Diverse Facets of the Traditional Goan Wedding

Celebrate Catholics April 7, 2018 No Comments

Diverse Facets of the Traditional Goan Wedding

The state of Goa has been governed by the Portuguese since the 16th century; therefore, the predominant religion is Roman Catholics here. The customs and traditions of Goan weddings are highly influenced by Christian culture. Similar to other parts of the world, Goan marriage rituals can be compartmentalised into pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding.

1. Pre-Wedding Goan Ritual

The most renowned pre-wedding ritual of a Goan marriage is known as the “roce” or “ros.” During this ritual, the bride as well as the groom are anointed with a specially-prepared mixture, comprising of coconut juice and coconut oil. The mixture is traditionally applied to the head of the would-be couple by the parents, relatives, and friends. This tradition is generally carried out 1 or 2 days prior to the wedding.

2.Wedding in Church

All Goan weddings are conducted in the church only. There are two primary rituals that comprise a Goan wedding: “resper” and “kazar.” When it comes to “resper,” the couple is blessed in the church. The “kazar” refers to the formal marriage of the couple.

Image Source: ArtZolo – Mario Miranda

On the wedding day, the brides typically wear white gowns or dresses whereas the grooms opt for western-styled business suits. Similar to other Christian weddings, Goan weddings may include maid of honour, groomsman, ring bearers, flower girls, amongst others. If you happen to attend a Goan wedding, you will be amazed to see rounds of ballroom dancing along with live wedding bands.

3.Post-wedding Ritual

Just like any other wedding celebration, Goan weddings have a custom of reception post marriage. This is called “vor.” As a thumb rule, it is generally held at the groom’s venue; however, in modern times, due to space constraints the wedding reception is held at hotels, banquets, or spacious grounds.

4.Effects of Indian Culture

When it comes to weddings, most Goans follow the Christian faith; however, the marriages are heavily influenced by Indian traditions. For instance, the Goan bride prefers to wear a red sari during the ritual called “saddo,” which is held one day prior to the marriage.

Image Source: Its Goa

Goan brides also wear bangles as part of the ritual called “chuddo,” which takes place at the bride’s residence. After the bride adorns the bangles, she is disallowed to perform any work until the marriage ceremony is complete because it is considered inauspicious to break the bangles.

The mediator or middleman often does the task of matchmaking. He conducts negotiations and the necessary liaisons between the two families. After the proposal has been finalised, the formal discussion with regard to marriage takes place, with the traditional ritual of “utor,” which translates in English to “promise.” The ring ceremony is traditionally held at the groom’s residence. In earlier times, the ring of the groom had a small carving of Infant Jesus.

A Goan marriage is properly registered, and the couple-to-wed forwards an application towards the same at the Civil Registrar’s Office. The couple is traditionally accompanied by their parents and two witnesses. These witnesses could be friends or relatives.

Three wedding banns or wedding proclamations are read in the church. There is a traditional custom that the bride’s maternal uncle invites her at his residence for lunch after reading of the first bann.

Now, you know everything about a Goan wedding.

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