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HomeOpinionDiaryGoan Catholic Wedding Customs and Ceremonials — Part II

Goan Catholic Wedding Customs and Ceremonials — Part II

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Image Courtesy: Saviocolaco

After this, another ceremony known as the ‘roce’ is held on a day before the wedding (East Indians call it ‘Umbracha Pani’). Here, the bride and the groom, each at their respective residences are required to bathe in coconut water. For this, the first coconut juice called ‘apros’ is used. According to Goan tradition, coconut milk is poured even on the bridesmaids, flower girls, page boy, and the best man. Relatives and friends attending the function, apply the ‘roce’ to the bridal couple which symbolises purification and signals the end of spinsterhood and bachelorhood. After this, it is said that the couple should not go out of the house till the day of the wedding. A sweet dish made of rice, coconut and jaggery known as ‘atol’ (‘Atola’ in East Indian Marathi) is served to the guests at the end of the roce ceremony along with food and hot drinks.

In honour of the departed souls of the house, a lunch known as ‘Bicareanchem Jevonn’ is also held. Before the cooking of this meal begins, a senior member of the family breaks a coconut in front of the house. The specialty in this lunch is a spicy aromatic dry prawn curry known as ‘samarachi koddi’ that is cooked with dry unripe salted mango (mango sol). ‘Voddes’ made of rice and urid dal is also served. A sweet made of wheat and sugar cooked in coconut juice known as ‘soji’ and another made of gram dal, coconut juice and jaggery known as ‘vonn’ is also served. For this meal, special paddy is boiled and all this is accompanied by ‘zotis’.

On the wedding day, a close relative of the groom who is supposed to help the bride dress up comes to her house with the wedding gown and other items. Before going to the church, all close relatives and friends bless the bride and the groom in their respective residences. The wedding car comes to pick up 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 man and wife.

After this, on their return from the church, the newly wedded 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’ on her shoulder.
They then proceed to the venue for the reception where the wedding cake is cut and all dancing and merrymaking takes place with food and drinks being served. A toast is also raised for the happiness and prosperity of the married couple.

At the end of the reception, all relatives and friends of the bridal 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 for lunch, which is called ‘apovnemn’ in Konkani.

Thus, all the festivities and celebration of the wedding comes to an end after the reception.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

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