The ‘Ayani’ refers to ritualistic sweets given to the bride and bridegroom, before or soon after a wedding. This ritual is observed by the Hindus and Christians of Kerala.
The ‘Ayaniyoonu’ – the Ayani lunch – can refer to either the feast that the bride and her brother eat together before the day of the wedding, or the feast prepared by the bride’s family for the groom and his relatives, the day after the wedding.
Among Brahmins, the Ayaniyoonu refers to the feasts that the bride and the groom have in their own houses - at the same time - on the day before the wedding.
Among Christians, there is a ritual of carrying what is called the Ayaniyappam or the Ayani rice cake, by the bridegroom’s sister to the church on the morning of the wedding. This cake is brought to the church especially for the bridegroom. During this time, the Ayani paattu (song) is also sung.