<< Kerala Traditions and Rituals

Trichur with its rich tradition and history, cultural heritage and archeological wealth is the cultural capital of Kerala. Trichur is famed far and wide for its Pooram festival. This festival district has witnessed traditions of many rulers and dynasties starting with the Zamorins, Tipu Sultan to the Dutch and the British. Literary and cultural centers, the Kerala Kalamandalam, the Kerala Sahitya Academy and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy are located here.

Marriage and morals generally go together. Kerala has evolved through the ages its own marriage customs and code of morals. Child marriage was familiar in the early days. But now the adult marriage is the normal rule. Widow marriage also was permitted. The most popular form of marriage seems to have been the Gandharva system which facilitated the voluntary union of the male and the female. The Aryanisation of Kerala brought about some change in the institution of marriage and code of morals.

The institution of polygamy and polyandry prevailed especially in the `Namboothiri, `Kshatriya and other higher castes. Draupadi of Mahabharatha fame was the beloved wife of the five brothers, the Pandava princes. There was an unusual practice connected with the institution of marriage and this in `talikettu kalyanam. Tali (a mangalyasutram) tying was performed on a girl or batch of girls between the ages 11 and 13. It was believed that with tali tying the girl had become an eligible bride. The one who tied the tali had no special claim to matrimony with that girl. The tali was removed from the girls neck. The essential item in real marriage was not tali tying but the presentation of cloth i.e, pudavakoda.With the spread of education the system of `talikettu kalyanam came to an end. Marriage alliances have been governed from very early days by certain traditional restrictions.

It was the accepted custom to have marriages conducted within the caste itself. Now-a-days inter-cast and intercommunal marriages are mere frequently reported, though it cannot be said that such marriages are very common. There was, even now, the system of marrying the murapennu, the boys paternal aunts or maternal uncles daughter. This system prevailed among the Hindus and the Muslims. The Christian community do not allow matrimonial relations between relatives. Each community and caste has its own peculiar traditions, ceremonies and rituals connected with death.

For information on other traditions and rituals, click trichur traditions

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