Maybe you got a glimpse of Tamil weddings at Two States and that has injected in you the desire to know more about Tamil Weddings. Weddings in themselves are gala affairs where you can actually open your heart to invite immeasurable fun and fiesta! Thalaiva! It’s a go- getter fun and one shouldn’t miss the fun if he or she is lucky enough to be present in one. So if you have any Ramaswamy, Ramalingam, Iyer etc anywhere near you-at office, in the neighbourhood, just get hold of them, bribe them in any way possible and make sure that they invite you for their wedding!
123’s of Tamil Weddings
You can use your buckets of enthusiasm stored within you, if you are religious minded. There is always some religious pooja going on most of the time. But they are really dynamic and well, stamped by heritage and culture as Tamil tradition thrives to be one of the oldest traditions of Hinduism. it’s a tribute to visit the alleys of the past that invites a deep, rueful nostalgia and certainly pays homage to traditions, therefore a witnessing a Tamil, especially an Iyer wedding is revisiting the past-traditions, heritage and culture . Imagine all the silk and glistening, rich kanjeevaram sarees and how they lend a more vibrant look to the ceremony with ladies decked up in make up and the atmosphere echoing love, unity, bonds of life and togetherness.
Tamils are family oriented and you get to see a lot of family and even the farthest relatives coming for the wedding. To them, a wedding is one of the most vital thing in life and is a sacred and pure ritual.
A Tamil wedding ceremony is held generally for two or three days and can take place in almost any time of the year, except for the months of Aashad and Bhadra or Bhadrapad and also Shunya. Also Tuesdays and Saturdays are considered to be baleful.
Indian weddings are divided into two or three parts- the pre-wedding, wedding and rituals post the wedding. Tamil weddings are just the same. It all starts with the Panda Kaal Muhurtham.
In this the families of both the bride and the groom pray to God, or their Kuldevata , a day before marriage. The families of both the sides fast as well and seek the blessings of their ancestors respectively. Then they exchange gifts and sweets later and coconut is broken before the mandapam for warding off the evil forces.
The vratham, or the fasting is right before the marriage and then is Pallikai Thellichal, in which married women pour water in clay pots consisting of nine grains. These are later immersed in a nearby pond for the fish to eat and bless the couple.
Naandi and Jaanavaasam are up next in which the priests perform puja for the ancestors of both the families and seek the God’s blessings. In Jaanavaasam the groom is welcomed as he arrives in a well decorated car, by the bride’s brother. The Lagna Pathirigai is next in which the priests decide the muhurtham, i.e., the wedding date and time.
The wedding day starts with the Mangala Snanam or the sacred ritual bath. It is supposed to be a purifying bath for both the bride and the groom. Then there is the Kashi Yatra which is a bit fun. The groom then suddenly gets up and announces that he is not going to marry and going to lead a life of a sage in Kashi. As he heads for that, the bride’s father stops him and convinces him to give up on that and instead marry his daughter.
The groom then heads towards the mandapam and is given a welcome with garland and aarti. The exchange of garlands between the couple is next and then the Oonjal where the bride and groom are seated on a swing and are fed small pieces of bananas with milk or soaked in milk by their families and relatives.
Then comes the Kanyadaanam in which the bride’s father gives a coconut to the groom as the mother of the bride pours sacred water on it. This signifies the family giving away their daughter to the groom and she becomes part of his family.
After this is the Mangalyadharanam or the tying of the Mangalsutra with three knots around the bride’s neck. The three knots signify the union of spirit, mind and body of the couple. The vermillion or the sindur is then put on the maang or the parting of hair of the bride. After this seven rounds are taken around the fire on the Mandapam which is said to be the most sacred. This is a common ritual in Indian weddings and is known as Saptapadi. The wedding is then said to be completed.
Once the wedding is done, gifts are exchanged between the families and this is called Sammandhi Mariyatai and then the bride leaves for her new home with the groom and his family. There she is welcomed with the traditional aarti and Grihapravesham takes place. The reception takes place in the evening where the guests meet the couple and gift them. A delicious dinner of all Tamil dishes follows next.
By Joyeeta Kundu
Related articles across the web