Orissa is a land of culture and has a rich and glorious heritage. Orissa is located in the eastern part of our county. The people of Orissa are very religious in nature and they have their own culture and tradition which they follow. The majority of the population in the state is Hindus. The weddings in Orissa are fulfilled and everybody takes part in the joyous celebration of the union of two souls. One of the most important facts about the Oriya marriage is that the groom’s mother does not attend the wedding function. The groom goes to the bride’s house along with his relatives. In an Oriya, marriage there is a set of and practices that are followed. One of the most important aspects of an Oriya wedding is that before the wedding it is the deity or the goddess that receives the first invitation card and accordingly the card is being distributed to all the elders of the family. There is a pre wedding ceremony that is being held which is known as the Mangan wedding ceremony where. In this ritual a stick with turmeric extract is used for the bride. Other customs that are being followed before the wedding are Diya Mangula Puja as well as Barajatri. Other wedding ceremonies include Kantyadan , Haath Ghanti, Baadua Pani Gadhua.
There are several customs in which the girl is handed over to the groom. The bride and the groom go around the sacred fire seven times to get wedded. Vows and garlands are being exchanged. Song and dance are an important part of Oriya marriage. Revelry and enjoying with near and dear ones are very much a part of Oriya weddings. The songs and the dance routine set the tone for the wedding.
The groom is welcomed in the bride’s family with songs. Some of the well known songs that are sung are Emiti rati seje abhula smriti.
Some of the rituals also take place in the groom’s house such as Grihapravesh. Both members of the family take part in these festivities and shower the bride and the groom with gifts and also bless the couple. The wedding fare in Oriya is a lavish spread with various non vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. Oriya marriage is not just complete with a wide array of sweets. Sweets are mostly made out of cottage cheese. Sea food features most prominently in the Oriya wedding. The menu comprises of lobsters and crabs to name a few.
Another most important feature of Oriya wedding is the wedding attire. Emphasis is being laid on the wedding attire. The bridegroom mostly wears kurtas and dhoti which is made from manmade fiber. The brides wear saris belonging to the region as Orissa is considered to be a treasure trove when it comes to saris. Colors such as maroon and bright hues with bright patters are a part of the bride’s wedding attire. The bride also wears a lot of gold ornaments to go along with her attire. Orissa is also famous for its intricate designs on gold. Orissa also makes beautiful silver jewelry is the groom also wears light jewelry such as chain and rings.
Use of flower garlands and a headgear are intrinsic part of Oriya marriages. In Oriya community arranged marriages and very common although love marriage are also taking place. There is a clear division of caste among Oriyas. However many these days are also open to inter caste marriages .the Oriya marriages are conducted without any show of pomp and grandeur and the marriage is a simple one without any show of wealth .
One of the most interesting facets of an Oriya wedding is the wedding dress. These days the groom wears attire made out of silk. The saris are classic and are beautifully patterned. There is use of designs made on the forehead of the bride and the groom on the day of the marriage. This sandalwood paste is considered auspicious. The colors that are most commonly used in Oriya marriage are maroon, yellow. Brown and magenta, pink. Dual toned saris are also used for the bride. The favorite color among the Oriyas is red. Red is the favorite choice for saris among Oriya women. This color adds to the beauty of the bride.
The kurtas that the groom wears have all over embroidery and silk and cotton are the most preferred choices when it comes to the kurtas. The Uttariya is also an important component of the wedding attire. The Uttariya is a piece of cloth that the groom keeps around his neck during the wedding. Another important aspect of the weddings attire of the bride groom is the silk thread which they have across their body which symbolizes purity. These days many grooms are also wearing suits and jackets for their reception parties and dinners. The groom wears a silk cloth around him which is known as “jor”. When the wedding rituals are on the groom wears a white colored cloth around his body. Though it is absolutely traditional wear for weddings but for post wedding reception the groom dons formal clothes. The Oriya wedding ahs several customs and rituals as therefore the attire also changes accordingly depending upon the occasion. Orissa is famous for its saris and the bride along with her relatives and friends wears classic saris from the states such as Samabalpuri Saree of Sambalpur, ikkat of Bargarh, Khandua pata which can be found both in silk and cotton varieties of Cuttack. The famous Bomkai sari is quite popular during weddings. Brahamapuri sari of Brahmapur, tussar silk saree and matha silk, bapta are also very popular during weddings. Before choosing any sari for the bride the bride’s complexion is taken a note of. If she is of a dusky complexion then colors are chosen accordingly or if she is light skinned then colors which suit her will be taken into consideration.