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.