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Hindu Wedding Customs in Tamil Nadu

Posted on June 14, 2011 by pariharadotcom There have been 1 comment(s)

Tamil Wedding

Traditions, customs and rituals are a part of every wedding and the Tamil Hindu Wedding is no
different. Marriages in Tamil Nadu have ancient practices passed down generations, making them
unique and unparalleled.

A Tamil wedding is not very extravagant, though significant stress is laid on abiding by Tamil
traditions and customs. Preparations for the marriage ceremonies start months before. Once a
match is finalized, the families of the bride and the groom start arrangements right away. An
auspicious month for marriage is chosen, marriage date is fixed and a marriage hall booked.

Sumangali Prarthanai is performed a few days before the wedding date to pray that the bride should
be blessed with the privilege of dying before her husband. Pre-marriage rituals commence with
Pandakaal Muhurtham, as per which families of the bride and the groom take the blessings of the
Lord separately, for a successful, uninterrupted marriage ceremony. Virtham is then performed by
the bride and the groom individually. The girl ties a sacred thread around her wrist, whereas the boy
invokes names of the Lords. Mud pots are sprinkled with grains and watered. These pots are put in a
pond next morning, so that fishes can feed on the sprouted grains. This ritual, called Pallikai
Thelichal, is done by the girl’s family in order that the couple gets the blessing of the fishes.

Brahmins, who represent ancestors of both sides, are invited for a feast to receive their blessings, as
part of the Naandi ritual. Both families assemble in a temple for Janavasam or Mapilai Azhaipu. The
groom, now clad in a new dress, is taken to the the mandapam by the bride’s family and welcomed
with a tray having fresh fruits, flowers, paan and supari, the nadaswarams being played behind. Rose
water is sprinkled and sweets are offered to the bridegroom. Nicchiyadharatham is the next
important ceremony. In this, the bride is made to sit and Ganesha puja is performed, after which she
is given a saree by the groom’s family. The Lagna patrigai(invitation card) is formally read out aloud
by the priests.

The next morning, the bride and the groom are required to take an early morning bath with scented
oils(Mangalasnanam). The marriage ceremony begins with the Kashi Yatra- the groom declares that
he is leaving for Kashi to live an austere life. The bride’s father interferes and asks the groom to
instead marry his daughter, a request that is finally accepted. The bride and groom then garland
each other thrice to symbolize their union. Following this is the Oonjal ritual, in which the bride and
the groom are seated on a swing and pal pazham is offered to them by married women, who then
throw coloured rice balls to keep away any evil. The groom’s feet are washed by the bride’s
father(Pada poojai) and the bride is escorted to the mandapam by her maternal uncle. The bride’s
father then performs Kanyadanam, wherein the bride is made to sit on her father’s lap, to symbolize
his giving away of daughter’s hand in marriage. Next, the bride leaves the mandapam and returns in
a nine-yard saree given to her by the groom, who ties the sacred thread or mangalsutra around her
neck during the Muhurtam(auspicious time). The union of the bride and the groom is complete after
the Saptapadhi ritual, in which the groom takes the bride’s hand and both complete seven rounds
around the sacred fire. After the completion of all the ceremonies, the guests and family members
proceed for a sumptuous South-Indian lunch.

The bride is welcomed into her new home with an arti during the Graha Pravesam ceremony. The
newly wed then take part in wedding games, a tradition known as Nalangu. A formal reception
ceremony is held so that any other friends or relatives of the couple can give their blessings. The
reception concludes with a grand feast. The bride is finally sent-off by her family after being given
packed food(kattusadam).

Tamil marriage thus signifies the forging of a life-long relationship between the bride and the groom
and their unwavering love and commitment towards each other.

-Archana Hariharan, Guest writer,

This post was posted in Sanskrit Slokas and Mantras, Rituals & its meaning, Festivals and was tagged with Hindu Wedding, Customs, Tamil Nadu

1 Response to Hindu Wedding Customs in Tamil Nadu

  • Nags says:

    The Tamil wedding requires observance of several rituals that is performed before, during the wedding and after the wedding in the presence of the prospective bride and the groom.Unlike the practices in trend in other countries, marriages of Tamil youths are arranged and brought about by their parents and guardians. The custom formalities followed in Tamil Nadu is perhaps exclusive.

    Posted on July 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm