Tamil weddings are very vibrant and colourful with a host of pre-wedding rituals. The rich and bright coloured kanjeevaram silk sarees add to the ambience, making it very animated.
Tamil Pre Wedding Ritual
Panda Kaal Muhurtham: This ritual is conducted by Tamilians and is the first wedding ritual. This involves seeking blessing from the God before they proceed with any other ritual to be able to host a hassle free wedding.
Vratham and Pallikai Tellichal: Vratham is a fast which is conducted a day prior to the wedding where both the families fast. This ritual is followed in order to invoke blessings from their ancestors. Pallikai Tellichal is a ceremony which is also conducted a day prior to the wedding and involves filling of clay pots with nine varieties of grains. Married women pour water into these pots and grains are left to sprout for a day or two. Traditional folk songs are sung while this ritual takes place. These clay pots are then placed in a pond for the fishes to feed on and shower the couple with their blessing.
Naandi and Jaanavaasam: Naandi ceremony is conducted by priests to honour the ancestors of both families and for a long and prosperous married life for the couple. The ritual of Jannavaasam is not followed by many grooms now a days. According to this ritual, the groom arrives in a beautifully decorated car along with his family and friends. A display of fireworks is a part of this procession. The groom is welcomed with a garland by the bride’s brother at the doorstep.
Nicchiyadharatham: The bride offers prayers to lord Ganesha in the presence of a priest. The groom’s family presents her with a new saree along with fruits and a coconut and a floral band is tied to her waist.
Reading of Lagna Pathirigai: This is a ritual where in the priest announces all the muhurat time and other details regarding the wedding and this is followed by a lavish dinner.
Receiving the Groom: The bride’s family welcomes the groom’s family at the venue with a plate containing flowers, beetle nuts, fruits and Indian sweets. The bride’s brother applies tilak on the groom’s forehead and welcomes him with a garland while the bride’s mother feeds him homemade sweets. A coconut is broken on the floor before the groom enters to ward off any evil eye.
Tamil Wedding Ideas
Mangala Snaanam and Kashi Yatra: According to this ritual, the bride and the groom take a holy bath on the morning of the wedding. The groom then pretends to leave for Kashi and get rid of the responsibilities that come with marriage. At this point he is stopped by the bride’s father who requests him to marry his daughter. The groom then heads to the wedding mandap where the bride’s family welcomes him.
Exchange of Garlands: The couple exchange garlands thrice and then sit on a swing where married women offer the couple spoonful of milk and banana pieces to eat.
Kanyadaanam and Muhurtham: When the groom reaches the mandap, he is welcomed by his father-in-law who washes his feet while the mother-in-law puts kajal in his eyes. The groom is considered to be an incarnation of god. During the kanyadaanam ceremony, the bride sits on her father’s lap with a coconut in her hand. The bride and her father then hand the coconut to the groom while the bride’s mother pours water over the coconut. This signifies the handing over of the daughter to her new family. At this point, the groom’s family gift’s the bride a nine-yard saree which she is supposed to wear when the groom will put the mangalsutra around her neck.
The bride’s sister-in-law assists her in draping the saree. A few other rituals are carried out post this. One of them involves the bride’s father. The father of the bride is supposed to sit on a sack filled with paddy and the bride is then made to sit on her father’s lap. This ritual is believed to bring loads of good fortune to her new life. Post this, the yolk of a farmers plough is touched to the bride’s forehead. This signifies that the couple will stand by each other and always be together. The groom then puts the mangalsutra and ties a sacred thread around the bride’s neck. Three knots are tied to this thread. They signify the union of mind, spirit and body.
Saptapadi: The groom holds the bride’s right hand in his left hand and the couple circles the fire seven times. The bride touches her feet to the grinding stone in every round. This is said to make the bond strong.
Post Wedding Rituals
Sammandhi Mariyathai: This ritual marks the completion of the wedding and both families exchange gifts.
Laaja Homam and Paaladanama: The bride’s brother offers puffed rice to the groom which is poured into the holy fire. This is done to seek blessings from the fire god. Post this, the couple seeks blessings from all the elders present.
Grihapravesham: This marks the entry of the bride to her new home. The couple is welcomed at the doorstep by the groom’s family. Post this the couple heads back to the wedding venue where a lavish feast is served.
Reception: The wedding is followed by a reception where friends and family of the couple wish the couple and this is followed by a lavish dinner.
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