Tuesday, October 14, 2008

11. Muhurtha

Preparations for the Muhurtha for the bride and groom

Before the bride or groom arrives at the 'muhurtha' site, the 'aruva's' wife lights the sacred lamp in the 'nellaki nadu baade'. She then spreads two or three mats, facing in a North-South direction, at the 'muhurtha' site. The washer man covers these mats with a carpet. In the center of this carpet the 'aruva's' wife places a 'mukkali' (low stool) and covers it with red cloth. Two other 'mukkalis' are placed on either side of the one in the center. A silver or bell-metal plate containing rice is placed on each of these and a 'kindi' (small metal pot with a spout) full of milk (or vodka, according to the choice of the bride/groom) is placed on top of the rice on one of the 'mukkalis'. Two tall brass pedestal lamps are lit and placed on either side of the 'muhurtha' site.
The bride/groom along with the 'bojakaara'/ 'bojakarthi' walk thrice around the 'mukkali' kept in the center. Before sitting on the stool the bride/groom, stands behind the 'mukkali', sprinkles rice on it three times and salutes (??) it by touching it with both hands and raising them to his/her forehead and then steps over it with the right foot (Bride’s nightmare: tripping at this point).

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