Tamil matrimony customs are typically conservative and traditional. Each Tamil group has its wedding customs, while the core events remain consistent. Weddings are getting shorter these days, and our Tamil marriage Customs are no exception. Most Tamil weddings still follow the old Tamil matrimony traditions.
Usually, weddings happen throughout the year, except for the Tamil months of Aadi, Margali, and Puratasi. Although recent changes have altered the marriage in Tamil society, arranged marriage continues to take its form.
In Tamil matrimony, horoscope matching is important to decide on the wedding. Horoscopes or nakshatras play a huge role according to Vedic rules using twelve points or Poruthams such as Nadi, Yoni, Rasi, Gana, and so on. The matching of horoscopes helps to decide essential things in the wedding. And this includes the date and time of the wedding or muhurta.
Both the Tamil groom’s and bride’s sides perform this ritual. The two families go to a temple or may conduct a special puja at one of their homes to pray to God for the wedding to go smoothly. Typically, this is done the day before the wedding.
This is a unique puja for Sumangalis, or married ladies, who participate in numerous wedding customs. These women are usually close relatives or family pals. The women grouped in odd numbers such as three, five, or seven, are dressed in traditional sarees. Following the puja, the bride gets blessings from each Sumangali. Afterwards, she presents them with gifts such as a saree or jewellery.
Five or seven married ladies from the bride or Tamil groom or bride’s households paint earthenware pots with vermillion and sandalwood paste. Basically, each pot contains nine different varieties of grains or navadhaanyam and a small amount of curd. A Kolam, or traditional south Indian sand art design thought to bring good luck, is created in a designated location within the house.
Usually, this ritual happens at the bride’s side and begins with Ganesha puja. Following the Puja, the Tamil groom’s family hands over the bride’s attire, jewellery, and presents. The bride’s family provides the groom with clothing and gifts. The bride and groom then wear the dresses presented to them by their respective families. After that, the groom’s sister applies tilak and kumkum on the bride’s forehead. Meanwhile, the bride’s brother does the same to the groom. Later, the bride and groom exchange engagement rings in front of their loved ones.
The procedure entails announcing the wedding and issuing a verbal invitation to the ceremony. After examining the couple’s horoscopes, the family priests choose the most auspicious time for the wedding, which they formally draught in the Lagna Patrika. The Lagna Patrika should explicitly state the names of the family members, the bride and groom, the marriage date, and the exact marriage time.
The wedding day of a Tamil marriage ceremony begins at around 4 a.m. However, infants and children are not required to participate in the ritual. Only the bride and groom should attend the Vratam. They take their oath during this ceremony and then go to a temple. Vratam is due on the wedding eve.
Guests begin to arrive after Vratam to carry out Kashi Yatra. The Tamil groom is on a representative tour of Varanasi. Historically, after finishing their schooling, males would travel to Varanasi to become sanyasis. The groom follows a similar tradition. He puts on a traditional dress and sandals while holding Gita.
He walks towards the entry profess, indicating that he is performing a Kashi Yatra, according to this tradition. The bride’s father now intervenes to prevent him from leaving the house so that he might marry his daughter and lead a happy life.
The swing ceremony is performed right before the bride and groom exchange garlands. This ceremony is associated with a lot of fun and vibrancy. The practice of exchanging garlands is universal throughout India. Guests and family members sing songs to spread joy throughout the gathering.
During Oonjal, the bride and groom drink a sweet nutritious drink made with bananas. Both household women prepare the drink together. The Tamilians sing traditional songs related to this festival, making the function more traditional.
During Kanyadaanam, the bride must sit on her father’s knees as the pandit chants unique mantras during the event. After that, the bride’s father will hand his daughter to the groom. And entrusts his daughter’s care to his son-in-law in exchange for a pledge to look after his daughter.
After the Kanyadanam ritual, the groom’s parents gift the bride with a nine-yard silk saree as a symbol of their acceptance of the bride into their household. Usually, this ritual represents the bride and groom working together to conquer life’s problems. The priest blesses the Thaali, and the groom ties the Thaali, which is the south Indian version of a mangalsutra, around the bride’s neck.
The bride and groom hold hands and go around the sacred fire seven times. The pries repeat Vedic mantras that outline the seven holy vows of marriage. This ritual symbolises the start of the couple’s journey as husband and wife. Following that, the groom holds the bride’s left toe and keeps it over a grindstone. This shows the strength of their bond symbolically.
The ceremony is followed by a formal celebration in the evening with a rich vegetarian buffet for the guests. The newlyweds sit on throne-like chairs on top of a stage to greet all of the guests.
The pair pays a visit to the bride’s family home three days after the wedding. They are greeted warmly and served a lovely lunch. The bride’s parents present the couple with clothing and jewellery. This ritual concludes the formal wedding celebrations.