Marriages in the Kamma and Naidu communities are deemed to be very holy. Not unlike many Indian weddings, these entail a spate of ceremonies that solidify the match and bind the couple in Telugu Matrimony. What few people know is that each of the pre-wedding customs and rituals hold special meaning, which is why they are performed. Let us take a peek at the rich traditions and pre-wedding rites that are a major part of Kamma weddings.
Snathakam for the Groom
An age old custom performed specifically by the groom, the ceremony takes place at his house. It is long before the wedding day when the bridegroom has to don a sacred thread. A blessed silver thread is worn around the torso that is made especially for the groom. The ceremony is attended by all of the groom’s family and close relatives, specifically the male members.
The Kashi Yatra Custom
As was the tradition in the olden times, the bridegroom has to pretend to stomp off to Kashi to study Vedic verses. This is actually quite an enjoyable ceremony that young ones of the family join into. While the groom leaves with an umbrella and a stick, the brother of the bride has to stop him. He has to be convinced to stay and assume responsibilities of the bride for the rest of his life.
The Nalagu Rite
What constitutes as a haldi ceremony in other religions is a nalagu rite for Kamma couples. In this ritual, the groom dons a cotton dhoti while the bride wears a saree that has a red border. It is a custom that involves the couple and their close family, relatives for they are smeared with blessed oil while they chant prayers. Their body and torso is daubed with turmeric as a major part of the purification rite.
The groom has to patiently watch as a barber trims his fingernails, while the bride has her hands against a leaf of the mango tree that has been smeared with milk. Right after they have been anointed with the elements by their family and relatives, they go in for a bath that will cleanse them thoroughly.
The Blessed Aarti
Right after the nalagu rite, the families of the bride and groom partake in an aarti. This is an auspicious moment where both families pray for the successful family life of the couple and bless them with wisdom.
Next is the ViraGudi Mokkadam
Next, the groom is off for a holy visit to the family temple; however, this visit is a very special one. In a special tent, there are four to five bricks placed for they are meant to symbolize viralus’ that are to be worshipped by the man about to be married. Anointed with turmeric and kumkum, a coconut is offered by breaking before the deities after which there is a puja.
Such are the pre-weddings customs in a Kamma community that are imperative for all couples who wish to indulge in a traditional marriage.