The wedding venue adorned in the hues of red and gold reflects the simplicity of Tamil culture; however, the people of Tamil Nadu are really lavish when it comes to following the traditions with utmost precision. A typical Tamil wedding is a beautiful amalgamation of various rituals and the ceremony lasts for 6-7 days. The Tamil marriages are not as extravagant as the north Indian marriages, but the authentic rituals that the Tamilians still follow with precision make them one of a kind. Given below is a brief of the small rituals that take place in a modern day Tamil wedding and their significance:
Panda Kaal Muhurtham
The ceremonies begin with Panda Kaal Muhurutham, a ritual that takes place before the marriage. In this ritual, the families of the bride and the groom worship god for the uninterrupted, peaceful, and joyful wedding.
Sumangali Prarthanai – A Puja For The Married Women
Sumanglis are the females that are blessed with a harmonious married life. In Sumangli Prarthana, around 3, 5, 7 or 9 Sumangli women are called. The ladies are treated with the authentic south Indian food and bride-to-be seeks their blessings to have a successful married life ahead.
In Pallikai Thellichal, 9 types of grains along with curd are mixed and the mixture is kept in the earthen pots. The pots are then immersed in the water to feed the fishes. The ritual is considered auspicious for the beginning of the couple’s new life.
In Nandi Shardam, 10 Brahmins are called and they are feasted with fruits, coconut, flowers, sweets, paan-supari, etc. After the feast, the Brahmins are requested to give blessings to the couple.
Nichayathartham is another name for engagement in Tamil. In Nichayathartham, the couple gets formally engaged and the further preparations for the wedding rituals begin.
Lagna Pathirikai translates to wedding invitation in Tamil. After the engagement, the wedding date is decided and wedding invitations are sent to the guests.
Mangala Snaanam (purifying bath)
Mangala Snanam is the purification bath that bride and groom take before they proceed further with the wedding rituals. Before Mangala Snanam, Haldi, Kumkum, and oil are applied on the skin of Bride and the Groom.
One of the interesting ceremonies that take place in Tamil Weddings is Kashi Yatra. In the Kashi Yatra ritual, the groom acts as if he’s leaving the ceremonies. The father of the bride then requests the groom to stop and asks him to marry his daughter.
In Pada Puja, the mother of the bride washes the groom’s feet with water. The paste of Kumkum and Chandan is first applied on the feet of the groom and then the mother of the bride washes his feet with water. After this, the bride is called to the Mandap.
During Maalai Matral, the bride and the groom exchange garlands. The garlands are exchanged thrice to mark the beginning of the holy unison of the couple.
Kanyadanam is usually referred as ‘Kanyadan’ in the north. During Kanyadan, the father hands over his daughter to the Groom. The groom promises the Father of the bride that he will take care of her for the rest of his life.
Muhurtham and Saptapadi
After Kanyadanam, the ceremony of Muhurtham takes place in which the groom fills Kumkum in the hair partition of the bride and ties Thaali around her neck.
In Sammandhi Maryathai both the families give each other gifts and then the bride leaves her parental home.
All the above-listed ceremonies make Tamil Marriages different than the others. Earlier the wedding rituals used to expand for 16-17 days; however, some of the rituals are now have been shortened to match the time demand of the contemporary world.