Wedding Customs in Goa have undergone a sea change in the past few decades with more and more youngsters opting for love marriages where the bride and the groom take their own decisions about marriage. Earlier the match-making was done by middle –man called Mali or Raibari who acted as an intervener between both families. However, with the changing times, this ritual has been done away with. Families of the bride and groom directly meet each other and discuss the details of the wedding.
The catholic faith has adapted to the changing times and it has done away with time consuming wedding customs like reading of the wedding banns on three consecutive sundays. Couples who have very little time directly proceed to the Chuddo, Ross and the commemorative lunch. Wedding customs in Goa are quite elaborate and the series of customs and rituals actually help to break the ice between the two families that are about to be joined through matrimony.
The most important aspect of all wedding customs in Goa is that each ritual has a certain holy significance to it. The Chuddo ceremony where the bride is bedecked with flowers and green bangles signifies prosperity. The Ross ceremony where coconut juice is applied to the couple signifies purification and end of bachelor hood or spinsterhood. The concluding lunch where food is offered to the beggars in the memory of the departed souls is also held to obtain the blessings of the hungry and underprivileged.
Wedding customs in Goa are quite different from those in other parts of the country. However, some of the wedding customs like chuddo, ross and the jevonn lunch have not changed for centuries. Goa has preserved its rich cultural heritage and these cultural touchstones which signify the amalgamation of two families have withstood the test of time for centuries.