In Tamil matrimonial, marriages are performed between Tamil speaking brides and Tamil speaking grooms. Knowing the Tamil language is considered as the most important criteria while selecting brides & grooms. This Tamil language has acquired the classical designation from Indian Government and it is the first language to receive this honorable status.
More than two thousand years, Tamil is an ancient and oldest language which has survived till today. Tamil became the first Indian language to be printed and published in the year 1578. It an official language which is spoken in Tamil Nadu, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as in Pondicherry.
Tamil weddings(or Kalyanam) are more aligned towards the rituals and customs which are age-old and less focused on the lavish affair. Tamil weddings can be performed during all the months except Aashad, Bhadrapad and Shunya as per Tamilian calendar.
Tamil wedding rituals which are carried out during the marriage can be grouped into three events:
Tamil Pre-Wedding Rituals
Panda Kaal Muhurtham
Panda Kaal Muhurtham ceremony is the first event which takes place during a Tamil wedding. It signifies that the marriage has begun. This ceremony is carried out one day before the wedding. The purpose of this ceremony is to seek blessings from the god and goddess. The parents from bride side as well as groom side, pray that the wedding ceremony takes place in an uninterrupted and peaceful manner and that no hurdles come in between. This ceremony is usually carried out at any Tamil god temples or grooms house.
Sumangali Prarthani is considered to be a holy prayer for married women. The meaning of sumangali is women who are blessed with a happy and a harmonious married life. All the married women in numbers like 3,5,7,9 are required to wear a traditional Madisar which is a nine-yard saree and prayers are offered to Sumangali and the bride to seek their blessings for Happy and prosperous married life. After finishing the puja, all the Sumangali are served feast on banana leaves.
In this process, seven various types of earthen pots are decorated with sandalwood and vermillion. The pots are then filled with nine different types of food grains which are called navadhaanyam along with the little amount of curd. These pots are then submerged in the water where the fishes feed on the grains and it is considered to bring a good luck for the couples new married life.
The Naandi Shradham is a Tamil wedding ritual where all the Brahmins are invited by both the families for a delicious south Indian feast. Along with feast Brahmins are offered sweets, flowers, coconut, paan supari and traditional clothes (veshti angavastram)
In Nichayathartham which is basically an engagement ceremony, the bride family performs Ganesh puja. After the Ganesh Puja, both the inlaws offer new clothes to bride and groom which is supposed to be worn after the puja. The ceremony is concluded by exchanging the ring in the presence of relatives, family members and friends.
The wedding date is announced officially in Lagna Pathirikai which in Tamil means wedding invitation.
Tamil Wedding Rituals & Tamil Matrimonial
Mangala Snanam is nothing but taking a holy bath. On the day of a Tamil wedding, the sumangalis prepares a paste of turmeric, sandalwood and kumkum. This paste is then applied early morning to both bride and groom. After the ritual, the bride and the groom take a bath in holy water. Post bath they starts getting ready for the wedding ceremony in Tamil style.
After taking a holy bath and getting ready for the wedding the Tamil bride offers her prayers to Gauri, the Hindu Goddess who represents austerity, virtue and purity. The brides seek her blessings for well being and a happy married life ahead.
In Kashi Yathra, the groom and all his relatives arrive at the wedding place. The groom then pretends that he would go off to Kashi, and he would renounce all the materialistic attachments to pursue religious studies. The father of the bride intercepts and tell him about the virtue of domestic life and promise to give his daughter to him in marriage. The groom agrees and accepts this proposal of brides father and returns to the wedding place to get married.
After the groom arrives at the wedding mandap, the parents of the bride clean his feet with the holy water, milk, sandalwood and kumkum. The grooms feet are then wiped and dried with petals of the flower.
After the Pada Puja, the bride and her family is then invited on to the wedding mandap. The couple then exchanges flower garlands which is the initial stage of the Tamil wedding ritual.
The bride and the groom are made to sit on Oonjal which means a swing. The women in the family then rock the swing gently and sing Oonjal Pattu songs which is a Tamil song. All the elders of the family then come forward to bless the couple one by one by feeding them milk and banana. The women from both the brides and grooms family then throw colored rice balls in the four directions to ward off evil energy.
Kanyadanam is one of the emotional events of Tamil matrimonial ritual where the bride sits on her father lap. The father then gives his daughters hand in the hand of the groom along with the coconut. The father seeks promise from the groom that he will take care of his daughter whole life who was once a baby and played in his lap.
After the emotional Kanyadanam process, the parents of the groom offers the bride a nine-yard saree made out of silk. The saree represents the acceptance of the girl into their family. The groom then comes forward and apply sindoor on his brides forehead and hair parting. The pujari hand over the blessed thali to the groom and the groom ties a Thaali which is similar to mangalsutra around the neck of his bride. The first two knots of the Thaali is tied by the groom and the two knots are tied by the grooms sister.
In this process, the bride gives her hand in the grooms hand and walks along with him around the sacred fire for seven times. The priest chants the Vedic mantras which refer to the seven sacred vows of a marriage. This Tamil wedding ritual represents the symbolic beginning of the bride and the grooms journey as a husband and wife. Next, the bride steps over the grindstone and the grooms hold her feet which symbolically represents the solidity of their union.
Post-Wedding Rituals of Tamil Matrimonial
The Tamil post-wedding ritual begins with a lavish reception in the evening where all the guests are served with delicious and variety of vegetarian food. After the Reception is over, there is a Tamil ritual known Sammandhi Maryathai and Paaladaanam. In this process, the bride prepares herself to leave her parents home and both bride and the groom seeks blessings from the elders.
Grihapravesham is the arrival of the bride at groom home. The grooms mother performs the aarti for the newlywed couple and welcomes the bride to the family.
The bride is welcomed into the family and introduced to all the family members in a formal way. After this interesting games are played with the bride and the groom just for fun. These post-wedding games bring smiles on the brides face and make her comfortable with new members of the family.
After the three days of Tamil matrimonial, the newlywed couple visits the brides home where the parents of the bride enjoy lunch with the groom. This is the final part of Tamil wedding ritual and considered as the end of all the formal post-wedding procedures.