Coorg Wedding Rituals & Customs
Indian is known for its diversity and rich culture. While some cultures are quite popular there
are some others which are equally rich but still remain unexplored. We came across some
very uncommon wedding customs and wedding rituals and thought we had to share this
with you. Yes we are talking about the Coorg Wedding rituals.
Unlike most Indian weddings which comprise of long rituals and customs conducted by the
priest, Coorg weddings are very simple and fun. The most surprising thing about any Coorg
wedding is that there is no priest to conduct the ceremony and there is no puja, no pheras
around the sacred fire, no chanting of mantras or even signing of any register; moreover
alcohol and meat is a part of the standard spread at any Coorg Wedding. Isn’t it surprising
that in most parts of India, a wedding cannot be conducted without the presence of a priest
and alcohol is never served during the pheras whatsoever, is a common practice at weddings
in Coorg region
People from this region truly believe in enjoying this beautiful moment and they have a unique
style of conducting the wedding. The couple dress in fine clothes and just pray to their ancestors
to seek their blessings. This is followed by receiving good wishes from all guests gathered to
celebrate the occasion.
A traditional Coorgi bride adorns a brocade saree in the Coorgi style on her wedding day.
Usually the bridal saree is passed down from generation to generation as it is believed to
bring good fortune to the bride. The saree is paired with a veil which covers the brides head.
The traditional Coorgi groom looks very majestic as he wears an ornate robe over a
calf-length garment along with fitted trousers known as churidaar. The over coat has a
silk sash around the waist with a customary dagger tucked on the right. The look is completed
by donning a turban on the head. The bride and groom are considered to be incarnations of a
Hindu god and goddess namely Aiyappa and Parvathi.
The first ritual of a Coorg wedding is called Baale Birud. The ceremony involves nine
banana stems vertically fixed on to a small wooden stake and the men from the family
are supposed to slash them off very skillfully. After praying to the ancestors and village gods,
the first member is supposed to slit the first three stems only. This is followed by slashing of
the next three stems by the next member and last three stems by the last member.
Post this ceremony, the groom heads to the wedding hall accompanied by his family and
best man who holds an umbrella covered with white cloth over the grooms head. The
entourage is led by the groom’s sister who carries a pot on her head. The significance of
carrying the pot dates back to the ritual followed in olden days where the groom’s family
would carry rice, meat, coconuts, bananas and various other raw materials as a gesture
of help for the bride’s family and to ease the burden of feast following the wedding.
When the groom reaches the venue, a young girl from the bride’s family washes the feet
of the groom and best man while the rest of the family welcomes the groom’s family and
friends by showering them with rice grains. The groom is then welcomed by the bride’s
motherand seated on a low stool where the bride joins him and follows the same rituals.
Post this both parents bless the couple and announce the wedding! The senior most couple
present at the ceremony blesses the newly married couple by showering rice on them and
feeding them milk from a silver pourer. This is followed by the rest of the guests offering
their good wishes.
The bar is opened while the couple gets blessed and guests let their hair down and dance
to tribal music and the party continues!