Tamilians are religious and simple people. Their simplicity and profound belief in their culture can be seen in their wedding. When marriages take place in Tamil culture, there are many rituals and each ritual tells about ancient culture of Tamilians. Let’s have a look at significant rituals that take place and become a witness of a union of two Tamil souls.
Pallikai Thellichal is a ritual that takes place a day before of wedding. All the married women sprinkle water on pots filled with grains of nine types. While sprinkling water the women from a group sing traditional songs. These grains when sprout a day after wedding is then immersed in a pond so fishes can be feed with it. The feeding fish means asking for blessing for a newly married couple.
Panda Kaal Muhurtham
Every family (dynasty) has a goddess which is known as a “Kula devi” or family deity it is very important to seek her blessings before wedding. It is believed that her blessings will accomplish all the rituals and wedding successfully.
Receiving the groom
On a day before wedding, the groom is welcomed by the family of a bride. Bride’s brother smears the brows of a groom with sandalwood, kumkum and garlands him. Coconut is broken to ward off any evil. Parents of bride gift sweets, beetle nuts and leaves to groom’s parents and aarti is done of a groom.
During Naandi, the Brahmins are honored with gifts, and sweets to seek blessings for new couple and their lifelong alliance.
Nischayadhartham or Jaana vasam
Nischayadhartham is like engagement wherein bride and groom exchange ring. The Lord Ganesha is worshiped by both the families for uninterrupted wedding. Bride gets gifts from groom’s parents like sari, ornaments, etc. After this, reading of lagna Pathirigai takes place, which is formal announcement of wedding among family, relatives and friends.
Kasi Yare and Oonjal
On the day of a wedding purify bath takes place, which is known as a mangal snanam. Before bath haldi, kumkum and oil are applied on the body of bride and groom. Later, Kashi Yara takes place, which is full of fun. During Kashi Yatra the groom proclaims that he is discarding the worldly pleasure and going away for Kashi Yatra. However, the father of bride requests a groom to stay back and accept his daughter as a life partner or wife.
On his request the groom proceeds to Mandapam to meet the bride. They both exchange the garland and accept each other. However it is the joyful ritual because a bride does not accept garland and move away from a groom at least twice. Only in third attempt she accepts the garland. Later during oonjal ceremony couple is seated on swing and given mixture of milk and banana to eat. The married women use cooked rice balls smeared in milk to ward off evil eye. The milk is sprinkled on toes of a couple and rice balls are thrown in four different directions.
Kanyadan and Muhurtham
Kanyadanam is the ritual when father gives away all his responsibility towards a daughter to the groom. He washes the toes of his son-in-law and mother of a bride applies Kajal to groom. The parents of a groom offer nine yard sari to a bride. Priest ties sari of bride and scarf of a groom and they take seven steps around the sacred fire in presence of Sanskrit chants from Vedas.
Later a groom ties mangal sutra around bride’s neck. And after finishing seven steps around a sacred fire, a new couple takes blessings of elders. This is flowed by grand feast of reception.
After all these ceremonies, a bride is escorted to her new home. Where she is being warmly welcomed by family of a groom.