Tamil Wedding Ceremony
Tamilians have their own rituals followed before, during and after the wedding, which look very vibrant. All the customs are followed with religious observance. All the people, right from the prospective bride and the groom to the family members, friends and relatives have the festive mood, which is set by the ceremony. The ambience is filled with nothing but happiness and celebration. The festive spirits are boosted up among the people, witnessing the ceremony, by the colorful and elaborate rituals that are conducted before, during and after the marriage.
The pre-marriage rituals followed by the Tamil speaking Brahmins include fasting, puja and exchange of gifts. The groom is received by the family of the bride. The wedding ceremony is also elaborate, which incorporates the rituals that are typical to the Brahmin community, such as oonjal, kashi yatra and kanyaadaan (wherein the bride sits on the lap of her father). Post-marriage, the bride and the groom are given treats and gifts. After swearing in as the wife, the bride enters the groom's home to prosper his life there. This is the way most of the marriages are conducted among the Tamil speaking Brahmins in India and all over the world. In this section, we have given detailed information on the traditional Tamil wedding ceremony.
Tamil Pre - Wedding Rituals
Tamil wedding is a vast affair, wherein a number of rituals are followed. Well before the wedding day, people (including the family members of the prospective bride and the groom) are engaged in the preparations of the ceremony, which is considered a very important turning point in the couple's life. This is the reason why, marriage is given supreme importance and a number of ceremonies are conducted before, during and after it. You would just like to stand and witness the typical Tamil Brahmin wedding, which incorporates unique customs. Explore all about the Tamil pre-wedding rituals in the following lines.
Tamil Pre - Wedding Customs
Panda Kaal Muhurtham
Panda Kaal Muhurtham is a pre-wedding ritual conducted by the Tamilians, in order to seek blessings from the Almighty. Generally, a short ritual is performed a day prior to the wedding, wherein both the families of the bride and the groom offer prayers to the Lord. This is done to ensure that the wedding preparations proceed without any hassle.
Receiving The Groom
When the groom's family reaches the wedding venue on the morning of one day before the wedding, they are greeted and welcomed warmly, by the bride's family, by offering them a tray containing flowers, beetle nuts, fruits and mishri. Rose water is also sprinkled on them.
The bride's brother applies tilak made by mixing sandalwood paste and kumkum, on the groom's forehead. Thereafter, the brother also puts a garland around the groom's neck. Then, the bride's mother serves a delicious dessert prepared from condensed milk. Thereafter, aarti is performed by an elder female member of the bride's family. In order to culminate the ritual and to ward-off the evil eye, a coconut is broken on the ground.
Vratham & Pallikai Thellichal
Vratham (fasting) takes place one day prior to the marriage. The fasting is performed by the bride as well as the groom's family. In the mean time, Vedichymns are chanted, which is conducted by the priest (Vaadyar). This ritual is performed to invoke the blessings of ancestors and the Almighty.
Pallikai Thellichal ceremony is also held a day before the wedding. It involves the filling of clay pots with nine varieties of grains. Married women pour water from either sides of the pot. This is followed by singing of traditional songs. The grains are allowed to sprout, by soaking them in water for a day or two. Then the clay pots are kept inside the pond, so that the fishes can feed on the sprouted grains and shower blessings to the couple, who is going to tie the nuptial knot.
Naandi & Jaanavaasam
Naandi ceremony is conducted to honor the Pithrus (ancestors) and seek their blessings for a long and prosperous life. The ceremony is conducted by Brahmins, who are presented with gifts and sweets. Families seek the blessings of their ancestors, to ensure that the wedding is carried on smoothly.
Although the ritual of Jaanavaasam has faded away with the passing time, it is still followed by some Tamil Brahmin families. p.srinivas During Jaanavaasam, the groom boardsa beautifully decorated car. He is accompanied by a large marriage procession of close friends and relatives. Professional musicians are invited to entertain the procession, by playing traditional wedding songs. Fireworks form a part of the marriage celebrations. The bride's brother puts garland around the groom's neck, in order to welcome him at the entrance of the wedding hall.
The bride's parents offer prayers to Lord Ganesha, who is believed to banish all obstacles. A puja is conducted in the presence of priest. The groom's family presents a new sari to the bride. Her forehead is adorned with a tilak made from chandan and kumkum and her sari's pallu is filled with fruits, beetle nuts, turmeric, kumkum and coconut. In addition, a flower garland is tied around her waist. Aarti is done for the bride.
