Khush guide to a Tamil wedding

Khush guide to a Tamil wedding

A sacred and traditional affair known for its simplicity and elegance

ARTICLE BY : Hanisha Sethi


Tamil weddings are lavish in their own ways, and you’ll find their rituals and traditions are conducted in their original form, keeping things simple, and beautiful. Filled with red and gold, they share many similar components to a Hindu Wedding, but there are also a few unique customs. It’s also a very cosmic affair, with the parents of the bride and groom exchanging horoscopes, which are analysed by a priest to determine the best time of year for the pair to tie the knot.

1. Aalath

The sentiment of this ritual is to bring light into the lives of the couple ahead of their Big Day. Aalathi is a blessing performed by married woman. The women circle a tray of light three times in front of the bride, (manamahal) or the groom (maapillai), to ward off any obstacles.

2. Kanyathanam

On the Wedding Day, the bride joins the family and the groom on the Mandap (Manavarai). The bride’s father places the bride’s hands into the hands of the groom, and her mother sprinkles holy water on the couple’s hands. This symbolises the groom’s transition from bachelorhood to that of a husband and family man.

3. Koorai Sari

The bride is presented with a beautiful sari as a gift from the groom. The Koorai sari is a traditional Kanchipuram silk sari, which is red with exquisite gold thread embellishments and beads. The bride leaves the Manavarai briefly to change into the sari and makes a second journey down the aisle. She’s also adorned in traditional heavy, gold Tamil jewellery, and carries a fresh floral garland for her groom.
4. Tying of the Thaali

The Thaali is the traditional sacred gold bridal necklace which the groom ties around her neck at a very specific hour, symbolising their vows of mutual acceptance and that they are now husband and wife.

5. Kungumam
The groom places a Kungumam, (vermillion dot) on the bride’s forehead for the first time, to symbolise to the world, that she’s now a married woman. The red is said to bring good fortune, prosperity and luck into the home of the bride.

6. Maalai Maatral & Metti

The couple garland each other three times to symbolise their commitment to a life together. In the first two exchanges of the garlands, the groom places his garland (maalay) over the bride first, but for the final exchange, they garland each other simultaneously to show they accept each other as equals. The priest then pours fried rice into the groom’s hands, which he’ll allow to fall through his fingers into the bride’s hands below. She then offers the rice to the Gods through the fire and prays for health, happiness and prosperity. The groom slips the minji or mettis (toe rings) over the second toe of each of the bride’s feet

7. Blessings
The couple are blessed by their parents and relatives, and the Aalathi is performed once more. The congregation is invited into the Manavarai in groups to bless the couple by showering them with rice and presenting them with gifts. The ritual lasts around 90 minutes and is followed by a magnificent wedding feast.

8. Nalangu: The Games

The priest calls the couple over to play games, egged on by their nearest and dearest. In a pot full of water and fleshly plucked flowers, the priest slips in a trinket. The bride and groom compete against each other to find the item first. It’s thought who ever finds the item first will rule the roost in the marriage.
9. Manai Pugu Vizha
Once the wedding rituals are completed, the couple leave for the bride’s home first. This is to ensure she is comfortable before proceeding onto the groom’s house on the third day after the wedding. The couple are welcomed with an Aalathi, as they stand at the threshold of their new home  and a lavish feast, Virunthu, takes place.

Photography: Soozana P Photography, Truly Photography, Mya Media, Photon Image

As seen in Khush Wedding 25. Buy this issue here


Tags : Tamil Wedding  Wedding Guide 
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