Dead people get married here in Karnataka: Viral Twitter thread explains how

Updated on Jul 29, 2022 02:21 PM IST

In a less-heard-of tradition from Dakshina Kannada, two deceased infants are married to each other 30 years after their death.

Ever heard of a post-death wedding? It is an alive and thriving tradition in Karnataka.
Ever heard of a post-death wedding? It is an alive and thriving tradition in Karnataka.
ByYamini C S, | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

In a tradition from the depths of Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka, two infants were posthumously united in marriage on Thursday as their parents hoped for a happily ever after for their spirits. ‘Pretha Kalyanam’, or marriage of the dead, is a tradition that is still very much alive in many parts of Karnataka and Kerala in some communities.

Youtuber Anny Arun took to Twitter to share the union between Chandappa and Shobha, 30 years after their deaths.

“I'm attending a marriage today. You might ask why it deserve a tweet. Well groom is dead actually. And bride is dead too. Like about 30 years ago. And their marriage is today. For those who are not accustomed to traditions of Dakshina Kannada this might sound funny. But its a serious tradition here, (sic)” he wrote.

Those who die as children, usually younger than 18 and unmarried, are married to children with similar death stories a few years post their demise. A social media user from Dakshina Kannada said the traditions are in practice because people believe their loved one's spirit wander and never get ‘Moksha’ since "one's life is incomplete without marriage and the family may start to face problems from the wandering soul".

Starting with an engagement ceremony, the wedding is like any other, filled with jokes and laughter. The groom first brings the 'Dhaare Saree', which should be worn by the bride at the time of the lagna or muhurtham. The bride is even given enough time to get dressed and all the rituals take place as if the parted souls are among the family members.

“While bride getting ready groom is already waiting. Isn't that always a thing?” The user joked.

The bride and groom are dressed in wedding attire and relatives carry them around to conduct the rituals, from the Saptapadhi, the seven steps or seven rounds, to the Muhurtham, Kanyadaana and the tieing of the Mangalsutra.

In a 20-tweet thread consisting of multiple videos, Anny Arun shared that none of the family members asked the name of the bride and groom till about five minutes before the Muhurtham, which made for a light-hearted moment between the families. “The Funny thing is after all the engagement nobody thought they should ask the name of bride and groom. They were just asking now. 5 minutes before the muhurtam. Btw its Chandappa weds Shobha!” he wrote.

Children and unmarried adults are not allowed to witness the marriage, he added. The bride and groom get seated in chairs only meant for them and don wedding garlands as the wedding goes on. At the time of the Muhurtham, the groom's sleeve would be tied to the bride's saree pallu and the couple get ready to tie the knot.

What’s after the marriage?

The bride sits right side of the groom till marriage but immediately shifts to the left side of the groom. The bride remains on the left side of the groom permanently and they follow the pattern, wherever they go after their marriage.

The tradition of giving money to the newlyweds is followed here too and a person is deputed at the wedding to scream the amount that one has offered to the couple. The blessings from the family members of the couple follow, just like in a normal wedding.

Once they receive blessings from all family members, the couple moves outdoors to seek blessings of gods from all directions.

The bride is all set to enter into the house of a groom and the couple is welcomed with a grand Aarthi.

The bride’s family then passed the responsibility of their daughter to the groom’s family which is considered as the most emotional moment for both families.

The scrumptious food

Be it any marriage, it is entirely incomplete with traditional food. Arun also shared the menu from this wedding of the deceased.

The menu consists of items like Chicken sukka, Fish fry, Kadle Balyar, Mutton gravy and idly. People who attended the wedding were also seen enjoying the food wholeheartedly.

What is the significance of this wedding?

The Youtuber also explains why such weddings are quite significant in the traditions of Dakshina Kannada.

“We believe here that even the dead walk among us in spirits. The way parents take care of their living children they do the same for the dead ones. So that they will have a great life in the spirit world. Personally, I feel it also gives some kind of comfort for the parents” he wrote

Well, he also says that it is not an easy task to fix such weddings and shared an interesting anecdote. He wrote "If you are wondering its easy to fix this marriage, hear me out. Recently groom family rejected a bride because bride was few year elder to the groom!"

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