Tamil Matrimony in Focus: Panda Kaal Muhurtham and Receiving the Groom

At the start of the Tamil matrimony, the families of the groom and the bride pray to their Lord to bless the ceremony. They pray for the matrimonial rituals be as smooth as possible, no interruption, and with everybody participating. This ritual is done the day before the matrimony and it happens in both the groom’s and bride’s house.

As you can see here, a bamboo pole or casuarinas pole is placed outside of one house – both houses should have this bamboo pole. This invokes the family God so that their prayers for a peaceful, successful, and hassle-free Tamil Matrimony will be granted. It is placed beside the door, marking the start of the wedding festivities and notifying the neighborhood of the ceremony.

The Family holds a small yet important ceremony that represents the bonding or tie between the two families.

However, Panda Kaal Muhurtham has undergone changes over time. Due to the busy life of Tamil, instead of it being celebrated before the Tamil matrimony, it is celebrated taking consideration the convenience of both parties.

Married ladies in odd numbers, smear Turmeric paste on the Bamboo as a ritual. The bamboo is also decorated on top, at times a certain flower or leaves. Usually, the married ladies enjoy such ritual and the other family members watch in awe. After, all the family members pray to their God. That’s the only time they will be able to proceed to the next ritual – receiving the groom.

This is still done before the actual day of the Tamil matrimony, but done in the venue; the groom’s family is greeted and welcomed by the bride’s family. He is given a tray containing flowers, beetle nuts, fruits and mishri. Rose water is also sprinkled on the couple.

Both families perform rituals to their side. This starts with the bride’s brother. He applies tilak made by mixing sandalwood paste and kumkum, on the groom’s forehead.

Then, the brother also puts a garland around the groom’s neck.

Next, the bride’s mother serves a delicious dessert prepared from condensed milk. There is one specialty the mother prepares for the bride, and at times the recipe has been passed on through generations.

The last ritual before the Tamil matrimony and to end this day is the Aarti. This is performed by an elder female member of the bride’s family. There are different and colorful Aarti plates that can be used in this ceremony. The style, at times, depends on the motif or theme used in the wedding itself. This represents different elements such as water element (liquidity), the fire component (heat), the peacock fan (air movement), and the yak-tail fan (space). The incense represents a purified state of mind, and one’s “intelligence” is offered through the adherence to rules of timing and order of offerings.

And in order to culminate the ritual and to ward-off the evil eye, a coconut is broken on the ground.  By the end of the day, the families will see to it that a harmonious relationship will happen to the couple.

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