An Indian wedding

An Indian wedding is not a one-day affair. It goes on for days on end. In this part of the world, every occasion is celebrated in a grand way. The ceremonies are never-ending and are a treat to the eye! Anyone who has observed an Indian wedding can vouch for this fact! Rituals start right from the day when the wedding is fixed and are completed mostly a few days after the celebrations! Food, music, dance define an Indian wedding!

A Tamil Wedding

A Tamil wedding is a typical Indian wedding where lots of people come together from all over the world to bless the new couple. The people down south are simple-minded and have simple lifestyles. This quality is reflected in their wedding celebrations. Like any other Indian wedding, its rituals and ceremonies are held from a few days before the wedding to a few days after it. A Tamil marriage is presided over by the priest and several rituals are performed. The ceremonies include appeasing the Hindu Gods and Goddesses and the couple taking vows to be with each other.

Tamil marriages are still kept a lot traditional, following old customs and trails and rituals. The ceremonies are wonderful to watch. There is a ritual in which the groom pretends to be getting away from the wedding ceremonies signifying that he does not want to take up responsibilities of his married life. Thereafter the father of the bride brings him back before the priest starts the wedding rituals.

The ceremonies do not come to an end with the wedding, but they are continued over the next few days.

Post wedding rituals of a Tamil marriage

Just after the wedding is completed, the couple dutifully goes out in order to locate the Pole Star together. Thereafter they return to the wedding altar. The bride then offers rice rains to the fire, which is again a common sight in most Indian weddings and the groom puts a toe right on his wife’s right foot. This is typical of a Tamil wedding. This leads to the post-wedding rituals.

Nagoli Vasthra: This is performed by the family of the bride. The groom is now given some clothes, a suitcase and a diamond ring after the marriage.

Grihapravesha: This is another common sight in Indian weddings. The word Grihapravesha is derived from two Indian words, Griha (home), and pravesha (entry). This marks the entry of the bride in her new home. Here she is welcomed with an aarti and earthen lamp and she is made to tip over a pot of rice to mark her entry there.

Sambandhi Virandh: This is one of the most awaited ceremonies in a Tamil wedding. This involves the exchange of gifts between the families of the bride and the groom.

Valeyadal: Traditional wedding games are famous in Indian weddings. Here, the sister of the groom presents gifts to the new bride and then they proceed towards wedding games. The entire family joins in and is this is the peak of amusement after the wedding.

Reception: This ceremony is hosted by the groom’s family. This is mainly important for the bride to get acquainted with the members of her new family. This is the first occasion that the bride attends in her husband’s family. People again come over to bless the newlyweds and there are different traditional Tamil dishes prepared for the new couple and their families.

Bridal Night: This is a small ceremony held to celebrate the holy matrimony of the newlyweds and also to seek the blessings of the Almighty on them. The bride’s mother presents the two of them with an idol of Lord Krishna to protect them always. As the groom leaves the house of the bride, a grand meal is prepared for him. Along with this, the bride’s family also sends gifts and meals for the groom’s family. One member of the bride’s family escorts the newlyweds to the groom’s house and then returns with gifts from there, for the bride’s family. This celebrates the alliance of the two families.

Sadva pooja: This is one of the first few rituals for the bride in her new house. Here a Sadva puja is held which marks the presence of the bride in her new house. There are several women who come to attend this ritual. The bride, in the morning, after the puja, offers a spoon of ‘payasam’ to each of the women assembled.

Sumangali Prarthanai: This is a ritual performed, which is similar to the one performed before the wedding. The women who die before their husbands are considered to be lucky souls. So, this is a ceremony honoring them and praying that the new bride has such a fate to die a lucky woman. A feast is prepared for the married women and they are gifted with saris and other gifts.

Maruvidu Varudal: This ritual is famous in many Indian weddings. This is one of the most common ceremonies. A few days after wedding is held and after the other ceremonies are completed, the newlywed couple visits the house of the bride. The family there prepares a huge feast for them and gives them lots of gifts along with blessing them for a happy married life. The groom’s family also sends gifts to the bride’s house. Sometimes, the groom is made to stay at the bride’s place for a few days. This is for getting acquainted with the relatives of both the bride and the groom.

This more or less marks the end of the wedding rituals. The endless rituals and the traditions, and sometimes the stories that back them up are a interesting to learn about!

A Tamil wedding, thus as we see is a simple affair. The families come together, celebrate the occasion, have fun and bless the couple. It is carried out beautifully and the priest plays a very important role, like any other Indian wedding. The newlyweds receive truckloads of gifts as they embark upon the new journey together.

Raja Kumar

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