Odisha is the state of India where the people believe in simple living and straightforwardness. The same thing is reflected in the rituals and ceremonies of the Odia wedding. Though, they are Hindu by religion but their wedding rituals are slightly different or unique than other parts of India.
Like the other Hindu weddings the Odia weddings are also a long affair. It consists of pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding rituals. Followings are the main rituals of a typical Odia Hindu wedding:
This is the formal engagement where father of both the bride and groom agree and take a vow to marry their children. The peculiarity is that neither the bride nor the groom takes part in this ritual.
It is the start of an Odiya Hindu wedding. The invitation cards (nimantran patras) are sent to relatives and friends informing the marriage. But the first card is sent to Lord Jagannath of family deity and the second card is sent to the maternal uncle of bride and groom.
It is the haldi ceremony in which the turmeric paste is applied to the bride. Normally seven married women take part in this ceremony. This is followed by the ceremonial bath of the bride.
Diya Mangula Puja
In this ritual, the female barber of the family visit the local temple for offering the belongings and attires which the bride will wear during marriage and pray for happiness and well-being of bride.
When the groom along with his relatives reaches at the house of groom (or marriage venue), the mother of the bride performs his aarti and applies tilak on his forehead. The groom along with other relative is taken to the marriage venue with great respect.
It is similar to Hindu Indian wedding, in which father of the bride gives her hand to the groom at the specially made marriage venue called bibaha bedi.
It is the ritual after which a groom and a bride become husband and wife. Means without this ceremony the Hindu marriage is not supposed to be complete. In this ritual, both the bride and groom take seven rounds around the sacred fire.
This is the ritual of offering puffed rice (lajja) by both the groom as well as the bride to the sacred fire. The bride is assisted by her brother who stands behind her. In the meant time, the priest chants shlokas and mantras.
It is the unique ritual of Odia Hindu marriage in which the bride’s brother gives a punch on the back of the groom to remind the duties of the later towards the bride.
In this unique ritual both the bride as well as groom hides a kauri in their fists alternatively and the other is asked to find it out.
Saasu Dahi Pakhala Khia
This ritual takes place just after kauri khela. In this ritual the groom sits in the lap of the bride and she feeds him dahi pakhala (curd and rice).
After this the bride departures from her parental home and reach the groom’s house with him and receive a grand welcome.
This ritual takes place after eight days of marriage, when both newlywed husband and wife visit bride’s maternal home. A grand feast is organized in their honour.