The Malayalees start the preparation of wedding, well before the ceremony. Few weeks (or even months) prior to the marriage, the date and muhurtham are finalized for both the engagement and wedding ceremonies. Thereafter, the families of the prospective bride and the groom await for the wedding day, with a lot of expectations and anxiety. The pre-wedding days are filled with enthusiasm and celebration in both the bride and the groom's home, which largely includes feasting. If you want to know more about Malayalee pre-marriage ceremonies, then check out the following lines.
Malayalee Pre-Wedding Customs
Well before the wedding, the parents of the prospective bride and groom exchange horoscopes to check for compatibility of the couple, who are going to tie the nuptial knot. If the horoscopes match, an auspicious time, called muhurtham, is figured out by the family astrologer, for conducting the engagement as well as the wedding ceremony. The date for the wedding is fixed by consulting the astrologer.
Nischayam (The Engagement Ceremony)
Nischayam (the engagement ceremony) is traditionally organized at the ancestral house of the bride, to announce the confirmation of marriage, formally. The private affair is witnessed by the family members and close relatives. However, with the changing time, people resort to venue away from their homes, such as, banquet halls. These days, friends and faraway relatives are also invited to witness the occasion.
Traditionally, the nishchaya thaamboolam (the engagement thali) is exchanged by the parents of the bride and the groom, on the ceremony. In the present time, the engagement ring is also exchanged during nischayam, especially when the marriage is few months after the occasion. The nischayam ceremony is followed by a lavish feast at the bride's home or the venue, wherein the traditional Kerala dishes are served to the guests.
Traditional Feast And Visit To Temple
Traditional food is served to the guests at the bride’s house, a day before the wedding. The bride is made to sit facing the east. She takes a traditional five-course vegetarian meal with her family members. In some Malayalee communities, the bride visits a nearby temple, along with few family members, in order to offer prayers to the Almighty. After returning from the temple, the bride seeks blessings from her relatives, by touching their feet. A similar ritual is followed by the groom at his house, a day before the wedding.