyone believe that he is angry because no one is seeking a bride for him. Then groom threatens to leave on a trip to Kashi to find a bride on his own. He holds a walking stick, a dhoti, a fan, an umbrella, a coconut, a little container of rice, and dal. At this point, the groom’s maternal uncle intervenes. He convinces the groom that he doesn’t have to go on this long pilgrimage because he has found a bride, who is then put before the groom.
Traditionally this ritual was performed on the day of arrival of the groom's family to the village. All the goods that are t to be exchanged or used in the marriage are placed in front of Lord Ganesha to seek blessings from the Him. On the same day haldi is applied to the bride as well as the groom in their respective houses. Another ritual is where the Uddin Murth a type of grain is ground. This is considered to be very sacred.
On the day of marriage, Mandap Puja is the first ritual that is performed. This is to make the mandap or the hall sacred in which the marriage is to take place.
The bride’s father brings the groom to the mandap and is worshipped in a ceremony called the Var Puja. The bride’s parents honour him by washing his feet and offer him a silk dhoti and pitambar, which are to be worn by him. This is followed by bride's entry to the mandap. She is brought to the mandap by her uncles.
After the bride enters the mandap, it is customary that no one sees the face of the bride. Her sister covers her face using a fan made from peacock feathers. The bride and groom are separated, at first, by a white cloth. Then they recite the Mangalashtam, or marriage mantras. After chanting the mantras, the cloth is taken down and the they place garlands around each other’s necks. A kalash of holy water is held by the groom’s sister which contains betel leaves, coconut water, and Kombu Gindi.
In Dhare Herdu, the bride’s father gives away the bride to the groom. He takes the groom’s hand and places it on the bride’s hand. The moment when the bride is “handed” over to the groom, her father ceremonially pours water into the groom’s hands (called dhara), signifying that she is now his. Corn/rice is then put into the havan five times, before the 7 pheras or the saptapadi begins.
The groom’s angavastram and the bride’s pallav is tied with a nuptial knot. The bride follows the groom’s footsteps seven times around the holy fire (saptapadi). Five married women tie the mangalsutra or the holy thread while the bridegroom holds it around the neck of the bride. The couple then bows before the elders, and visits the temple for blessings.
Okhli is a game that is played at some Kannada weddings. Typically, it is played using the groom’s wedding ring, which is dipped into a vessel of colored water. The new wife and her brother are expected to search it 3 times.
A Kannada wedding is celebrated by serving many vegetarian dishes. There are 4 types of curry, salt, pickle, sweet chutney, and 2 kinds of kosambari. The kosambari are salads that are made from yogurt and cucumber or beetroot. Papad and Payasam are also considered to be a vital part of the menu. It can be served as a side to the main dishes or have toppings added to use as an appetizer. Payasam is a traditional dessert usually made into a pudding by boiling rice with coconut milk and sugar.
The bride’s departure from her home to go to her husband’s house is known as the Vidaai ceremony. This normally takes place with many tears and best wishes for the newlyweds. The bride’s parents give her parting gifts that are intended to help her in setting up her new home.
After the marriage, bride is given a warm welcome by her in-laws when she comes to her marital home,. A vessel filled with rice is kept at the entrance of the house and she is asked to knock it inside the house, with her right foot. After this, the bride enters the house and this is called Griha Pravesh.This symbolizes that her arrival will bring prosperity to the home and she is entering a new phase of her life.
In this, the groom chooses a new name to give his wife. He uses his ring to write the new name on a plate of rice. On the second day that the bride is at her husband’s home, her family arrives to take the newlyweds back home with them. This is where they remain for a short time. Then the groom’s family journeys to the home of the bride’s family and brings them back to the home of the groom’s family.
The Reception party concludes the marriage, which is organized in a banquet hall by the groom's family. The main aim of this party is introduction of the bride, enjoyment, and relishing mouthwatering delicacies.