Picture Credits: Cinematic Productions Goa

Prachiti Salkar Nagvekar

You’ll find that the aura at any Indian Muslim Wedding is always colourful, bright and has a certain poetic feel of being in the presence of holiness and age old traditions that mark new beginnings for the happy couple. Goan Muslim Weddings are no different, well, apart from incorporating our special local flair, cuisine and culture.

Here we present the beautiful traditions followed on the occasion of a Muslim wedding in Goa and shed light on the importance of each step and its symbolism.


‘Salatul-Ishtakara’ in Arabic literally translates to ‘prayer to seek that which is good’ and is the first step before the couple begin the wedding rituals. This prayer is done by an Islamic priest or ‘Maulana/Imam’ to seek blessings for the couple and their families before the wedding and also officially announce the occasion between the community.


The engagement ceremony marks the official union of the to-be bride and groom and their families. This is an important event before the wedding day and is celebrated with almost equal pomp and splendor with a shower of blessings and exchange of gifts from either side of the wedding parties.


The ‘Manjha’ or more popularly known as ‘Haldi’ ceremony marks the first day of wedding festivities for the couple. On this day, traditionally, the to-be-groom’s family sends the ‘haldi’ to the to-be-brides home for this ceremony. Both the to-be-bride and groom dress in yellow and get anointed with a turmeric paste often mixed with rose water, sandalwood, gram flour and milk that helps purify and cleanse the body and also, of course, help with the pre-wedding glow! This is also one such tradition that is borrowed from the Indian culture, where in case of Hindu weddings we have ‘Haldi’ itself and for Catholic weddings in Goa we have ‘Roce’.


We have the most anticipated of the pre-wedding rituals on day two, the ‘Mehendi’ ceremony. On this day the colour theme is traditionally green and the bride-to-be has beautifully designed ‘henna’ or ‘mehendi’ applied to their hands and feet with her groom’s initials hidden in the design. The bride’s female relatives and friends join in on this ritual and have ‘mehendi’ applied together.

On this auspicious day, the groom’s family visits the bride’s home with gifts including sweets, a bridal outfit with accessories and jewellery. This also signifies blessings, affection and support of the groom’s family on the event of coming close to welcoming the new bride into their home. This is all part of the tradition depicting family values, gratitude and connections called ‘Shukhrana’. On the other end, the bride’s female relatives also go to the grooms home and attempt to forcibly to put ‘mehendi’ on the groom’s hands with the hopes of receiving money or gifts if successful.


The day we celebrate love and traditions at its peak finally arrives! On the day of the ‘Nikaah’ the families arrive at the common venue and are seated separately, the women along with the bride on one end and the men along with the groom on another. A ‘Moulana/Imam’ is invited to conduct the prayers and rituals of the ‘Nikaah’ that is done with a curtain or ‘pardah’ separating the two sides. The couple is officially announced to be in wedlock when the bride and groom respond with ‘I agree’ or ‘QuboolHai’ thrice. After this, there’s a final ritual of ‘ArsiMushaf’ where the bride and groom finally look at each other through a mirror kept between them. Here, ‘Arsi’ means mirror and ‘Mushaf’ means the Holy Quran. A tradition called ‘Mehr’ is also done where the groom’s father offers his new daughter-in-law money as blessings.

At the end of the day as a post – wedding ritual of ‘Rukhsati’ or more popularly called ‘Bidaai’ the bride is bid farewell with blessings by her parents and warmly welcomed into her new home with her husband by her in laws, who place the Holy Quran on the bride’s head to symbolise her duties as a wife.


Arabic for wedding banquet, ‘Walimah’, is essentially the lavish reception that the groom’s family hosts after the ‘Nikaah’. It is a more relaxed, fun and joyous occasion that brings the two families, relatives and their friends together with a lot of indulgent food, upbeat music and merry dancing. Prominent Goan touches to the whole event are seen in the choice of local homegrown music, and cuisine such as the local ‘Goan Roast Beef’ and ‘Mutton Xacuti’ along with the traditional Indian favorites – ‘Biryani’ and the sweet dish ‘Sevaiyan’ made with vermicelli noodles and milk. This function marks the end to a big fat Indian wedding, and is essentially a celebratory start to the couple’s new life.


