Tamil people are known in India for their elegance and simplicity. And, the simplicity continues to their wedding ceremonies too. A Tamil marriage is completely different from the big and expensive wedding ceremonies in other parts of India. Haven’t attended a south Indian ceremony before? Want to know more about it?
Well, this article aims to disclose in detail how Tamil marriages happen, all the rituals during the ceremony.
Tamil marriages are all about traditions but this does not mean those are any less than the north Indian marriages. It may not be that extravagant as the Punjabi Shaadi but it is full of joy and elegance and when it comes to traditional values, any Tamil Shaadi is lavish! Tamilians value the rituals and customs a lot and they remain dedicated to following those with perfection.
About Tamil Marriage :
Tamil matrimony is all about loads of color, the struggle of flowers and the goblet of music. Now add millions of other elements to follow the south Indian wedding called Maangalyam or Thirumanam, commonly called in Tamil Nadu.
A proper Tamil shaadi is used to last for more than a week. The first ritual is called ‘Bhakshanam’ when people from various places join the place of the wedding. During this, home-cooked intricacies take place in the slightly fast wedding rituals that happen today due to the fast-paced life of modern people. But the typical Tamil weddings are truly a gala affair.
Pre-wedding jitters of Tamil marriages:
What does it take to make a classic Tamil wedding? The venue for the marriage is called mandapam which is organized by the bride’s family as they are in charge of handling the responsibility of organizing the wedding.
The mandapam remains decorated with floral designs and beautiful flowers are used to prepare the grand pattern of kolam. The next ritual is called Palikai Thalikkal. In this, a clay pot is used to put nine kinds of grains and females from both the families of the groom and bride water it. As they start watering the grains, they sprout which represents good luck for starting a new family. The bride herself joins the ritual of watering the grains after her marriage. The newly wedded couple then carries the pot to throw it into the water of a river or pond.
The Wedding Eve:
On the evening before the wedding day, ‘Nishchayathartam’ takes place. It is the engagement ceremony for the Tamilians. The groom visits the temple with his family members to seek blessings from the almighty. South Indian ‘baraat’ ceremony is known as ‘Jaana Vasam’. In this ceremony, the groom takes a tour of the place surrounding the venue. This happens to make sure that the world has no objections regarding the marriage.
After the groom returns to the wedding venue, the family members of the bride and groom exchange their ceremonial plates which remain decorated with fruits, flowers, jewels, and clothes.
Any modern-day Tamil matrimony offers a pre-wedding reception which is celebrated with a performance of classical music and includes delectable foods for both the family members and guests.
The Wedding Day:
• The morning of the D-Day of a Tamil marriage ceremony starts early like 4 am in the morning. But the presence of the infants and children is not mandatory in the ritual. Only the bride and the groom need to be at the ‘Vratam’. It is an oath-taking ceremony that is performed by both the families. They give their words to respect the vows and then visit a temple after it. ‘Vratam’ can be performed on the wedding eve too.
• After the performance of ‘Vratam’, guests start seeping in to perform ‘Kashi Yatra’. It is a symbolic tour of visiting Varanasi by the groom. Actually, in ancient times, young boys used to visit Varanasi after finishing their education to become sanyasi. A similar ritual is performed by the groom. He wears a traditional dress with sandals and holds in Gita in hand. According to this ritual, he walks towards the entrance pretending he is doing a Kashi Yatra. The father of the bride now acts to stop him from leaving home so that he can hand over his daughter’s responsibility to him. After the groom agrees not to go Kashi and promises to marry his daughter, ‘Oonjal’ starts.
• ‘Oonjal’ is the swing ceremony which is performed just before exchanging garlands between the bride and the groom. This ceremony is marked for extreme fun and liveliness. The ritual of exchanging garlands is quite the same all over India. The family members of both the bride and groom lift them to make the ritual fun-filled and also to prolong it. Guests and family members sing songs to spread happiness in the surrounding.
• To celebrate Oonjal the bride and her life partner are fed with milk which is a sweet nutritive drink prepared with bananas. The women of both the families circumambulate the drink. The Tamilians sing a unique set of songs especially dedicated for this event, which makes the event a bit more traditional. And then starts the main function the ‘Kanyadaanam’ along with ‘Maangalya Dhaaranam’.
• At the start of Kanyadaanam, the bride has to sit on the lap of her father when the pandit chants some particular mantras dedicated for the occasion. The father then joins the hand of his daughter with her life partner. He hands over his daughter’s responsibility to his son-in-law and advises him to take care of his daughter forever.
• In the next stage, the bride needs to wear the saree gifted by her life partner. She drapes it in traditional fashion and the groom’s sister helps her. She brings the bride to the mandapam again where the groom is busy following marriage rituals. Now it’s the turn of the groom to tie the mangalsutra around the bride’s neck. After that, he holds the hand of his life partner and leads to the fire of the agnikund. Now, it’s time to make ‘Saptapadi’. By stooping down, he helps his bride in taking seven rounds around the fire. The ritual of Saptapadi is quite similar in all over India. The bride and the groom need to take an oath together after completing each ‘fera’. After finishing those, the groom guides his bride towards a grinding stone which usually kept next to the agnikund so that she can place her foot on that. It is symbolic of the bride’s power and responsibility for leading a smooth and happy married life by destroying all the hurdles on the way.
• Then starts the ‘Honam’, where the groom sits in front of the agnikund with his life partner to seek blessings from the God.
• Finally, after every ritual is finished, they head for a grand feast together with their families and guests. It is followed by the Nalangu ceremony when the young couple plays games and songs.
• Then is the time for ’Griha Pravesham’ when the bride enters the house of the groom.
So, overall, Tamil matrimony is a colorful, musical, vibrant and gala affair. You can join the matrimonial sites to get a Tamil life partner for you. This is truly a memorable experience to tie a knot with your beloved in such a grand way.