South Indian weddings aren’t as loud and extravagant as North Indian weddings. But they sure as hell are lavish and a lot of fun. And we’re here to tell you about Tamil wedding traditions and what makes them special and so fun. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend a Tamil wedding, you already know what we’re talking about. But if you haven’t, then get ready to get hit by a FOMO attack! The traditions are sacred but very entertaining at the same time. Let’s get started!
Know All About The Unique Tamil Wedding Traditions And Their Significance-
1. Panda Kaal Muhurtham
This pre-wedding ritual is performed by both bride and groom’s family. They offer prayers to God for a peaceful and joyous wedding. To proceed with the rest of the wedding preparations with God’s blessings.
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2. Sumangali Prarthanai
In this Tamil wedding tradition, the bride-to-be takes blessings from the Sumangalis i.e. married women of the family. The puja is conducted so that the bride-to-be can seek their blessings for a blissful married life. The Sumangalis are always invited in odd numbers i.e 3, 5, or 7. All the Sumangalis wear a traditional nine-yard saree as required by the ritual. And are then served with an authentic South Indian feast on banana leaves.
3. Pallikai Thellichal
This auspicious ceremony is conducted for the bride and groom to have a happy journey in their married life. Seven earthen pots are decorated with sandalwood and are filled with nine types of grains mixed with curd. Then these pots are immersed in the water to feed the fishes.
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A day before the wedding the groom seeks blessings from his father for his transition from bachelorhood to becoming a married man. And a yellow thread is tied around his waist. Similarly, the bride seeks blessings from her mother and a yellow thread is tied to her waist as well. The significance of tying the thread is to ward off any kind of evil vibe and energy.
5. Naandi Shrardham
For this ritual, ten or fewer Brahmins are invited for an authentic South Indian feast by the bride and groom’s family. And the families pray to their ancestors. After the feast is done, the Brahmins are offered flowers, coconuts, betel nuts, fruits, sweets, and traditional clothes. And they request the Brahmins to bless the couple.
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The formal engagement ceremony is called nichayathartham. The groom’s family visits the bride’s house and gifts her a traditional saree and jewelry. Then the groom’s parents apply sandalwood paste and vermillion on her forehead. Then the bride’s family presents the groom with new sets of clothes as well.
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Both bride and groom perform this ritual at their respective homes. On the wedding day, the bride and groom are covered in haldi, kumkum, and oil. They are then showered with holy water. It is a lot of fun for both families while performing this ceremony. After that, the bride performs a Gauri puja at her place of residence. Goddess Gauri is considered a symbol of purity.
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8. Kashi Yatra
Another amusing ceremony in a Tamil wedding is the Kashi Yatra ritual. In this, the groom pretends to go away on a holy pilgrimage rather than getting married. He is given a walking stick, umbrella, slippers, etc. as bare essentials for his journey. And the bride’s father has to pretend to stop him by offering him his daughter for marriage. The groom relents and proceeds to the mandap. It is more of a mock ritual in which everyone has a lot of fun.
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9. Malai Maatral
The bride enters the mandap and the couple performs the garland ceremony. They repeat this 3 times to begin the holy union of marriage.
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10. Oonjal Ceremony
Oonjal is a swing on which the couple is seated and the married women of the family offer them some milk and banana. Then they are showered with rice grains to ward off evil.
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After the oonjal ceremony, the end of the bride’s saree is tied with the groom’s angavastaram. And she proceeds to sit on her father’s laps while holding a coconut in her hand. This symbolizes that the father is giving away his loving daughter who had played in his laps. And seeks groom’s promise to always take care of her. Then the father supports her daughter’s hand while offering the coconut to the groom as the bride’s mother pours the holy water.
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12. Muhurtham Tamil Wedding Traditions
Following the kanyadaanam ritual, the bride is presented with a nine-yard silk saree by the groom’s parents. Then the groom ties the mangalsutra to the bride’s neck, the first two knots are tied by the groom and the third by his sister. Then he applies the sindoor to the bride’s forehead. Finally the bride and groom take seven sacred rounds of the holy fire.
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And that’s a wrap, folks! These extensive and beautiful ceremonies are filled with the love and blessings of both families. And there’s a lot of enjoyment with sweet, childish gambits here and there.
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