The state of Goa has been under the Portuguese rule for a long time and the culture is of Catholics here. The custom and tradition of weddings in Goa is highly influenced by such Christian culture. Like other part of the world, the marriage rituals are pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding.
Pre-wedding Ritual in Goa
The most famous pre-weeding ritual in Goan is known as the Ros. In this ritual, the groom as well as the bride is anointed with a specially prepared mixture. It is called Ros and is made of coconut juice and coconut oil. The mixture is applied by the parents, relatives as well as the friends of the would-be couple. This is held generally two days before wedding.
Wedding in Church
The wedding in Goa is held in church only. The two rituals take place in Goan marriage. These are known as Resper and Kazar. In Resper the couple receive the blessing in the church. The Kazar is the ritual of formal marriage of the couple.
On the day of wedding the women wear white gowns and dresses while the men wear western styled business suits. Like other normal Christian wedding, you may find flower girls, ring bearers, groomsmen, maid of honour etc. in a Goan marriage. If you happen to be there, you will also find ballroom dancing together with western live wedding band in a Goan wedding.
Post Wedding Rituals
Like any other wedding there is a custom of reception after marriage. This is known as Vor. This is generally hosted at the groom’s place, but in modern times it is held in hotels and special venues too.
Effect of Indian Culture
Most of the people in Goa follow the Christian faith, but the marriages are influenced by Indian traditions. For example, the brides in Goa prefer to wear the red saree or red coloured red in the ritual known as ‘Saddo’ and it is held one day before the marriage.
Secondly the Goan brides wear bangles to and a formal ritual in the name of ‘Chuddo’ takes place there. When the bride wears the bangles, she is not allowed to do any work till the marriage ceremony completed because it is not auspicious to break the bangles.
The middleman or the mediator generally does the work of matchmaking. He does the negotiation and necessary liaison between the families. When the proposal is finalised the formal discussion of marriage takes place with the ritual of ‘utor’ (promise). The ring ceremony is held at the groom’s place. The ring of the bridegroom has the small statue of Infant Jesus.
The Goan marriage is duly registered and the couple-to-wed files an application for the same in the Civil Registrar’s Office. Their parents are also present there. Two witnesses are also mandatorily present that time. They may be from the relatives or friends.
Three wedding banns (proclamations of marriage) are read. There is a custom that the maternal uncle of the bride invites her for lunch at his house after the first bann.