Phool Muddi done, its now time for D-day, and its going to be a long long day!!
Day 2 begins early, around 7-7.30 am, with either the udida mahurat or the breakfast (based on availability of the stone grinder and choice of bhat maam (the priest))
Udidu- black gram- is a staple for Konkanis in all of their dosas, idlis and vadas, and is also considered shubh for a lot of our occasions. Any day that involves Pooja etc. is started with a breakfast of idlis made from udidu. Udida mahurat is a ritual where the bride/ groom along with the dheddo/dheddi grind the udidu in a stone grinder (chakki). This is supposed to be a ceremony for the bride to learn how to grind the all-important gram for use in the kitchen every day. Even the mother in-law drops by for the brides udida-mahurat, to ensure the bahu is learning the nuances right!
What is weird is that the groom also does the grinding ritual. Apparently it’s for the groom to be aware of the process in case his wife is unwell. Personally I think it is for the groom to understand how difficult a process it is!!
Earlier each family used to have udida mahurat at their respective houses, however nowadays all rituals are conducted at the venue, usually with a shared grinder. So both families take turns.
Usually one family proceed to breakfast as the other completes the ritual.
The udida Mahurat is followed by Ghade Udda.
Ghade udda (water in the pot) is a ritual specific to the bride, where the women in the house help her draw water from the well and then fill up a pot. Five pots are filled with water in this way and some say these are used to keep time during the ceremony. As most present day venues don’t have wells, bhat maam decorates a bucket with flowers etc. it plays the part of a well.
Once Ghade udda is done, the bride is sent away to change into the main saree and so is the mother, to wear a navvari saree.
Tired of all the day long rituals, the groom decides to give up all worldly possessions and starts for Kashi to lead a life of solitude. He carries with him a potli, a stick and the dheddo carries an umbrella for him. The bride’s father then stops him, and requests him to come back and marry his daughter, he also gifts him a silver set of thali-thatte-chipputa-mudra etc. this is called the ruppe-sandook and is supposed to be used by the groom for his sandhi Pooja every day. Do find out how much convincing the husband required, always good to know!!
After this the families/guests can proceed to breakfast-2. But not the bride, coz she has a lot of dressing up to do!
The groom is sent back to change into his finery and the bride, by now all decked up in her navvari saree (Kaas maarnu Kappad), aadvarl (the white cloth worn in place of the pallu like a dupatta) and lots of gold, is brought to the mantap by her mother. The bride and her mother then perform a Pooja for the mantap after which the mother ties a daremani (a chain of black beads and gold) around the bride’s neck. The daremani is first blessed by all the married women in the family. The bride then returns to the dressing room and awaits her next call.
Meanwhile the groom arrives in the mantap for a few more rituals and then the dheddo finally leaves his side as he awaits the bride to join him at last. The Bride is escorted by her maternal uncles to the stage in a procession of sorts, and in most cases, the last leg includes lifting the bride and carrying her to the center of the mantap.
The antarpatt separates the bride and the groom as the priests from both sides hold the antarpatt and chant the mangal shlokas with a refrain of “Sulagne Savadhana, Sumuhrate Savadhana, Lakshmi Narayaneti Savadhana”. When the antarpatt is finally brought down, the bride and groom garland each other, the bride with her dad’s help.
After this the kanyadaan ritual begins, with the bride’s father placing her hands in the
groom’s hand and the mother of the bride pouring milk and water. The kalash with milk also contains gold coins (mishri), flowers etc. Traditionally, the gold coin is taken back by the bride’s parents to their house, indicating that although they have married away their daughter, her lady luck shall continue to shine upon their family. Today, bhat maams suggest a variation to this ritual, asking for 2 mishris, one for the bride’s parents and one for the bride.
The bride and groom are finally allowed to sit together and the groom’s priest takes over from here. The Groom is handed a string of corals and gold (kasthali/ mangalsutra) that he ties around the bride’s neck.
The bride’s mother fetches firewood for the homa (havan) and then all of the bride’s maternal uncles and brothers return to the stage. This time they stand in decreasing order of age and facing the bride and groom. A handful of layi (puffed rice) is passed from the youngest member onwards and the bride and groom together put this layi in the homa kund. This process is repeated 5 times. This is followed by the groom, bride, uncles and brothers taking prdakshinas of the hama kund, the groom holding the bride by her thumbs. The groom leads in 2 rounds and the bride in 2. After this the eldest uncle puts silver toe rings on the bride’s toes (sutungulu). The uncles and brothers are then gifted with a piece of clothing (traditionally a shawl called layi shawl, nowadays replaced with a shirt piece), and the single layi shawl is passed from one shoulder to another and retained as gift by the youngest in line.
