Updated: Dec 18, 2021
As we know Tamilians are known for their simplicity and grace even if it is something as huge and spendthrift as a wedding. Well, I have attended many south Indian weddings but the Tamil Hindu Wedding Rituals make me vouch for this all the more. Even though Tamil weddings are not very extravagant in a contrast to other northern communities. Still, they are sumptuous when it comes to following traditions and rituals. Tamilians give more and more importance and value to their rituals and traditions and focus on the right manner in which every ritual should be followed. How long a Tamil wedding can go? a couple of days? a week? actually not, sometimes it goes more than a week. Wondering why? you know that our country is experienced with rich culture holding a bunch of various traditions. You know that Indian weddings always grab the attention globally because it is the complete package of cultures and traditions. Where people give their blessings and gather colorful memories on departing.
If you are not attended any south Indian weddings then here are some beautiful rituals that you should know about Tamil weddings.
First, we will talk about the pre-wedding rituals
Here are the 6 pre-wedding rituals in the Tamil Hindu wedding:
1. Panda Kaal Muhurtham
This is the first wedding ritual start in the Chennai wedding. This ritual is held before the main wedding day. In this, both the families of the bride and groom pray to God for their joyful, peaceful, and undisturbed wedding.
2. Sumangali Prarthanai - a puja for the married women
What is Sumangali, it is referred to as women who are blessed with a tuneful and prosperous married life. In this tradition, a pooja is held and prayers are given to Sumangalis and the bride-to-be to look for their blessings for a divine married life ahead.
All Sumangalis need to wear a traditional nine-yard saree or Madisar as it is traditionally called, for this pooja. The number of Sumangali invited for the Pooja are always in odd numbers such as 3, 5, 7, and 9. After the pooja is finished, Sumangalis are managed with an actual south Indian feast offered on a banana leaf.
3. Pallikai Thellichal
In this, ceremony, 9 types of grist along with curd are mixed and filled into 7 earthen pots adorn with sandalwood. These pots are later submerged in the water to nourish the fishes. All after this ceremony included feeding the fishes, it is think about favorable for the couple’s journey ahead.
4. Naandi Shrardham
In this ceremony, the bride and the groom’s families pray to the souls of their forebears. 10 Brahmins or less are invited for a genuine South Indian feast by both the set of families. Fruits, coconut, flowers, paan supari, sweets, and Veshti Angavastram (traditional clothes) and given to the Brahmins and they give blessing to the couples.
5. Nichayathartham (engagement)
This is the Ganesh pooja conducted in the bride’s family. The groom’s family gifted saree, jewelry, and gifts to the bride, and the bride’s family gifted to the groom new clothes. Then the bride and groom dressed in new clothes gifted by the brides and grooms family. Then, the grooms’ sister put in Kumkum and Chandan tilak on the bride’s forehead, and the bride’s brother does the same thing with a groom. And then the bride’s brother gives a garland of flowers to the groom and the groom’s sister to the bride. Then bride and groom exchange ring to each other in the presence of both the families.
6. Lagna Pathirikai
Lagna Pathirikai in Tamil changes to a wedding invitation. After the engagement ceremony, the wedding date is formally announced in front of the guests by the priest.
Here is the 9 wedding traditions and rituals in a Tamil Hindu Wedding
1. Mangala Snaanam (purifying bath)
This ceremony takes place on the daybreak of the wedding day is the bride’s and groom’s home. Haldi, Kumkum, and some oil put on the bride and the groom before they take a bath and ready for the wedding.
2. Gauri Puja
From all the traditions and rituals, this is one tradition that is only carried out by the bride and groom on her wedding day. Once the bride is ready, she serves prayers to Goddess Gauri who is taken as the symbol of purity.
3. Kashi Yatra
This is an interesting ritual, in which the groom shows that he does not want to wed and going to Kashi for holy pilgrimage. He is given a walking stick and a few unclad essentials such as an umbrella, slippers, etc. for his journey. At the moment, the bride’s father stops him and tries to talk him towards married life, and offers to have his daughter married to him. Then the groom agrees and is taken to the mandap.
4. Pada puja
According to the tradition, the bride’s mother washes the feet of the groom with water, Chandan and kumkum. Then the bride comes to the mandap.
5. Maalai Maatral
Bride and groom interchange flower garlands three times to start their holy unification.
6. Oonjal (swing ceremony)
In this tradition, some bananas and milk are offered to the bride and groom by the married ladies while they are seated on a swing. Rice balls are thrown on every side of the bride and groom to ward foe evils.
This ritual is the same as the kanyadan ceremony in the north. In Kanyadaanam bride’s father give his daughter’s hand to the groom’s hand. And, the groom gives promises to her parents that he will take care of the bride’s lifetime.
One heart-touching ritual is when the bride sits on her father’s lap and told her to go away. This ritual shows a father is giving his baby daughter who played in his lap and wants to take care of her as his father taking care of her.
This is the end of the rituals. Groom applied kumkum or sindoor on the bride’s hair and ties a Thaali known as Mangasutra.
The bride and groom take seven rounds of the holy fire known as Saptapadi. There is one more tradition in which the groom clasp the left toe of the bride and helps her to step on the grindstone kept near the sacred fire. This shows their holy unification, which will be as hard as a rock. This whetstone is compared to the entrance of her new home and every time she stepped out, it will remind her, her responsibilities towards her new family.
Tamil weddings are followed by 3 more rituals or functions:
#1. Sammandhi Maryathai
This is the post-wedding rituals where both the families give each other gifts as a token of love and value. The bride leaves her parental home and goes to her new family with her groom.
This time bride and groom reach the groom’s house. Groom’s mother welcomes the couples by performing a small aarti. It is the same as Grihapravesh rituals that are held in the north Indian wedding ceremonies.
In this ritual groom’s real sister gifts her sister-in-law with a relevant gift and the couple sit down to enjoy fun wedding games. In some of the communities, these rituals are also known as the Nalanga and take place after the wedding. In earlier times, this ritual is taken as the socialize session between the bride and groom.
These are the customary ceremonies that are part of every Tamil Hindu wedding rituals, maybe some of the various Tamil communities might also follow some of the different rituals and traditions.
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