Owing to a great cultural diversity due to the coexistence of several religions, Wedding in India is celebrated in several fashions following different customs and traditions. The Tamil wedding is also a part of the different Indian wedding rituals and customs and is celebrated beautifully by the Tamil people. The Tamil wedding rituals and customs are described as follows:
Mangala Snaanam and Kashi Yatra:
At dawn on the Tamil wedding day, the bride and groom have an auspicious holy bath in their own homes which is termed as Mangal snaanam. Before they take the bath, they are applied with oil and a paste of haldi-kumkum is applied on their fore head.
Garlands exchange and Oonjal:
Garlands are exchanged thrice between the bride and the groom. After this they are seated on a swing. Then the married ladies feed the newly weds with banana pieces and spoonfuls of milk.
Kanyadaanam and Muhurtum:
On the Tamil wedding day, the groom is welcomed by the brides father in the mandapam, and the mother puts kajal in his eyes. This is followed by washing the grooms feet with water by the father in law. Then the bride sits on her father`s lap holding a coconut. Then both the bride and her father offer coconut to the bridegroom. In the meantime, the bride`s mother puts water over the coconut. In this way, the father gives away his daughter to the groom. A nine-yard sari is presented to the bride by the grooms family which is to be worn on the marriage mandapam.
In the mandapam, the brides father is made to sit on a sack of paddy kept on the mandapam floor. The bride sits on her fathers lap and a yoke of a farmer`s plough touched on her forehead. Touching the sacred thread of Tamil marriage- Mangalsutra, the priest and relatives bless the couple which the bridegroom ties in two knots putting it around the brides neck. The third knot is tied by the grooms sister.
Then they circle around the ceremonial fire 7 times, with each time the bride touching her feet to the grindstone.