Fun, frolics and Traditions of a Goanese Christian Wedding Ceremony

Many customs and traditions are involved in the Goan Catholic wedding which captures the happy times of the Goan community. The custom and tradition of weddings in Goa is highly influenced by Christian culture. There are various ceremonies that they follow such as the ‘Ros’ in which parents, relatives and friends of the bride and the groom gather two days before the wedding and bless the couple. The anointing of the bride and bridegroom with coconut milk is an interesting ritual which is known as Ros and has not yet lost its popularity in the Goan community. 

Goans take every celebration, especially weddings, very seriously. They make the plans a year in advance and spend a lot of money in all the events related to weddings. One cannot beat Goa when it comes to events related to Goanese weddings. Weddings in Goa generally happen in the winter season which is the perfect weather for weddings to take place. There are many events and rituals involved in Goan weddings. However, some traditions are followed and some are not followed which solely depends on the couple and the families involved. Let’s take a look at all the events involved in a Goan wedding. 

Pre-wedding Ritual in Goa

  • Engagement – The engagement is held at the groom’s place and takes place with the exchange of rings in the presence of family members, priests, relatives and friends. The bridegroom’s ring is taken in a special box that has an Infant Jesus statuette. The bride’s parents put some money which represents the amount of dowry at the bottom of the box. This is counted by an elderly family member who is known as ‘yezman’.
  • Chuddo – The first tradition for a Goan wedding is the ‘Chuddo’. In the Goan wedding culture, bangles play the most  important as the bridal accessory. It is a custom where the bride has to wear the best bangles possible. These bangles of a particular colour and design are called ‘chuddo’. The bangles are made of glass and are very delicate. This ceremony is performed at the house of the maternal uncle of the bride. For the ceremony, the bangles are fitted onto the wrists of the would-be bride by the volar. Relatives take the opportunity and get some bangles for themselves as well. The family gifts money as a token of blessing and is kept in a tray placed near the bangle-seller. The chuddo ceremony is common among the Hindus and Christians of Goa.
  • Ros – Next comes the most famous ritual which takes place before the wedding is the Ros. In this ritual, both the groom and the bride are anointed with a specially prepared mixture called Ros. It is made of coconut juice and coconut oil. The mixture is then applied by the parents, relatives and the friends of the would-be couple. This ritual is held two days before the wedding. This ceremony symbolizes the beginning of new life. The coconut milk is used and is said to cleanse or purify the couple before the wedding, which signifies the end of their single lives.
  • Bhuim Jevon – A meal is prepared in honour of the family’s ancestors known as ‘bikaraimche jevon’. This meal is basically for the beggars and poor people in and around the village. This Jevon is more of an offering & thanksgiving to the dead ancestors of the family. 

Wedding Day Ceremony

On the wedding day, the bride’s wedding dress and other accessories are sent by the groom to her house by a female relative who also helps the bride to dress for the wedding. When the gifts are sent to the bride’s home, crackers are ignited by the groom’s side to inform one and all that it is being sent. Before proceeding to the church, the relatives and friends of both the couples offer their blessings. The groom is the first one to reach the church after which the bride arrives. On the wedding day, the dowry items are sent to the groom’s home before everyone leaves for the Church. The wedding car comes to pick the bride after reaching the groom to the church. Here at the nuptials the couple declare the wedding vows and the priest then pronounces them husband and wife. 

Post Wedding Ceremony

  • Saddo – After this on their return from church, the newly wed couple comes to the groom’s house and the groom’s mother puts a gold chain on the bride’s neck and places the ‘saddo’ or the saree drape on her shoulder. Prayers are offered. 
  • Reception –  The venue of the reception is arranged by the groom’s family. On the evening of the Reception, the couple proceeds to the venue where the wedding cake is cut and all dancing and merrymaking takes place with food and drinks being served. A toast is raised for the happiness and prosperity of the married couple.
  • Xim – At the end of the reception, all the relatives and friends of the married couple who have remained till the end draw an imaginary line known as ‘xim’. The bride’s family assembles at one side and the groom and his family on the other. Prayers are offered and later few of the bride’s relatives cross the ‘xim’ and formally invite the couple to the bride’s house the next day which is called ‘apovnemn’ in Konkani. Thus all the festivities and celebration of the wedding come to an end after the reception.

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