Rhia Ramlal and Michael Wagner had two wedding ceremonies in Florida on May 4th (Hindu) and 5th (Methodist). Rhia is originally from Trinidad. In traditional Hindu Trinidadian weddings, the night before the wedding (usually a Friday) there is a Maticoor. There are three different phases that take place on a Maticoor night: the actual Maticoor ceremony which involves dancing and digging of the dirt (both bride and groom conduct this part separately); the Saffron ritual with doop grass; and the rubbing of the Saffron on the bride’s skin, symbolic of the purification and beautification of the bride on the day of her wedding. The Maticoor night is mainly about the women in the Dulahin’s (bride) family preparing the Dulahin for marriage. Rhia looked gorgeous on her Maticoor night!
After the actual Maticoor ceremony (digging of the dirt), the procession returns to the bride’s home where the Pundit will take over. The bride is usually in another area of the house and her mother is asked to bring her out to join the Pundit at the bedi/baghie for the puja. The Tassa drumming signals to everyone that a celebration is about to take place and the drummers lead the attendees to the maticoor ceremony.
The bride’s father’s youngest sister, the poowa, parches the laawa (rice) over a fire and everyone dances while giving her money. “It is said that if the laawa does not parch properly this may be an indication of the amount of prosperity of the marriage.”