Ethnical weddings are filled with timeless rituals, customs and traditions. Today we will speak about something special: Tamil weddings. Tamil people also known as Tamils or Tamilians are natives of Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India and north-eastern region of Sri Lanka.
A Tamil marriage ceremony usually lasts over two days and is an occasion for all the relatives to come together. Tamil weddings have some restrictions concerning their data. They can’t be held in the months of Aashad, meaning July 15th to August 15th, Bhadrapad or September 15th to October 15th and Shunya, December 15th to January 15th, these periods being considered inauspicious.
All Tamil wedding customs are followed with religious observance. The ambiance of the event is full of happiness and celebration. At the engagement, the wife to be is given a silk sari while the boy is given clothes by their in-laws.
The pre-wedding rituals include fasting, pooja and gifts exchange. Before the wedding, takes place the Paalikali Thalippu. During this ritual, seven clay pots are decorated with sandalwood paste and kumkum powder. These are then filled with curd and nine types of grains. Next day, the pots are thrown in a pond as a blessing for the couple.
The next is the Sumangali Prarthanai. Sumangali are women passing away before their husband who are considered lucky. The relatives are praying to all these women, asking that the bride should also have the same fate.
Kalyanaponnu is a bathing ritual performed separately where the bride and groom are washed with scented oils and after bathing they are not supposed to leave their houses till the wedding day. The Navgraha Pooja is performed for the nine astral planets that are considered to rule over a persons’ fate.
As a symbol of the ancestors’ souls of both bride and groom, ten Brahmins are invited for the Naandi Shraartham. The two families honor the ancestors with gifts of paan-supari, fruits, flowers, coconuts and clothes.
The ceremony is elaborate, being performed some rituals typical to the Brahmin community: oonjal, kashi yatra and kanyaadan when the bride sits on her father’s lap. The wedding day begins with the Mangalasnanam. This is a ceremonial bathing early in the morning for the bride and the groom together.
After dressing up, the bride must pray to Gauriamma during the Gauri Pooja. Another ritual for the groom is the Kashi Yatra where the groom simulates to leave for a pilgrimage to devote himself to God and a life of prayer called Kashi. The bride’s father asks him to accept his daughter as wife and fulfill his responsibilities as a married man.
The groom is then taken to the marriage mandap where seated on a swing, he exchanges a garland with his wife as a symbol of their union. After that it is performed the ritual of Kanyadan where the father of the bride hands over his daughter to the groom who. The marriage ends with the couple taking sevens steps together.
Then, the groom puts toe rings on the bride’s right feet. Every ritual is accompanied by specific songs and dances. Two of the most common musical instruments that play an important role in the Tamil marriage rituals are the Naathaswaram and the Melam.
Some of the most popular Tamil wedding songs include:
Mounamana Neram performed by SP Balasubramaniam Janaki
Chokkathangam performed by Yenna Ninaicha
Koliqundu Kannu performed by Karthik Kalyani
Chithiraiyil Yeena performed by Karthik and Malaiamma
Kadhalikum Aasai performed by Kay Kay, Chinmayee and Timmy.11