Tamil weddings tend to be very lavish when it comes to following certain traditions which makes it a Visually Pleasing Event. They give a lot of importance to the manner in which certain rituals should be performed. The following are 9 wedding rituals and traditions that are still practiced in Tamil Nadu.
1. Mangala Snaanam: Purifying bath.
This tradition occurs on the dawn of the actual wedding day in both the bride and groom’s houses, individually. Haldi, kumkum and some oil is put on the bride and groom before they take a purifying bath and prepare for the wedding ceremony.
2. Gauri Puja:
The Goddess Gauri is seen as a symbol of purity. This is the only tradition which is performed by only the bride on her wedding.
3. Kashi Yatra:
In this tradition, the groom acts like he does not want to marry and pretends to go on a holy pilgrimage to Kashi. He is given a walking stick and a few essential items, such as umbrella, slippers etc. Then the bride’s father stops him and tries to persuade him to married life and offers his daughter’s hand in marriage. The groom agrees and is taken to the mandap.
4. Pada Puja:
The bride’s mother washes the groom’s feet with water, chandan and kumkum. Then the bride is called into the mandap. In certain regions, the groom’s mother is the one who washes his feet.
5. Maalai Maatral:
Next, the bride and groom exchange flower garlands three times to start their holy union. This is a typical tradition found in most Indian marriages.
6. Oonjal (Swing ceremony):
Married ladies of the family then offer some milk and banana to the bride and groom as they are seated on a swing. Balls of rice are thrown around them as it is believed to ward of evil.
The bride sits on her father’s lap, while the father is giving his daughter away to the groom. This tradition shows that a father is giving the baby daughter who had once played in his lap and now is seeking the groom’s promise that he will always care for and protect her.
Now, the wedding rituals end. The groom applies kumkum or sindoor on the bride’s hair parting and ties a Thaali (translates to mangalsutra) around her neck.
Finally, the bride and the groom take seven sacred circles around the fire in a ritual called Saptapadi. There is another tradition in which the groom holds the left toe of the bride and helps her to walk along a grindstone kept near the ritual fire. This portrays their holy union which will be solid as a rock. It will also remind the bride of her responsibilities and roles towards her new family.