Tamil marriage is celebrated with the rituals that have been part of the Tamil culture. The marriage is basically simple but not extravagant. The relatives and friends join to take part in the ceremonies. Customs and traditions remain the same throughout the Tamil communities. The horoscopes play a very important role in finding the prospective partners for the girl or boy. When the horoscopes are matched, the agreement between the both parties takes place. The priest plays an important role in fixing the date of the marriage. The agreement is placed on the plate of bananas, coconuts and betel leaf. This ceremony is performed at the groom’s residence. The girl is given a silk sari and groom is given cash and clothes. ‘Paalikali Thalippu’ is a ceremony which is performed two days before marriage where small clay pots are decorated with sandal paste and ‘kumkum’. A little curd is put in each pot and nine types of grains are sprinkled. Then the married ladies of both sides water them. After the marriage, couple throws these pots with sprouted grains in nearby pond. This is done to seek the blessings of the fish in the water. ‘Kalyanaponnu’ is another important ceremony which is performed before marriage at the houses of the girl and the boy. Sesame oil is put on the girl and she is given a green sari with green and red bangles. Girl is put to confinement till marriage. The groom’s father also puts oil on him and gives him cash and clothes. He is also confined at a place till marriage. ‘Panda kaal muhuratham’ is the ceremony which is held a day before marriage and the family gather to seek the blessings of the family deity. This is done so that everything goes on smoothly.
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One day before marriage, groom and his family reaches the house of the bride where they are welcomed by the parents of the bride. They are offered ‘supari’, ‘misri’, flowers and fruits. Sandalwood is applied on the boy’s forehead. Sweet dishes are offered to the groom’s parents. A coconut is broken to ward off evil spirits.
The ancestors of the both families are remembered and the priests are invited to have meals and they are given clothes, sweets, fruits, ‘supari’ and ‘paan’. The parents of the bride along with the priest perform Ganesh puja. The bride is given a sari by the groom’s parents. ‘Chandan’ and ‘kumkum’ are applied on her forehead. Her sari is filled with fruits, turmeric and coconut. ‘Puja is also performed. On the wedding morning, bride and groom sit on wooden stools. Turmeric, ‘kumkum’ and oil are put on the both and ‘arti’ is performed. The they are given clothes, and they go to their respective homes and dress up for the wedding. After the ‘mangalsanamam’, the groom pretends to go for ‘kashi’ on a pilgrimage, but he is stopped by the bride’s father. He comes back to ‘pandal where bride is waiting for her.
They exchange garlands thrice. Now, they sit together on swings and balls of cooked rice with saffron are thrown in various directions to ward off evil spirits. The couple is served milk and banana. Thi ceremony is called ‘Oonjal’. After this, ‘kanaydanam’ is held. The corner of the girl’s sari is tied with the shawl of the boy. Their right hands are tied with a thread. As they reach the mandav, the boy’s feet are washed by the bride’s father. Bride sits on the lap of her father holding a coconut and offers it to the groom. This way girl is given to the groom. She is presented a sari by the groom’s parents which she wraps around. She sits in the lap of her father on the heap of paddy to welcome prosperity. Plough is touched to her forehead. Groom ties ‘mangalsutra’ to the neck of the girl. The groom takes the right hand of the girl with his left hand and takes seven rounds around the fire. Girl starts each round by touching the grinding stone. With this, marriage ceremony is complete. Good wishes and blessings are showered on the couple, and the traditional Tamil wedding ceremony is complete.
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