Reading Of Lagna Pathirigai
The priest plays a prominent role in the reading of Lagna Pathirigai, a pre-marriage ritual conducted by the Tamil Brahmins. He also announces other details related to marriage, including the muhurtam and the venue for the wedding. Thereafter, mouthwatering lavish dinner is served.
Tamil Wedding Customs Rituals
Tamil wedding rituals are very elaborate. They involve a number of ceremonies that are performed to ensure that the bride and the groom, who are going to tie the wedding knot, enter their new phase of life in the most elegant manner. A number of ceremonies revolve around the wedding, which is very charming to look at. Every stage of the rituals is performed with religious observance. The ambience is filled with festivity. You would be highly enthusiastic about what is going to happen next, if you witness a typical Tamil Brahmin wedding. Go through the following lines to know more about the Tamil Brahmin wedding rituals.
Tamil Wedding Customs
Mangala Snaanam & Kashi Yatra
After applying oil, and a tilak of haldi-kimkum, the bride and the groom take the mangala snaanam (holy bath) at the respective homes, on the dawn of the wedding day. After having the mangala snaanam, the bridegroom pretends that he is leaving for Kashi and he is no more interested in performing the role of a householder. He stops only when the girl's father persuades him to take the responsibility of his daughter, by marrying her. Then the groom heads his way for the wedding pandal, where the bride and her family receives him. This beautiful custom is known as kashi yatra.
Exchange Of Garlands & Oonjal
After the groom enters the pandal, he exchanges garlands for three times with the bride. This ceremony is full of fun and frolic. Thereafter, they are seated together on a swing. Married women give the newly weds spoonful of milk and banana pieces to eat.
Kanyadaanam & Muhurtham
As the groom reaches the mandapam, the bride's father welcomes his son-in-law. The groom's mother-in-law puts kajal in his eyes. Thereafter, his father-in-lawwashes his feet, considering him as God. The bride is then seated in her father's lap with a coconut in her hands. Thereafter, the bride and her father offer coconut to the bridegroom. In the meantime, the bride's mother puts water over the coconut. This gesture symbolizes the kanyaadaan of their daughter. The bridegroom's family presents their daughter-in-law a nine-yard sari that she has to wear, when the mangalsutra will be tied around her neck.
Seeking the help of her sister-in-law and aunts, the bride wears the nine-yard sari and enters the mandapam. A sack of paddy is kept on the floor and the bride's father is made to sit on it. The bride is asked to sit on her father's lap. Paddy represents abundance and good fortune. The yoke of a farmer's plough is taken and touched to the forehead of the bride. It is done with the hope that the couple will always walk together. The priest and the relatives touch the Mangalsutra and thereby, bless the newly wedded couple. Thereafter, a sacred yellow thread is handed over to the bridegroom, which he puts around his wife's neck and ties two knots. The third knot is tied by the groom's sister. The three knots symbolize the union of the mind, spirit and body.
The bridegroom takes his wife's right hand in his left hand and leads her around the holy fire for seven times. In every round, she touches her feet to the grindstone hoping that their union will be firm forever.
Tamil Post - Wedding Customs Rituals
After organizing an enthralling wedding ceremony, the family of the bride and the groom head towards preparing the venue for the post-wedding celebrations. While grihapravesh is the post-marriage custom common in almost every region in India, the Tamil Brahmins have their own way of culminating the auspicious ceremony. Apart from grihapravesh, wherein the bride enters the groom's house formally in order to prosper his life there, many other rituals are exclusive to the Tamil-speaking Brahmins in India. Learn more about the Tamil post-wedding rituals in the article.
Tamil Post Wedding Coustoms
Depending upon the financial status, the families of the newly wed couple exchange gifts and clothes, to mark the culmination of the wedding. This custom is popularly known as sammandhi mariyathai.
Laaja Homam & Paaladaanam Custom
The bride's brother offers popped rice to the groom, which he offers to the holy fire. By doing this, the couple seeks the blessings of Agni that represents the divine power and light of God.
As a part of Paaladaanam custom, the couple seeks the blessings of the elderly members of the family by touching their feet.
After the completion of wedding ceremony, the bride is taken to her husband's house. Aarti is performed to welcome the newly married couple, as they stand at the doorstep to enter the home. Thereafter, a lavish feast is served at the wedding venue, when the newly wedded couple returns from home.
To facilitate intimacy, the groom's family hosts a reception party in the evening. People bless the newly weds and convey them their heartiest wishes. This is the time, when family, friends, relatives and faraway acquaintances attend the reception party to shower blessings, gifts and best wishes on the newly married couple.