The festivities come to a gradual but happy end with ‘Jummaghi’ starting on the fifth day of the ‘Nikaah’ that is essentially held on a Friday and needs to continue for five weeks, out of which the first three ‘Jummaghi’ will be hosted by the bride’s family and the next two by the grooms family. The first function held at the brides parents’ home and the last one held at the grooms parents’ home hold the most importance with the celebrations being the happiest with fun games such as throwing coconuts received as gifts during the previous ceremonies into water, having the newlyweds un-tie turmeric from each other’s hands or even having the brides female relatives steal the groom’s shoes and bid for them!

Fridays or ‘Jummah’ in Arabic, are picked for these functions since it is considered the most holy day of the week for all Muslims. These functions are where the newlyweds are welcomed into each other’s homes and are met with a grand welcome, more blessings and a more intimate party.

Looking to get married or organize any other event? Do get in touch with us at BoaGoa for some of the best tips and tricks in the industry.




Goan Catholic weddings bring together a celebration of music, food and culture reflecting a strong influence of Portuguese and Indian roots. Weddings in Goa are celebrated with pomp and joy, with the entire village participating as a family in the festivities.

As we gear up for this season, we at BoaGoa have jotted down the traditions we need to keep alive despite the Covid-19 pandemic keeping in mind to follow social distancing and other safety norms.



This is the first traditional event before the wedding. ‘Chuddo’ means glass bangles, which the bride-to-be wears as per tradition to symbolize a good married life. The ceremony is normally organized by the bride-to-be’s uncle or anyone else from the family in absence of this relation. A ‘kakonkar’ or bangle seller is invited to put the glass bangles on her wrists, and these are generally of seven different colors with shades of green and red more often used. Relatives and those present at the ceremony join in the celebration as they sing songs, dance and enjoy a hearty Goan meal.






The families of the to-be bride and groom cook a large quantity of home food that’s meant to be offered to the less fortunate families in the village. The couple go around their respective villages offering food to beggars, the poor, the local orphanage and old age homes. The blessings received by the couple from these people, is believed to be the blessings from their deceased family members.
Everyone in relation to the families are then called over to share the rest of the meal together.


‘Roce’ refers to the coconut milk that is used to anoint the to-be bride and groom. Separate ceremonies are hosted by the families of the bride and groom a day before the wedding. The ‘roce’ is said to cleanse the couple and signify the end of their single lives. The ceremony of anointing with roce, is first carried out by the parents, followed by siblings, relatives, neighbours and friends. This is the most fun and sought after event especially for the youth!


Finally, the wedding day! It starts with a female relative of the groom going to the bride’s house with the wedding dress and other accessories for the bride, her bridesmaids and flower girls; while the groom, his best man and page boys get ready at his house. Before the nuptials, close relatives and friends gather to offer their blessings to the bride and the groom at their respective houses. They then proceed for the nuptials, which is usually held at the church in the groom’s village. The nuptials is the religious ceremony for the wedding, where the couple takes their wedding vows, exchange rings and are pronounced as husband and wife.
After the nuptials, the newly weds proceed to the groom’s house where the mother-in-law puts a gold chain around the bride’s neck as a symbol of her blessing and welcome into the family. After this, a short litany is held for the well-being of the married couple.
The celebration is then followed by a wedding reception, which is a grand party which includes the wedding march, the first dance, raising a toast, cutting the wedding cake and basically a night full of merry while dancing to the tunes of a live band.


On the second day of the wedding, celebrations continue at the bride’s residence where she is welcomed back as a married woman. With a smaller crowd of family and close friends, the opposite circles mingle and get to know each other better and enjoy the night with dance and games amidst a live band until the wee hours of the night.

Attending a Goan Catholic Wedding, you’re sure to witness elegance and simplicity mixed well with pomp and splendor!

Looking to get married or organize any other event? Do get in touch with us at BoaGoa for some of the best tips and tricks in the industry.