When the bride and the groom make their way to the Mandap adorned in the hues of red and gold the guest look at them with awe and pray for their successful married life ahead. Unlike the pomp and shore of the marriages in north, the Tamil Brahmin weddings are simple and graceful; however, each and every ritual reflects the essence of the lavish cultural heritage that the Tamil culture beholds. Many rituals are carried out as the part of the wedding, a brief account of some of the rituals and ceremonies are given below. The details will give you an insight of a typical Tamil Brahmin wedding.
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The Wedding Rituals Of A Typical Tamil Brahmin Wedding Begins With :
- Nichayahthartam : The ritual makes the relation of the bride and groom official. Nichayahthartam marks the engagement of the bride and the groom. After engagement, the priest decides the date of the marriage and the wedding cards are distributed to the guests.
- Commencement Of The Wedding Ritual : The family of the bride welcomes the groom's family at the marriage venue or the kalyanamandappam. The mother of the bride keeps sugar candy, rose water, sandalwood paste, and Kumkum in a platter and performs a traditional Arti. The garlands are exchanged and refreshments are served to the groom's family.
- Kappukettal And Vratham : The rituals before wedding are performed separately by the bride and the groom. The ritual begins with Vratham. For the bride, Vratham involves trying a ‘Kappu’ or the holy thread on her wrist to keep evil spirits away. For the groom, the Vratham involves seeking the blessings of Lord Indra, soma, Chandra, and Agni. After Vratham, the Palikai ceremony takes place, in which 9 types of grains are mixed with curd and the mixture is stored in earthen pots. The pots are then immersed in the water to feed the fishes.
- Kashi Yatra : The groom pretends to leave the wedding venue, and the father of the bride convinces the groom to stop and marry his daughter.
- Malai Mathal : 3 garlands are exchanged between the bride and the groom.
- Onjal : The bride and groom are made to sit on a decorated swing and they are offered curd and bananas to eat.
- Kanyadanam : With Kanyadanam, the father of the bride hands over the responsibility of her daughter to the groom and the groom promises to take care of her forever.
- Mangaladharanam : The groom ties a 'thaali' or 'mangalsutra' around the neck of the bride and fills Kumkum in her hair partition.
- Saptapadi : The bride and groom take 7 rounds of the holy fire and exchange vows.
- Treading On The Grindstone : The groom helps the bride to tread on a grindstone.