Engagement which is popularly known as Nischitartham in south India is one of the major rituals before marriage. This ritual is also getting famous in North India and also in other parts of the Hindu dominated countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore. Engagement is called as Niccayatarttam in Tamil and as Itapalakal in Malayalam. Let understand about this pre-marriage ritual in detail.
We have created a small video answering all of these common questions around Engagement. Please check this out.
What is Engagement or Nischitartham?
This is the ritual where the families of the boy and girl meet together to select the muhurtam, the auspicious date and time for the marriage based on the Nakshatra and horoscope of the boy and the girl. This event is considered as the start of the wedding preparation. This day marks the formal announcement of the marriage to all the friends and relatives and start of the planning for the big event.
In South India, Engagement is avoided in during the months of Aashaadham, Bhadrapadam and Shunya Maasam as these months are considered as inauspicious according to the Hindu Calendar.
What is the purpose of Engagement?
The ritual of Engagement is considered as the formal meeting of the boy and the girl for the first time before marriage, as this helps to understand each other well before the marriage.
It is during this event, the families of the boy and the girl also get to known each other as marriage is considered as a union of not only the boy and the girl but also between two families. This also provides ample time for both the families to prepare for the big event which is yet to come.
What happens during Engagement?
- Starts with Sankalpa and Punyavachanam
- And followed by a procedure of Wagdaan, which means boy's father would request the girl's father for his daughter's hand for his son
- Based on the Nakshatras of both the boy and the girl, the muhurtam is decided by the priest and is accepted by both the boy's and the girl's families
- This is now the time for the boy and the girl to exchange the rings
- Mangalaarati is performed by 5 married women to the boy and the girl
- Lagnapatrika is now prepared, which means a written promise between two families to perform the marriage at the decided date in the future
- Finally, the boy and the girl take blessings of the elders and the families exchange gifts which are usually of gold, silver or clothes
How long should an Engagement last?
The Engagement ceremony lasts for about 45 minutes and may vary based on the culture and location.
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