A wedding is the coming together of two hearts, two individuals and two families. And with Indian weddings, it is even more special since it is a union that lasts forever and is celebrated in the most grand and royal manner. All over India, no matter what culture or religion, weddings are always something to celebrate with pomp and splendour, perform various rituals and traditions and enjoy the ceremonies with a large number of people!
The Tamil Matrimonials
Especially in the Tamil Brahmin community, the weddings are celebrated in the Vedic style with extra importance to traditions that have been passed over for centuries. All weddings require a lot of preparation on the bride’s side as well as for the bride since she is going to another home. Similarly, in the Tamil Brahmin community, the girl is required to prepare sincerely for her wedding and she is also required to perform various rituals during the wedding ceremonies. In many families, Tamil weddings go on for 5 days like the olden days. Some cultures have accepted a modern way of weddings and opt for a 3 day wedding. However, each wedding is full of rituals that include:
This is performed separately by the Tamil bride and groom. A kappu, holy thread is tied on the bride’s wrist to ward off all evil spirits and protect her.
Nitchayatartham – The Engagement
The bride and groom usually perform this ceremony in a temple with blessings of the Lord and elder members of the family. The bride is given a new saree by the groom’s sister at this time and she changes her clothes for the next part of the ceremony. The priest reads the details of the marriage and many times, this is followed by a grand reception like celebration for family and friends.
After the groom comes back from his Kashiyatra, he is welcomed with the bride and they exchange garlands with a lot of fun and frolic around. Once the garlands are exchanged, the couple sits on a swing and they are fed milk, bananas and sugar by women from both the sides. The groom holds the bride’s hand while getting up from the swing and takes her to the marriage dais.
Kanyadaanam and MangalyaDhaaranam
The first bit of this ceremony is when the father gives away the bride to the groom and asks him to take care of her. The bride is given a new brand saree which she wears with the help of the groom’s sister and comes to the stage where the groom is continuing with the rituals. The couple takes blessings from various deities and then the groom ties a mangalsutra to the bride. In Tamil matrimonials, there are two mangalsutras, one from the bride’s family and one from the groom’s family. Then the couple go ahead for a sapthapadi, seven steps of vows where they officially get married as per the rituals.
A Tamil bride has a lot of interesting rituals to participate in, right from the pre-wedding, wedding to post wedding. All of them involve some sacred customs, family rituals and taking blessings from family members and deities.