Tamil wedding is a vast affair, wherein a number of rituals are followed. Well before the wedding day, people (including the family members of the prospective bride and the groom) are engaged in the preparations of the ceremony, which is considered a very important turning point in the couple's life. This is the reason why, marriage is given supreme importance and a number of ceremonies are conducted before, during and after it. You would just like to stand and witness the typical Tamil Brahmin wedding, which incorporates unique customs. Explore all about the Tamil pre-wedding rituals in the following lines.
Tamil Pre-Wedding Customs
Panda Kaal Muhurtham
Panda Kaal Muhurtham is a pre-wedding ritual conducted by the Tamilians, in order to seek blessings from the Almighty. Generally, a short ritual is performed a day prior to the wedding, wherein both the families of the bride and the groom offer prayers to the Lord. This is done to ensure that the wedding preparations proceed without any hassle.
Receiving The Groom
When the groom's family reaches the wedding venue on the morning of one day before the wedding, they are greeted and welcomed warmly, by the bride's family, by offering them a tray containing flowers, beetle nuts, fruits and mishri. Rose water is also sprinkled on them.
The bride's brother applies tilak made by mixing sandalwood paste and kumkum, on the groom's forehead. Thereafter, the brother also puts a garland around the groom's neck. Then, the bride's mother serves a delicious dessert prepared from condensed milk. Thereafter, aarti is performed by an elder female member of the bride's family. In order to culminate the ritual and to ward-off the evil eye, a coconut is broken on the ground.
Vratham & Pallikai Thellichal
Vratham (fasting) takes place one day prior to the marriage. The fasting is performed by the bride as well as the groom's family. In the mean time, Vedic hymns are chanted, which is conducted by the priest (Vaadyar). This ritual is performed to invoke the blessings of ancestors and the Almighty.
Pallikai Thellichal ceremony is also held a day before the wedding. It involves the filling of clay pots with nine varieties of grains. Married women pour water from either sides of the pot. This is followed by singing of traditional songs. The grains are allowed to sprout, by soaking them in water for a day or two. Then the clay pots are kept inside the pond, so that the fishes can feed on the sprouted grains and shower blessings to the couple, who is going to tie the nuptial knot.
Naandi & Jaanavaasam
Naandi ceremony is conducted to honor the Pithrus (ancestors) and seek their blessings for a long and prosperous life. The ceremony is conducted by Brahmins, who are presented with gifts and sweets. Families seek the blessings of their ancestors, to ensure that the wedding is carried on smoothly.
Although the ritual of Jaanavaasam has faded away with the passing time, it is still followed by some Tamil Brahmin families. During Jaanavaasam, the groom boards a beautifully decorated car. He is accompanied by a large marriage procession of close friends and relatives. Professional musicians are invited to entertain the procession, by playing traditional wedding songs. Fireworks form a part of the marriage celebrations. The bride's brother puts garland around the groom's neck, in order to welcome him at the entrance of the wedding hall.
The bride's parents offer prayers to Lord Ganesha, who is believed to banish all obstacles. A puja is conducted in the presence of priest. The groom's family presents a new sari to the bride. Her forehead is adorned with a tilak made from chandan and kumkum and her sari's pallu is filled with fruits, beetle nuts, turmeric, kumkum and coconut. In addition, a flower garland is tied around her waist. Aarti is done for the bride.
Reading Of Lagna Pathirigai
The priest plays a prominent role in the reading of Lagna Pathirigai, a pre-marriage ritual conducted by the Tamil Brahmins. He also announces other details related to marriage, including the muhurtam and the venue for the wedding. Thereafter, mouthwatering lavish dinner is served.