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South Indian Weddings(Nadar Weddings in Tamil Nadu)

Posted on 12, October 2022 05:45:10 PM

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Nadar weddings are intricate celebrations exclusively set for families. It has all the elements of pomp and showiness where the families enjoy quality time. Several pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding ceremonies are scheduled in a Nadar wedding. 

The very first pre-wedding ritual in a Nadar wedding is a Garland-wearing ceremony where the groom’s family visits the bride’s house carrying a beautiful flower garland for the bride. They also carry jewelry, clothes, and sweets for the bride. If the groom’s mother is not present, his sister will perform all the rituals.

The female members of the groom’s family deck up the bride with amazing flower garlands. The elders will then shower vermillion on the bride, and the families exchange gifts and other valuables, which represent their consent to the marriage. In the Nadar wedding ceremony, the wedding attire has great significance. For instance, this Pattu Kattuthal Ceremony is an honor to the bride by the groom’s family, where she is gifted a beautiful silk saree, especially from Kanchipuram (Kanjeevaram). During this ceremony, the bride is blessed by all the elders and applies Kumkum /(vermillion) As part of the Nadar wedding ceremony, a gold-melting ceremony is held at the groom’s residence. This is an interesting occasion where a traditionally designed ‘Thali’ (sacred thread for tying the knot) is gifted to the bridegroom. The bride’s family also participates in this ritual by putting a small piece of gold on the ‘Thali.’ A skilled goldsmith will be designing the Thali after a special prayer session. Once the puja session is completed, he walks out of the house with a minute piece of gold from the Thali, and a female member along with her child accompanies him to the door as the woman with her child is believed to be auspicious.

A couple of puja ceremonies are held as part of any Nadar wedding ceremony. The first one happens after the gold-melting ceremony. In this ritual, a palmyrah stick is worshipped after it gets smeared with a paste of turmeric and vermillion. It is then tied with mango leaves. A vessel filled with rice is kept in front of this stick. An older woman from the family then takes the vessel to measure the rice.

Another puja ceremony is held before the wedding date two to three days, to be exact. In this ritual, both families participate in seeking blessings from the Almighty and their ancestors. This is done for the couple to have a great life ahead.

The engagement ceremony is celebrated a day before the actual wedding date in the Nadar wedding ceremony. During this ritual, the couple exchange rings in the presence of close relatives and friends. They are also supposed to exchange pre-wedding vows, which are considered auspicious.

The wedding rituals begin with the bride and groom’s maternal uncles garlanding their nephews with beautifully set flower garlands. They bless the couple by putting vermillion on their forehead. The women members from the groom’s family then give the bride a new saree which she is supposed to wear during the wedding ceremony. Like in every Hindu wedding ceremony, this is the most auspicious ceremony in Nadar weddings as well. The priest will hand over the bride’s sacred thread, which he will tie around the bride’s neck. The groom performs this ritual after seeking blessings from all the elders present during the function. Then happens the Vilakku Darshan ceremony, which is performed by the groom’s brother. The bride’s mother then offers the couple milk and a banana. This is one interesting Nadar wedding ritual in which the couple gets smeared with special oil by the families’ elders. After completing the wedding rituals, the bride emotionally says goodbye to all her family members. The parents of the bride and her relatives bless the couple by throwing rice on them.

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