Post Layi Homa, the bride and groom stand with 7 mounds of rice between them and hold right hands. As bhat maam chants shlokas, the bride moves ahead, one mound at a time, and finally reaches the groom, this is called the saptapadi/ seven steps. They are now officially married and perform the rest of the homa, for the first time as a married couple.
This is about the time a konkani guy starts hearing “nirmal kannari davarnge, phool bayle di”, for the first time!!! This means tuck the tulsi behind your ear and give the flower to your wife, a process repeated multiple times throughout any Pooja.
Once the homa is completed, the bride is gifted with a new saree (lagna kapad) and jewelry by her MIL, and she is then sent off to change into this saree.
Once the bride has changed into her lagna kapad, her pallu is put in place by the MIL, and her half-moon bindi is also completed to a full moon. These indicate the girl is now a married woman. After this the bride’s mother presents her with a coconut, a blouse piece, flowers and haldi kumkum (honti bhorche).
The bride’s maternal uncle and aunt return to the stage and are required to lift the groom and bride respectively for 4 steps. No explanations provided by anyone for this ritual!!
After this the bride spreads a saree on the floor and the bride and groom sit on this and feed each other bananas. This is to signify the first day/nigh after the wedding where the bride has cooked and fed her husband.
The mishri from kanyadaan is now handed over to the groom and he ties it to his wife’s pallu, symbolizing that from now on he will allow her to take care of all his earnings and savings.
After this the bride and groom are finally allowed to proceed to lunch. Here too the rituals continue as they feed each other laddoos (no hands used!!). I personally doubt if this is an actual ritual. Also when the groom finishes his meal, the bride eats form his plantain leaf, I don’t know what this one signifies.
After all the rituals and before lunch, you have more group photos to click!
It is customary for both the families to eat last, having ensured all the guest are well fed and satisfied. The parents usually go around while their guests lunch, to engage in small talk with all and thank them for gracing the occasion.
After this the wedding party proceeds to the brides house, where the couple is welcomed with a kumkum aarti to wade of any evil and the bride’s mother again presents her with honti.
The party then proceeds to the groom’s house. In olden days, the MIL usually asked the bride’s family to send a sister/younger member of the family along with the bride for the initial 2-3 days, until the bride has settled in her new home.
The set of rituals involved in a new bahu entering the house are collectively called Ghar Bhorche.
The bride and groom are both asked to kick a coconut each on the threshold. The bride then kicks in a kalash full of rice and enters the house. This indicates the prosperity that the bride has brought along with her.
After this, the baagil dhorche ritual is held (blocking the door/entrance). Where the groom’s sisters block the bride and groom from entering the house/room. Traditionally, marriage among maternal cousins were common and so sisters took this opportunity to extract promises from the brother and his new wife, that their son would marry her daughter or vice versa, in the future and thus strengthen family bonds. Now, the ritual has boiled down to demands of gifts or cash.
The naav davarche (naming ceremony) ceremony follows, where the MIL calls out 5 names in the new bride’s ears, 4 of these are the kuldev, gramadevi etc. and the last one is the new name chosen for the bride. Again Bhat maam did not explain the significance of a new name!
This is followed by a few fun games that are supposed to be rituals, but I thik these are just there to lighten to mood and to help the bride get to know the people around her.
Game 1: Vokkul: This is the game common to a lot if Indian weddings, where the bride and groom find a ring form a pot full of milk/water and flowers etc. Usually the ring is a female one, and whoever wins, the bride gets to keep the ring. I think this one is played to nullify the one extra ring that the groom gets during phool muddi 😛
Game 2: Chandu: Chandu meaning ball, is usually a paper ball decorated with flower garlands. The bride and groom are supposed to play a game of catch with this ball. The one who drops first loses!
The winner of these games is supposed to be the dominating spouse. Usually the older couples in the family also engage in these games and that helps lighten the air!
All of these done, the families can finally retire for the day!
Although the processes are many and long drawn, understanding the significance of each does help one appreciate them better.
Hope this is of use to all the brides/grooms out there! Good luck 🙂
Details of Day 1 Rituals can be found here The GSB Vhardik- Prologue