Weddings, especially the Telugu ones, are a vibrant display of culture and traditions. And, therefore, it is natural that they incorporate a lot of rituals, some we understand and some we don’t. As kids, all of us have played with the rice on the ‘mandapam’ or the stage after the wedding ceremony ended.
And if you pause for a second and think back, yellow-coloured rice grains seem to be a common find in most rituals. For those of you who didn’t know the rituals or the significance behind them, here is a short list that might help you understand
Here, the turmeric that was initially powdered during the ‘pasupu danchadam’ (pounding of turmeric) ceremony, is mixed with fresh rice grains which are, then, given to the bride and the groom. They cup their hands and hold the coloured rice and pour it over each other’s head. The ritual in itself is extremely fun, both for the couple and the people watching. It turns into a fun competition, with friends and family cheering them on, as both of them compete and whoever gets the last chance wins. “The ritual signifies purity, friendship and honesty as the pillars of a happy martial life,” says Kodamanchili Phalachandra Sharma, a preist.
In this ritual, the mother of the bride along with a few other married ladies (usually, in sets of 5 or 9) gather around the bride and each pour a handful of yellow-coloured rice grains into the pallu of her sari. This is the ritual where the bride is blessed by all those around her, especially her mother, to have a happy, healthy and prosperous life ahead.
Just before the bride bids farewell to her family, she is fed curd rice in hopes that she enters her new life with a cool and calm mind, ensuring a happy and peaceful life ahead.
At the threshold of her new household, a vessel of rice is placed at the bride’s feet and she is asked to knock it in such a way that the rice grains spill inwards, into the house. “Bride is considered to be the embodiment of Goddess Lakshmi and is believed to be the source of dhanyam. By spilling rice into the house, she is said to bring in prosperity and wealth along with her,” Sharma explains.